December 11, 2019
A New Way to Prepare for Ministry
Houghton Online announces a new way to prepare for ministry or enrich your existing ministry through its fully online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Christian Ministries. This is a two-year degree that can be used to meet educational requirements for ministry or simply to equip yourself for more general service in the church and the world. For more specific information, see our webpage on the AAS degree. These courses, like all courses offered through Houghton Online, are Houghton-quality taught by Houghton professors.
Degree Seeking and Ordination Track
What is especially exciting about the courses in this program is the fact that they can be taken on several levels. If you are seeking a ministry degree, the AAS is a well-rounded set of ministry courses that can be taken while you are actually working in a church. It also provides a stepping stone for those who want to go on to get their bachelor’s degree. For example, after finishing your AAS you could come to the Houghton campus for two years to finish a bachelor’s degree in more advanced theology.
Ministry for Life-long Learning
If you simply want to learn more about ministry as a life-long learner, you can audit these classes for the flat audit rate of $150 a course. Most of the ministry classes will be available in a live evening Zoom session in which auditors can fully participate. If you want to meet the competencies of ministry but do not need the degree, you can take the courses for ordination certification (the audit fee plus a $50 assessment fee of your work).
Is This a Brand New Program?
Yes and no. Houghton has offered the AAS degree for a number of years, first in relation to an adult completion program and then later in partnership with The Chapel in Buffalo. It was approved to be offered online several years ago, and we are now implementing that possibility. This is the first time we have been able to offer the option of completing the degree fully online. A number of tweaks to the degree are in process that, if approved, will make it one of the most effective and convenient ways to meet the educational requirements that a church like The Wesleyan Church (the sponsoring denomination of Houghton College) has for ordination and lay licensing.
Other Ways to Participate
If you have several people at a specific church location, such as Houghton’s partner at Watermark in Buffalo, you can have a cell with a local church mentor to lead discussion after our live sessions. These local church mentors will help ensure that what you are learning is not just academic theory, but embodied church practice that makes sense on the ground. In approved situations, these local cell discussions can substitute for online class discussion. You get the best of both worlds, the academy and the church!