Indiana Wesleyan MA

While the revamped form is only a year old--and I have a hunch ;-) it will undergo some massive changes even starting next year--we'd be glad to hear any experience with the IWU MA as it is now and has been...


Mark Schnell said...

I am almost finished with the online master's program at IWU. I can say that I have enjoyed it very much. I have enjoyed getting to know my cohort online and we have come to know one another pretty well (as much as you can onlline, anyway).

The classes that I have enjoyed the most and were the most beneficial are the ones where the professors are actively involved in. The profs take part in discussions and steer them to a deeper level. I have had several classes where the prof wasn't involved at all. We were basically on our own with syllabus and the weekly workshop. I have felt someone cheated in these classes.

This is a practical program and you really need to be working in a church while taking it. You "experiment" on your congregation and write papers and projects about/for them. In that sense it is a very good thing for my ministry and I feel it has improved me as a pastor. I have received good feedback from my congregation because of the program.

I'm not sure how the program will change. I would like to see the profs always actively involved in the program, maybe even expect more from the participants. My church is pretty tired of all the surveys I have had to ask them to take over the course of the program. They start to roll their eyes when they hear me mention the word survey.

With the ministerial loan/grant this program is very affordable for Wesleyan pastors. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to improve their ministry skills or even as a springboard for more education. That is what it is for me. I'm dreaming of Duke, but will probably go with Asbury with their in-ministry program because this is not a good time to leave my church. I think I need one more church year to get this church to a stable place for a new leader.

Joy said...

Hello, I'm in the same group with Mark. I've really enjoyed the program, although as he mentions, it's not perfect. I'm sure that's the same of everywhere else too, whether or not they'd admit it.

What i like most about it is that you can do it online so you don't have to suspend your current ministry. They give a huge discount to active Wesleyan pastors so that helps a lot, even before financial aid. In the online format, you keep working at the same pace throughout the program, so it keeps you on track. It's very practical and some of the classes are really eye-opening.

I think a lot of people are afraid of the online format because they are concerned about interpersonal interaction, but the program is full of interaction. You go from one class to the next with the same people, so you're spending nearly two years posting messages back and forth. You really do get to know people, and "class discussion" really does happen.

In short, i really reccommend it if you're looking for something less than a full-blown seminary degree. I really think i've grown as a pastor b/c of it.

Anonymous said...

If this school had a residence life I'd like it best. It is practical, local-church related and full of youth pastors who are neat people to spend a week with in classes. It was an enemic program five years ago but it is really a monster now.. who knows where it will end up given all the brainpower they've got there.

Al Soultz said...

I graduated with my MA in ministry from IWU in April 2004. I took the entire program under the old week long intensive format.

Since August of 2005, I have worked full time for IWU as the representative for the MA in ministry. Even though I have not taken any courses under the new system, I do like it very much. We offer two different concentrations. One is Youth Ministry, and the other is Ministerial Leadership. I think you will find our programs the most innovative, convenient and low-cost programs available. And, we specifically help you gain the leadership and management skills you need to lead a church.

The biggest downfall of our program as I see it is that you can not go directly into a D.Min with our MA. There is not enough credit hours. Ours is only 36 hours, and most D.Min programs require at least 60 and most require 90 graduate hours.

However, after talking with people in our program who has also been in M.Div programs, they say ours prepares them more for front line ministry.

Rev. Al Soultz

Program Rep. for Masters in Ministry



Russ Gunsalus said...

Dear Commentators,

Thank you for the feedback about our program. Some of these items we have been steadily improving and others will get some immediate attention.

We are always revising courses to improve them and have added some specialty electives with Elmer Towns, Gary MacIntoh,Chip Arn, Dan Kimball, Ed Stetzer, and Nelson Searcy.

We have also developed specialty site electives in San Diego with Gary McIntosh, Dan Kimball's Church Vintage Faith in Santa Cruz, New York City with Nelson Searcy's church plant, and next year in Sheffield England at the fastest growing Anglican church in England.

And we have increased dramatically the percentage of courses taught by full-time professsors while still leveraging special experts who are in fulltime local church ministry.

God Bless you all as you continue to develop your gifts for the Kingdom.

Russ Gunsalus
Interim Chair,
Graduate Studies in Ministry

Scrammy said...

What advice would you give a student who feels led toward eventual Doctorate work? Is the Masters Degree currently offered transferable and is it recommended for this path?

Ken Schenck said...

The current MA offerings probably are not. However, if we are approved this Fall to offer an MDiv, you will it and some other options that will probably evolve will be. If you are interested in the MDiv, the current MA classes can count toward its electives, if someone wanted to start right away...

Posted 8-21-08

dschwyn said...

Is there a development in a possible M.Div program at IWU?

Ken Schenck said...

We are on target to begin offering an MDIV this Fall, Fall 09. We anticipate getting official accreditation approval finally in January 09. Then we will begin to advertise it.

Hope you're doing well Dustin!

Christy said...

It seems like the Master's level Religion programs focus on individuals in full time ministry. What, if any, possiblities are there for individuals who may have followed Jonah (i.e., went to Tarshish instead of Nineveh) and now want to make a career change? Does IWU offer any options that allow for individuals to earn a masters while working in a non-ministry setting? I can't quit my job and find a job in the church when I don't have the credentials and I can't get the credentials if the school expects that I already have a full-time job in ministry? How do I make the transition with IWU's programs?

Ken Schenck said...

The MA program does not require a person to be in a local church. A person could do this program online either in Leadership or Youth Ministry and do 27 hours toward their MDIV before finally switching over (please seek out advice on what electives to take).

If you wanted to make the shift to the MDIV program, you only need to be working 20 hours in a church.