WBU Changes From Religion to Christian Studies
Wayland Baptist University trustees voted to approve changing the name of the School of Religion to the School of Christian Studies. The name change is just one of the steps taken by the university to update the academic offerings in order to meet the needs of students pursuing religion and ministry degrees. The name and curriculum changes take effect with the new catalog year that begins in August.
Dr. Stephen Stookey, who took over as Dean of the school in September, said the name change, along with new and updated programs are representative of the school’s desire to offer the type of education ministry students are seeking. He said it is the culmination of a process that began about three years ago.
“We did a thorough reexamination of our curriculum. Examination of trends in theological education as well as an examination of needs of our constituent churches. And then quite honestly, we have rebuilt our curriculum from the ground up,” Stookey said.
The redesign includes bachelor degree programs that fall into one of three major areas: theological studies, Christian ministry and co-vocational ministry. The new undergraduate degrees feed directly into accelerated graduate level degrees.
Stookey announced a five-year MDiv program in February. The new program allows students to earn a Bachelor of Christian Ministry degree as well as a Master of Divinity degree in as little five years. As the plan is designed, the total number of credit hours required for the two degrees is 161. Typically, 191 credit hours are required, or 202 credit hours if taking the biblical languages track.
The School of Christian Studies will also offer a number of other new accelerated-degree programs including an accelerated BCM to MDiv/MBA; the BCM to Master of Arts in Theological Studies program; and the BCM to Master of Arts in Christian Ministry program.
The School also designed a new Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration program that is awarded jointly with the School of Business. The MDiv/MBA is a 90-hour program for ministers who can benefit from a business background, whether as administrators in churches or as leaders of not-for-profit ministries.
The Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Master of Arts in Theological Studies are new degrees that require 42 credit-hours of instruction, or 48 to 60 hours if pursuing the thesis track in preparation for doctoral studies.
The School is also offering a new Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies that prepares students for service in the church or careers that are outside traditional vocational ministry. New programs within the Bachelor of Christian Ministry degree are aimed at students who will serve smaller congregations or pursue co-vocational ministry.
The new and revised programs will take effect with the 2019-2020 academic catalog on Aug. 1, 2019. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen Stookey at 806-291-1165 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.