The past year has witnessed the inauguration of numerous initiatives designed by our president to springboard the seminary into the future. One of our most significant efforts has been the creation of the TMS Distance Location Program.
Jamie Jackson discusses the seminary’s new distance location program
Here are the top reasons for this initiative…
The Scope of the Opportunity
The world of higher education has forever changed. TMS has not. Without compromising our identity, we do recognize that flexible options for theological education are increasingly important for men who cannot uproot their families and ministries to relocate to a different part of the country.
Our mission is to train men to preach Christ to the ends of the earth, and this necessitates that we go to the ends of that same earth in our preparation of those men (Matt. 28:16–20). While we remain committed to the education provided here in Los Angeles, we believe that technology has given us the ability to deliver the excellence of the TMS classroom and its qualified faculty to remote sites in order to increase future ministry impact.
The Need for Discipleship
Ultimately, seminaries don’t make pastors; churches do. That’s why we’re looking to the church to aid us in our mission of providing the essential education. The barometer for the success of our education has always been measured by our effort to disciple men to preach Christ and love His church. We remain committed to that inviolable standard (2 Tim. 2:2).
In undertaking the Distance Location Program, we’ve insisted that there be no compromise in the quality of our education. Every site will be conducted in close association with the pastoral staff and leadership of the local church. Each of these churches has been thoroughly vetted to ensure a total theological compatibility with TMS and a precise philosophy of ministry in line with Grace Community Church.
The Ability to Provide Academic Excellence
In August, our accrediting association fully approved our Distance Location Program. After a thorough investigation, this external organization—whose job it is to qualify academic excellence—has signed off on our program without reservation. Our unique hybrid delivery system has enabled us to identify maximize the educational impact of every class.
The barometer for the success of our education has always been measured by our effort to disciple men to preach Christ and love His church.Utilizing a specially constructed studio, forty-eight units of the curriculum are being taught via live, two-way interaction with TMS faculty. Thirty-five units are being offered online with classroom discussion directed by an on-site moderator. The final fifteen units cover pastoral ministry and are being taught by qualified pastoral staff or adjunct faculty on each site. This hybrid approach ensures that the excellence of our curriculum retains its fullest integrity.
Our inaugural sites began this past fall in Washington, D.C., and Bozeman, Montana. A third site will be opening in January 2016 in Akron, Ohio. Additional sites are currently in development for deployment during the 2016 school year.
Thank you for your prayers and support. There’s much more happening here at The Master’s Seminary. The Lord is blessing and we’re eager to continue sharing it with you!