Summer Graduate Programs Off and Running

What summer break?

More than 160 men and women have taken up residence at The Master’s College this July for three intense weeks of lecture and discussion.

These “summer school” students are participants in the TMC’s Summer Intensive Program (SIP), which allows them to earn a graduate degree in as little as two years.

The program offers three Master of Arts programs: Biblical Counseling (MABC), Biblical Studies (MABS) and Education (MAE). This year, about 135 students taking SIP classes are enrolled in biblical counseling. Twenty-four are on campus for biblical studies and four have come for the education degree.

“Students enrolled in the program take classes all year long as directed study courses,” said MABS administrative assistant Jessica Anderson. “The main purpose for the July session is for students to have time with professors and for class discussion.”

Courses run along a one-week track, with students attending a four-hour class in one subject in the morning and another four-hour class in a different subject in the afternoon. Students opting to take the maximum workload can complete class time for six two-credit courses—not bad for three week’s work.

There is, however, a little more to it than that.

“Students will take work home with them to complete,” Anderson said. “The summer session is a part of earning the credits.”

SIP draws students from across the country and in some cases around the world. This summer, men and women have come from as far away as Russia, Romania and South Africa.

According to Anderson, the MABS typically attracts lay leaders and current or future missionaries. It also provides a strong non-seminary option for women looking for an advanced degree in the Bible. Across the three programs, students sit under esteemed TMC faculty members such as Dr. Ernest Baker, Dr. John Street and Dr. Robert Somerville.

“The Summer Intensive Program is an important part of what we offer,” said TMC provost Dr. Mark Tatlock. “It’s one way we can serve the church by giving men and women a means to further their education in a way that fits their schedule. It’s an important piece of our commitment to grow God’s kingdom by equipping the saints to serve.”

While they are here, SIP students experience a taste of life as a full-time student in residence, and this includes food and fellowship. Most sleep in one of the college’s dormitories and take their meals in the school cafeteria.  SIP coordinators even arrange group outings in the surrounding Los Angeles area. This year, a large contingency of SIP students will travel to Dodger Stadium for a ballgame. Some take weekends to do some sightseeing on their own.

For one evening, Dr. Baker will open his home for a meal. Professor David Blackwell is expected to break out his telescope for a little star gazing.

“The students really enjoy those times together,” Anderson said. “The camaraderie is a nice part of what they experience while they’re here. It’s a little like graduate school camp.”

Detailed information about the Summer Intensive Program is available on the TMC website. Click here for more details.

- By Bob Dickson