I Can’t Afford Seminary
Free Seminary Resources for Theological Enrichment
I can’t afford to go to seminary but I want to learn more about the Bible and theology? Does this describe yourself? Have you wished there was a free seminary? We’ll the good news is there are plenty of free and low cost resources that can help you develop yourself and give you a seminary level education minus the degree. Here I have listed a few options for those motivated enough to take advantage of them.
At SEBTS they offer seminary level classes for free in a program they call Massive Open Online Courses. As SEBTS put it, “Our desire is to offer the highest level of theological training to the greatest number of people so they can be further equipped to fulfill the Great Commission.” To gain access to the free course you will need to register by going here.
Currently there are three courses available; a Hermeneutics class in English and Spanish and a class in mission and evangelism for the local church. These classes are not a watered-downed college course. They are 21 lectures with reading, quizzes and assignments. But unlike a real college course you can go at your own pace.
RTS or the Reformed Theological Seminary allows free access to its seminary lectures via iTunes or through their RTS app. I have found the app much more user friendly. There are a variety of courses you can access from Old and New Testament to Christian Ethics. Included on the app is the course syllabus in case you want to purchase the same books recommended for reading as the paying students have.
TNARS offers seminary level education for free and awards non-accredited degrees. This program requires acceptance and is mentored based. The A.A and B.A degrees in Theological Studies have been discontinued. However for those who are not interested in a degree and are self-motivated you can still access the classes and use them to organizing your self-training. Common classes consist of reading and writing assignments. The blessing of this site is that all the reading is available on line so you do not necessarily need to purchase any books.
Credo House at reclaimingthemind.org is the most unique place to go for theological training. At its brick and mortar location in Edmond Oklahoma it serves up coffee in a traditional coffee house setting while inciting your brain over biblical discussions; much better than gas station coffee. Credo House offers up biblical and theological training courses designed as a tool for churches to help the laymen, teachers and deacons grasp a better knowledge of the Bible. And while this training is offered for purchase and comes with a certificate of completion you can also take advantage the same content at a very low cost with their apps. There are three courses offered; Theology, Church History and Discipleship. Each app ranges in cost from $8 to $5. That is not much at all considering you get 60 hours of theological training, 1,800 slides and 1,200 workbook pages in the theology app alone. I have found the creators of these courses to be very balanced and in-depth in their teaching and well worth the time.
Striving for Eternity with Andrew Rapport offers two online courses for free via their academy page. The two course currently offered are Biblical Hermeneutics (the interpretation of scriptures) and Systematic Theology. These courses are video based on YouTube and live courses are held on Monday nights at 8pm on Ustream. There is a pay option as well at $15/month or $50/year and includes other benefits such as a syllabus you can work through. Both of these courses give you a well-balanced education if you are looking for a place to start.
The School of Biblical Evangelism is offered through the ministry of Ray Comfort and as you can guess is focused on personal evangelism. This course does carry a larger cost than the options above, standing at $155 but contains such a plethora of resources and information focused specifically on the Great Commission; as such it is worthy of mention and consideration. This course is online based and comes with 101 mandatory lessons, two books you’ll need to read, audio lessons and personal assignments. In addition to the mandatory requirements to complete the school and get your certificate and leather bound Evidence Bible there is an abundance of other resources for your use. This is a great course for everyone to develop your ability to communicate the gospel no matter how shy or outgoing you may be.
Its Up to You
So as you can see you CAN afford to go to seminary. There are enough free seminary and low cost theological resources above to last you years of self-training. It is important to note that I have selected only options that are systematic in their approach. This means they follow a specific track and focus so that you are not aimless in your education and prevents you from becoming unbalanced. Each of these do not replace you daily bible reading and study which needs to be done concurrently, in addition it does not replace your local church Sunday bible study and worship.
I hope that you will take advantage of being in a country where access to such rich theological training is only a click away on your computer and use it to grow personally and communicate the gospel of Christ to others.Photo Credit: AlexMasonPhotography.com