December 19, 2014 — This coming spring Bryan College will be offering its Master of Arts in Christian Studies (MACS) program in a fully online format for the first time.
In the past five years the MACS program has gone through two cycles (starting in 2010 and in 2012) graduating 17 students. Since then, the program has undergone considerable revamping under the leadership and vision of William Harle, dean of adult and graduate studies, and Dr. Matthew Johnson, director of graduate education.
The program’s reintroduction, according to MACS Director Dr. Kenneth Turner, has been revitalized and improved, experiencing a dramatic shift in terms of marketing strategy, class interactivity, flexibility, and reach. Dr. Turner said, “We are very sensitive to working a program that will fit as many people as possible in terms of their goals,” adding that the MACS will help equip people to go into many different fields with an in-depth background in Christian studies.
“The point is,” continued Dr. Turner, “to be flexible, to be creative, and to match the needs and desires of people with a program that is versatile enough that they can gain a degree to help them do what they want to do.”
The improved MACS will launch March 31, 2015. As a 36-hour program, it will feature 12 three-hour courses, which at least initially will be offered two at a time. Six of these will count as core classes, after which students will take courses more specifically pertinent to their career field. Typically a student will take two courses every 12 weeks, although they may choose to only take one per term. The courses will involve reading, writing, posting in online discussion forums, viewing mini-lecture presentations with pre-recorded audio from the professors, and ongoing week-to-week conversations both between classmates and between students and their professors, who are deeply invested in mentoring and coming alongside them.
“The online approach enables us to reach people literally around the world who are in ministry now or want to get into ministry,” commented Dr. Turner. “We’re trying to shape a program that will help people go into all kinds of areas, so we’re sensitive to that on every level.”
Written by Chloe Ann Nardone ‘13, assistant director of marketing, 423.775.7206; firstname.lastname@example.org.