Flex Ministry Program: a new approach to ministerial preparation
When responding to God’s calling into ministry there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
Southern Wesleyan University’s Division of Religion has introduced an economical self-paced online undergraduate program that meets the needs of those entering ministry for the first time, as well as individuals who already possess ministry experience.
According to Dr. Mike Tapper, who chairs the Division of Religion, the Flex Ministry Program offers up to 16 courses in a self-paced, online format in which each for-credit undergraduate course costs only $399. Tapper adds that while each course can be completed in seven weeks, it’s possible to take up to 14 weeks to complete a course, if needed.
“In comparison to other online undergraduate courses, the price point is one thing that sets Flex apart,” said Tapper. “Some of our graduates are entering into positions that don’t necessarily offer huge incomes. It’s one thing to have a $60,000 debt as you enter into a medical profession, but when you enter into a ministry context and you’re making $30,000 a year, a $60,000 debt is significant.”
Tapper adds that students enrolling in the program may be able to save even more on tuition costs with previously-earned college credit or with prior-learning credit gained from relevant ministry experience.
“These courses are aligned with a competency-based approach. We recognize that – of the students who take these courses – some are entering with tons of ministry expertise. We have created these courses in such a way that allows students to pretest and potentially comp out of modules in which they can show competency expertise.”
In addition to offering a comprehensive curriculum, Tapper noted that learning experiences will also include engagement with world-class subject matter experts in live sessions offering students valuable Q&A closely aligned with the course module content.
Tapper also noted that the Flex Ministry Program is a great dual enrollment option for high school seniors seeking ministry and elective courses as they prepare for college.
“We’ve earnestly tried to build this program with components designed to serve students where they’re at. One of the best ways we know how to do this is by accommodating their wallets – especially in these trying times – and their schedules,” said Tapper. “We claim generosity as one of our trademarks. This new program shows SWU’s generosity in a difficult time around the globe. We’re convinced – in principle and function – it generously serves the Church.”
For details about the Flex Ministry Program, visit swu.edu/flex or email
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu.