OCTOBER 23, 2013
The Freed-Hardeman University graduate studies in Bible program is changing its name to Freed-Hardeman University Graduate School of Theology. The university’s Board of Trustees approved the change at its fall meeting Oct. 18.
The name change recognizes the importance of the program to the university’s mission as well as its growth, according to C.J. Vires, FHU vice president of academics and enrollment management. Over the past year, enrollment in graduate Bible courses has increased by 38 percent with students enrolling from 16 states and three foreign countries.
The quality of the program has been enhanced by the addition of a graduate reading room on the Henderson campus. The room contains facsimiles of two of the oldest complete copies of the Bible known to exist, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus.
Last year, the graduate Bible program initiated the Graduate Bible Research Symposium with Dr. Daniel Wallace as the featured the speaker. Wallace is the founder of The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts and author of the textbook used by university students studying Greek. This year’s symposium, set for Oct. 25, features Dr. Craig L. Blomberg discussing the Intertestamental Period.
The new name will also more completely align with standards set by the Association of Theological Schools, according to Vires. “School of Theology” is the term most often used for programs imbedded in universities. Currently an associate member of the organization, FHU is moving toward full membership, pursuant to a decision made by FHU trustees in July.
ATS is comprised of more than 270 graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines.
Freed-Hardeman began offering graduate degrees in Bible in 1989. Currently, the university offers a Master of Ministry and Master of Arts in New Testament completely online. A Master of Divinity is also available primarily online. In addition to the online courses, classes are taught on campus in Henderson. Dr. Mark Blackwelder is director of the FHU Graduate School of Theology.