Degrees and Requirements


Special Note to Prospective Students: Over the years, many people have wanted to do programs with CES, but they are not sure that they are ready to make the necessary commitment to complete a full degree. Also, some often feel “performance anxiety” and wonder if they can complete such a degree. To help with this problem please see, A Word About Performance Anxiety.


 

The Degrees

Research Degree Programs
Theses and dissertations are the focal points of CES Research Degree programs. For students who feel they have weak writing skills, the CES-Writing Protocols class will help them reach a level of necessary proficiency for the program. (Also, under special arrangement and at the expense of the student, a tutoring service will be provided for those who request help with their writing.) Thus, a lack of writing skill need not dissuade a student from enrolling in a Research Degree program. In special situations--i.e., for students who have written theses or dissertations in other degree programs--there may be exceptions to the thesis or dissertation requirement. An exception to the requirement must be requested in writing by the student at the time of enrollment or shortly thereafter (within eight weeks). The final decision of exemption shall rest solely with the Seminary. The research degree programs are the Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.), Master of Christian Philosophy (M.C.Phil.), Master of Theology (Th.M.), Doctor of Christian Philosophy (D.C.Phil.), and the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.).

Ministry Degree Programs
Not all degrees require a thesis or dissertation. Ministry degrees do not require the writing of a thesis or dissertation. In these degree programs, students simply complete classes for the degree. However, students may choose to write a thesis or a dissertation if they desire. The CES ministry degree programs include all of the associate degrees, Bachelor of Christian Studies (B.C.S.), Master of Christian Studies (M.C.S.), Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Doctor of Christian Studies (D.C.S.), and the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.).

Praxis Degree Programs
The word praxis means the practical application of a branch of learning. More and more Christian leaders are recognizing a need for a program of study that is a crossover between the theoretical (research degrees) and the practical (ministry degrees). This is achieved by blending elements of the two styles of degrees. Students typically select classes from both research and practical fields to complete these degrees. The writing of a thesis or a dissertation is encouraged, but students are not required to do so. The CES praxis degrees are the Bachelor of Religion (B.Rel.), Master of Apologetics (M.Apol.), Master of Religion (M.Rel.), Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), Doctor of Religion (Rel.D.), and Doctor of Theological Studies (D.T.S.).


Undergraduate Division

Christian Studies Diploma
The Christian Studies Diploma (CSDip) program requires that the student is a high school graduate (or 19 years or older and can demonstrate the ability to do college level studies).

First Year of Study: (32 semester hours total)
BI-101 New Testament Survey 4SH
BI-102 Old Testament Survey 4SH
HST-101 History of Christianity 4SH
BI-150 Life and Teachings of Christ 4SH
TH-100 Bible Doctrines 4SH
And, 12 hours of electives

A Christian Studies Diploma will be awarded to those who satisfactorily complete this first year of study with a minimum overall GPA of 1.67.

Christian Studies Diploma Testing Out
For those who have a strong background in Bible and theology, CES has challenge exams through which students may test out the entire Christian Studies Diploma.

Associate's Degrees

Prerequisites: same as the CSDip

Associate of Christian Studies (A.C.S.) (appropriate for all majors)
Associate of Religion (A.Rel.) (appropriate for all majors)
Associate of Theology (Th.A.) (apologetics, philosophy, or theology)

Credit Transfer
A maximum of 40 credits may be transferred into the bachelor's program. Transfer credits must have a letter grade of no less than "C-" to be acceptable, and have not been used for a certificate or diploma or degree elsewhere.

Associate Degree Requirements for Graduation: To graduate with an associate's degree, the student must complete a minimum of 64 semester hours with a minimum overall GPA of 2.0. The following is a suggested two-year program of study that may be altered if necessary to fit the specific needs of the student.

First Year of Study: The same as the Christian Studies Diploma.
Second Year of Study: 32 hours of electives/major. See Course Descriptions for descriptions of electives. Any level courses may be selected for electives.

Associate of Christian Studies Degree Testing Out
For those who have a strong background in Bible and theology, CES has challenge exams through which students may test out part or all of the Associate of Christian Studies degree.

Third Year Diploma

Prerequisites: same as the CSDip
Those who satisfactorily complete the third year of study will be awarded a third year diploma indicating the student's major. Example: Diploma of Theology, Diploma of Apologetics, Diploma of Ministry, etc. The following is a suggested three-year program of study that may be altered if necessary to fit the specific needs of the student.

First Year of Study: The same as the Christian Studies Diploma.
Second Year of Study: 8 hours in Bible 8 hours in theology, 8 hours in electives 8 hours in apologetics
Third Year of Study: 32 hours of major.

Third Year Diploma Testing Out
One cannot earn an entire Third Year Diploma through testing. Nonetheless, for those who have a strong background in Bible and theology, CES has challenge exams through which a student may complete many credits toward their Third Year Diploma (see the Christian Studies Diploma Testing Out and the Associate of Christian Studies Degree Testing Out above).


Bachelor's Degrees

Prerequisites: same as the Associate's degree.

Bachelor of Christian Studies (B.C.S.) (appropriate for all majors)
Bachelor of Religion (B.Rel.) (appropriate for all majors)
Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) (apologetics, philosophy, or theology— thesis required)

Credit Transfer
A maximum of 104 credits may be transferred into the bachelor's program. Transfer credits must have a letter grade of no less than "C-" to be acceptable, and have not been used for a certificate or diploma or degree elsewhere.

Bachelor's Degree Requirements for Graduation: To graduate with a bachelor's degree, the student must complete a minimum of 128 semester hours with a minimum overall GPA of 2.33. The following is a suggested four-year program of study that may be altered if necessary to fit the specific needs of the student.

First Year of Study: Same as the Christian Studies Diploma.
Second Year of Study: Same as second year of the Third Year Diploma.
Third Year of Study: 4 hours in Bible 4 hours in theology, 4 hours in electives 4 hours in apologetics, 8 hours in ministry 8 hours of electives. See Course Descriptions for descriptions of electives. Any level courses may be selected for electives.
Fourth Year of Study: 32 hours of elective.

The total credit hours required for a bachelor's degree is 128, with at least 32 upper-division hours in a major if a major is declared.

A Second Bachelor’s Degree: One Year Required
Students with an acceptable Bachelor’s degree, in any field, who wish to do a Bachelor’s degree with CES will be allowed advanced standing. They will be required to do only 32 semester credits (i.e., one year) with CES for the second Bachelor’s degree. All 32 credits must be at the upper-division level (i.e., 300 and 400 class levels) in their chosen major.

Bachelor’s Degree Testing Out
One cannot earn an entire bachelor’s degree through testing. Nonetheless, for those who have a strong background in Bible and theology, CES has challenge exams through which a student may complete many credits toward their Bachelor’s degree (see the Christian Studies Diploma Testing Out and the Associate of Christian Studies Degree Testing Out above).


Master's Degrees

Master of Christian Studies (M.C.S.) - (appropriate for all majors) 36 hours of general electives or electives within a major (thesis optional).

Master of Religion (M.Rel.) - (appropriate for all majors) 40 hours of general electives or electives within a major (thesis optional).

Master of Apologetics (M.Apol.) - (apologetics and/or philosophy) 48 hours of an apologetics major (thesis optional).

Master of Christian Philosophy (M.C.Phil.) - (philosophy) 48 hours of a philosophy major (thesis required, with some exceptions).

Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) - (appropriate for most majors) 48 hours of electives within a major (thesis optional).

Master of Divinity (M.Div.) - (appropriate for all majors) 96 hours (or 80 hours for those with an acceptable undergraduate degree in a Christian discipline, e.g., Bible, ministry, theology, etc.) of general electives or electives within a major (thesis optional).

Master of Theology (Th.M.) - (apologetics, philosophy, or theology) 32 semester hours beyond the M.Div. (or its equivalent) of electives within a theological major (thesis required, with some exceptions).

Credit Transfer
Student may transfer credits into any of the CES master's programs. However, students must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours with CES. Transfer credits must be at the master's level and have a letter grade of no less than "C-" and be in the same, or a closely related field to be acceptable, and have not been used for a certificate or diploma or degree elsewhere.

Entrance requirements for the Master's Degrees: A Bachelor’s Degree in any field.

For those with no Bachelor’s Degree
Students with no Bachelor’s degree, or with fewer credits than the Bachelor’s-equivalent, may enroll into any of the master’s degree programs. However, the student will need to complete extra master’s-level credits to make up the entrance-requirement deficiency. Each applicant will be considered and assessed on an individual basis. However, the rule of thumb looks like this: To enroll into a Master’s program, one needs 128 semester credits (or 192 quarter hours) at the undergraduate level. Students with no bachelor’s degree may still qualify for entrance into a master’s program. To do so, the student must . . .
1. be at least 21 years old
2. have completed at least three years of full-time Christian ministry, or
3. have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies from an acceptable school
Applicants who qualify will have deficit credits that they will make up at the master’s level.

DEFICIT CREDITS BY MINISTRY-EXPERIENCE
For those going into a Master’s degree, deficit credits may be made up through full-time ministry experience. Depending on the assessment, up to six semester credits may be granted for each year of full-time ministry. As deficit credit fulfillment, ministry credits may exceed normal (total) limits set for regular programs. All fees for deficit credits completed by ministry experience must be paid in full at the time of enrollment.

Master's Degree Requirements for Graduation: To graduate with a master's degree, the student must complete all of the required studies with a minimum overall GPA of 2.67. A student may transfer credits into any of the master's programs. However, students must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours with CES. Transfer credits must be at the master's level and have a letter grade of no less than "C-" and be in the same, or a closely related, field.


Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Christian Studies (D.C.S.) — (appropriate for most majors) 36 semester hours beyond the M.Div. (or its equivalent) of general electives or in a major (dissertation optional).

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) — (appropriate for all majors) 36 semester hours beyond the M.Div. (or its equivalent) of general electives or in a major (dissertation optional).

Doctor of Religion (D.Rel.) — (appropriate for most majors) 40 semester hours beyond the M.Div. (or its equivalent) of general electives or in a major (dissertation optional).

Doctor of Theological Studies (D.T.S.) — (appropriate for most majors) 40 semester hours beyond the M.Div. (or its equivalent) of electives in a theological major (dissertation optional).

Doctor of Christian Philosophy (D.C.Phil.) — (appropriate for all majors) 48 semester hours beyond the M.Div. (or its equivalent) of electives in a major (dissertation required).

Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) — (apologetics, philosophy, or theology) 48 semester hours beyond the M.Div. (or its equivalent) of electives in a theological major (dissertation required).

Credit Transfer
All but the last 24 semester hours may be transferred into any of the CES doctoral programs. Transfer credits must be at the doctoral level, have a letter grade of no less than "C-" and be in the same, or a closely related field to be acceptable, and have not been used for a certificate or diploma or degree elsewhere.

Entrance requirements for the Doctoral Degrees.

For those with only a Bachelor’s Degree in a Christian Discipline: Students with an acceptable bachelor’s degree and no master’s degree may still qualify for entrance into a doctoral program. To do so, the student must . . .
1. be at least 25 years old
2. have completed at least three years of full-time Christian ministry
3. have a bachelor’s degree in a Christian discipline from an acceptable school

Applicants who qualify are required to complete an additional 32 deficit credits. Thus, the totals would be: DCS & DMin 68 credits; DRel & DTS 72 credits; DCPhil & ThD 80 credits.

For those with only a Bachelor’s Degree in a Secular discipline: They must first complete, at minimum, the M.C.S. degree, and then they will have an additional 16 deficit credits in the chosen doctoral program.

Note: At the doctoral level, deficit credits may be fulfilled through full-time ministry experience. See DEFICIT CREDITS BY MINISTRY-EXPERIENCE below.

For those with a Master’s degree in a Christian discipline with 32 to 64 credits: They are required to complete an additional 16 deficit credits. Thus, the totals would be: DCS & DMin 52 credits; DRel & DTS 56 credits; DCPhil & ThD 64 credits.

For those with a Master’s degree in a Christian discipline with 65 to 96 credits: They are required to complete the normal amount of credits. Thus, the totals would be: DCS & DMin 36 credits; DRel & DTS 40 credits; DCPhil & ThD 48 credits.

For those with a Master’s degree in a Secular discipline: They are required to complete an additional 16 deficit credits. Thus, the totals would be: DCS & DMin 52 credits; DRel & DTS 56 credits; DCPhil & ThD 64 credits. (A master’s degree in a non-Christian discipline with fewer than 32 credits would require an additional 32—rather than 16—deficit credits.)

For those with a Doctoral Degree in a Christian discipline or a 128-semester-credit Master of Theology: They will be allowed advanced standing and be required to complete only 32 credits for the DCS or DMin; 36 for the DRel or DTS; and 42 for the DCPhil or ThD.

For those with a Doctoral Degree in a Secular discipline: They are required to complete the normal amount of credits. Thus, the totals would be: DCS & DMin 36 credits; DRel & DTS 40 credits; DCPhil & ThD 48 credits.

DEFICIT CREDITS BY MINISTRY-EXPERIENCE
For those going into a Doctoral degree, deficit credits (credits beyond the normal amounts) may be made up through full-time ministry experience. Depending on the assessment, up to 3 semester credits may be granted for each year of full-time ministry. The limit is 32 credits, and these can be applied only to deficit credits. All fees for deficit credits completed by ministry experience must be paid in full at the time of enrollment and are non-refundable.

Doctoral Degree Requirements for Graduation: To graduate with a doctoral degree, the student must complete all of the required studies with a minimum overall GPA of 3.00.

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