By Kelly Boggs, Editor Baptist Message
PINEVILLE – Interested individuals and potential students from Central Louisiana attended an open house held by Louisiana College May 12 in the school’s Granberry Conference Center. The event was designed to provide details about LC’s new divinity school.
[img_assist|nid=7341|title=Chuck Quarels|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=78|height=100]Chuck Quarels Ph.D., dean of the new Caskey School of Divinity, presided over the meeting that provided specific information about program offerings, admission procedures and finances.
The Caskey Divinity School, which is being funded primarily by an anonymous donor, is slated to begin operation in August. “By the time the school opens,” Quarels said, “it will have received $4.1 million dollars from the donor’s foundation.”
Joe Aguillard, president of LC and who is recovering from heart surgery, made an appearance at the gathering and welcomed those in attendance. “I’m so glad you’ve come this evening,” he said. “We are looking to train warriors for the Lord at the Caskey School of Divinity.”
During the informative meeting, Quarels said the school of divinity will focus on five areas and train ministers: to correctly handle the word of truth; to preach the word; to emphasize the great truths of the Christian faith in their preaching and teaching; to share the gospel passionately with the lost; and to model outstanding Christian character.
Information distributed to those in attendance gave specific details about the four degrees the school will offer: two master level programs, one associate program and one certificate program.
The master level programs will be a “Master of Arts with and emphasis in Pastoral Ministries” and a “Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies.”
The Pastoral Ministries MA “is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of smaller church and bi-vocational pastor’s who have a bachelor’s degree in a career field but have not received theological education.”
The MA in Biblical and Theological Studies “is designed for students who excelled in undergraduate programs in the field of Christian Studies.” It will consist of a “rigorous curriculum.”
An Associate degree in Pastoral Ministry program will be offered. It is “designed to prepare students who desire theological education in order to minister in the local church and who have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent but who do not possess a Baccalaureate degree…”
A Certification in Pastoral Ministry program will also be available. This course of study “is designed to prepare students who desire theological education in order to minister in the local church who do not intend to earn credit toward a degree or who have not earned a high school diploma or its equivalent.”
The MA in Pastoral Ministries, the Associates degree and the Certificate program are “designed for those involved in ministry and will contribute and complement ministry,” Quarels said. As such, actual class time will take place on three separate Friday-Saturday sessions. Students who qualify financially will have their overnight stay covered by the school. Between the class sessions students will interact with professors via the Internet. The MA in Biblical and Theological studies will be a more traditional academic program and require residency.
Standard admission procedures will be followed and will include a $30 application fee. Students wishing to enroll in the MA with and Emphasis in Biblical and Theological Studies will be required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam, a confidential academic reference and scores from a biblical language proficiency exam.
The most unique feature of the Caskey School of Divinity will be financial. Students who meet certain criteria will qualify to have all their tuition provided for them.
In order to qualify for the “no-cost” tuition, a student must be a member of Southern Baptist or “baptistic” church. A student must also indicate a clear calling and commitment to vocational Christian service. Additionally, a student must demonstrate a legitimate financial need.
“Though the price for many students will be free,” Quarels said. “Like God’s grace, it is not cheap. A very generous donation makes this free tuition possible.” Students who are not Baptist are expected to pay around $4,500 a semester.
Individuals desiring more information on the Caskey School of Divinity are enouraged to call the school at 318-487-7737 or email Quarels’ Administrative Assistant, Ada Moore, at firstname.lastname@example.org.