When you decide to put good money and precious time out to get a college degree, you want to make what you’re getting is worth what you’re putting into it. You want a degree that opens doors. You also want to learn what you need to; you want more than a piece of paper. It’s important to know that the school you choose is respected and that your degree will be credible.
If you are thinking about getting a Christian college degree online, it is even more important to make sure you are choosing a well-respected school. There are several questions you need to consider.
What level of education do you need?
Are you looking for a certificate, an Associate Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s or a Doctorate? You need to look at different credibility measures for each level. For instance, if you are thinking about getting an Associate’s Degree, you need to look at how transferable your learning will be if you decide to get a Bachelor’s Degree later on. Ask if AD graduates have problems transferring to other schools. If you’re looking for a PhD, you have to consider educational snobbery that makes an earned PhD from Harvard way different than an honorary PhD from Timbuktu U, and still different than an earned PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary.
Credible to whom?
This is a unique conundrum to people who choose a Christian college degree online. There are biases both within the church and in the world at large that influence your choice one way or the other. A degree in Women’s Ministry will be very helpful if you want to work as a Women’s Pastor. It could, however, hurt you if you want to work at a State Women’s Prison. In addition, there are biases against online education, especially in “soft” areas such as counseling. Look carefully at your career goals and consider how getting a Christian college degree online will impact those goals.
What is the quality of the program?
Whatever school you choose, Christian or secular, online or traditional, you want to get a good education from it. Compare schools. Look at the course offerings and graduation requirements. Look at the faculty. How many have PhD’s? Do people with lower degrees teach classes, and what do they teach? What have faculty members published?
It’s particularly important when getting your Christian college degree online; to make sure the school is properly accredited. You want a school that has both state or regional college certification and Christian higher education certification. If you are looking at a professional program, such as accounting or nursing, the school should also have professional certification.
There are good Christian college degree online programs out there. There are also hoaxes and diploma mills. Evaluate the school you’re considering carefully and you’ll find a good school that will give you a good education and award you a credible degree.