PLAINVIEW - Talk about a heavenly union.
Wayland Baptist University has entered into a partnership with Logsdon Seminary at Hardin-Simmons University to bring the Master of Divinity program to the South Plains.
The agreement will allow students to take courses from Logsdon faculty on the Wayland campus in Lubbock with credit toward the 72-hour advanced standing Master of Divinity degree (for students with a baccalaureate degree in religion or theology). Wayland students who may already be working toward the Master of Arts in Religion or Master of Christian Ministry degrees may apply their coursework toward the MDiv with Logsdon, provided they have not yet graduated.
"This will be helpful for Wayland students because they can work on two degrees at once," said Dr. Fred Meeks, chairman of the Division of Religion and Philosophy at Wayland. "It would require some work, but a student in our region could feasibly do the Master of Religion and Master of Divinity degrees in three years."
Students interested in pursuing the Master of Divinity would need to apply and be admitted to Logsdon and then register for the courses to be held in Lubbock. Classes are open to any resident in the region who desires to work toward a seminary degree.
Both Wayland and Logsdon officials are excited about the arrangement because of the benefits to both institutions and to students and ministers already serving in the area who may want to pursue seminary training that has previously been out of reach.
"The agreement is really a win-win situation. It's a win for Wayland students because they won't have to uproot and pursue the MDiv, and a win for us because we can offer the degree to a wider audience," said Dr. Tommy Brisco, dean at Logsdon. "It's a win for the students as well, because it makes the degree more accessible for them. The partnership affords a great opportunity for us to further theological education for people who are preparing for vocational ministry. The agreement allows us to partner with Wayland in a complimentary manner that serves the churches of Texas and surrounding regions in a way that allows both programs to flourish."
Brisco said that while students could attain the majority of coursework through Wayland and Logsdon courses in Lubbock, the remaining 24 hours of the degree would need to be completed at the Abilene campus. To help students with this requirement, Brisco said Logsdon is devising mini-terms to be held during the summer months, making for less travel and time away.
Meeks said the first classes under the new partnership will be offered in the fall. A total of three courses - one per term - will be offered per calendar year in Lubbock.
Wayland already has standing agreements with all Southern Baptist seminaries under guidelines of the Association of Theological Schools - the main accrediting agency for such institutions - that allows half the courses from an earned master's degree from Wayland to go toward the Master of Divinity program at seminaries. Under the new arrangement, however, students can transfer all their credits to a seminary degree before they graduate.
For more information on enrolling in graduate degrees in religion, contact either the Wayland religion department at 806-291-1160 or Logsdon Seminary at 325-670-1287.