The Association of Theological Studies (ATS) has granted associate membership status to the Freed-Hardeman University Graduate Studies in Bible Program, according to Dr. Mark Blackwelder, director of the program. ATS member schools voted to accept the FHU program at their biennial meeting June 20-24.
"Associate membership makes FHU eligible to begin the process of seeking ATS accreditation," Blackwelder explained. The process will include a self-study and visits by an accrediting team and is expected to be completed within five years.
ATS in the United States and Canada is “a membership organization of more than 260 graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and degree programs and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines,” according to the group’s web site. It accredits the schools and approves their degree programs.
Specialized accreditation “brings an opportunity for rigorous self-inspection, enhanced credibility of our academic programs, and discipline-specific resources to improve accomplishment of our mission,” Blackwelder said. “We look forward to demonstrating the quality of what we deliver to students who are preparing for ministry.”
FHU offers three master’s degrees in Bible: Master of Ministry, Master of Arts in New Testament and Master of Divinity. Master of Ministry and Master of Arts in New Testament programs are completely online as well as much of the Master of Divinity. Courses are offered as “hybrids.” The instructor teaches the course to students in the classroom and online simultaneously. Distance students may watch the class in real time or view later by prior agreement with the instructor. Interaction with online students is supplemented via Blackboard Learning System.
For additional information regarding these programs, contact Blackwelder at email@example.com