Once you determine that continued education is right for you, what particular benefits might be derived from obtaining a certificate, diploma, or degree from CUGN?
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Quality of teaching
There are many colleges that offer excellent, high-quality instruction. However, there are none that we know of that have the faculty bench-strength that CUGN has. CUGN’s professors were selected over the years by the Evangelical Seminaries Deans’ Council as representing the best teaching by the best lecturers available at the time. So you will see faculty names such as John Stott, Darrell Bock, Craig Blomberg, Alice Mathews, and many others who are highly recognized by both students and peers in their fields.
Each three-credit-hour course features a full semester’s worth of lectures (usually 24 45-minute lectures), so the teaching is rich and in-depth. There is also personal interaction with a CUGN online instructor and asynchronous online discussions among students around the world who are studying the same course simultaneously.
Cost may not be the most important factor in considering a college education, but it certainly must be practically addressed. CUGN charges $80 per credit hour for the Core 1 self-study courses and $200 per credit hour for the Core 2 Diploma and Core 3 Master’s level courses. These costs are very competitive in the academic marketplace. In fact, in most cases they are as much as 50 percent less than costs for similar courses in traditional universities.
Education debt is a great burden for those who are called into ministry where the pay scale may not be equivalent to that for similar roles in the secular arena. CUGN’s low tuition rates, its pay-as-you-go plan, its subscription program, and its offering of partial scholarships help combine to ensure that students can graduate with minimal indebtedness.
Many students begin with CUGN not knowing exactly what degree they will ultimately pursue, but there are several options from which to choose. CUGN’s Master of Arts in Religion degree is research based and provides a solid foundation for those who eventually wish to pursue doctoral studies. The Master of Arts in Ministry Studies degree is a fully accredited online master’s degree (offered in collaboration with Grace College) for those who are focused on church or parachurch ministry. Other students simply want an in-depth Certificate in Bible, Certificate in Preaching, or Certificate in Spiritual Direction, all of which are available through CUGN. Review our entire list of degree programs at www.cugn.org/programs
For many students, pursuing a higher education degree is not an option because of family and career obligations. CUGN’s online format ensures that students do not have to uproot families and leave jobs. Instead, they have the advantage of studying from home at times that are convenient to both family and work schedules. That factor alone is a significant cost savings for most students. And the study-from-home model allows them to continue to engage in areas of ministry where they are already being used and, in so doing, to take what they learn in the classroom directly into the ministry arena.
It is CUGN’s hope that students experience true life change in the education process. The focus on biblical teaching, personal application, mentor involvement, and meaningful interaction with professors and other students sets the stage for true spiritual formation. Such change is difficult to document, but students who have experienced it know that the transformation comes only after wrestling with the in-depth teaching, constant focus on the Bible, and learning dependence on God through the disciplines of higher education in the middle of life circumstances.
Preparedness for service
For students with a desire to serve God or to be actively engaged in ministry, CUGN provides foundational teaching, personal growth opportunities, and overall preparedness for service. Specific aspects of CUGN education that build into that preparedness include self-selected research projects in the diploma level courses and a master’s thesis project that includes development of a ministry tool that is tested in a church or small-group setting.
A final word: In summary, there are many choices for students these days, both on campus and online. CUGN is a unique option, offering many advantages for students interested in serious scholarship with an emphasis on personal spiritual development and practical ministry application.