Free, Online Courses

(Disclaimer: These are external sites. I haven't vetted most of the content. Use discernment. Masters and RTS should have good theology, though.)

These are all sites with free courses, often seminary-level, to grow you in your faith. This site just curates some of their materials for your convenience, out of gratitude to them for making it free, and sometimes to bypass buggy interfaces. Consider going to one of these to support them for freely helping others grow. If nothing else, I strongly recommend you take Hermeneutics (Bible interpretation). It will change your Bible reading forever.

If on mission or ministry, there is a section on how you might still attend.

Highly-Accessible, Free, and Multi-Format

The Gospel Coalition Free Courses

TGC has a huge amount of content from many sources, covers many topics, many books in the Bible... a little bit of everything. Their doctrine statement looks good.

Highly Organized or Accessible

Reformed Theological Seminary Mobile App (all lectures)

Master's Seminary (John MacArthur's)

Covenant Theological Seminary

Less Organized or Accessible

Dallas Theological Seminary

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Spurgeon College

Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (Youtube channel w/ lectures)

Multi-Denominational (Broader, but Riskier)

BiblicalTraining.org

BT has lectures for new believers, everyone in the church, and seminary-level for highly-committed. The seminary courses come from over 15 institutions. Their library has class transcripts, too. They also have inexpensive certificates for common needs. For seminary credit, their partner, Okanagan, uses a church-centered model, is less expensive than many (also has financial aid), and online with students in many countries.

Reason for I moved them into this category. I took several courses that were great: Proverbs by Waltke, some Systematic Theology by Ware, Essentials of World Missions by Tennet. Then, I hit Theory and Practice of Evangelism by Tuttle. He did have some great lessons. He also was a good friend of Oral Roberts (false teacher), taught portions of Scripture aren't literal, a creation theory I've never heard of, and sometimes prayed to saints. It's just that trainees, esp new believers, might assume all material on this site is trustworthy, hit false teaching like that, and get misled.

There's so much good stuff on there that I'm keeping it up to let churches decide for themselves. If you use it, just warn your people to only use courses you've vetted. You can also download and pass out the good lectures.

Seminary While Serving

It's hard to do certain kinds of missions and ministry while simultaneously doing seminary. Yet, having a MDiv can open up future opportunities. The courses also deepen your understanding of God's Word and ways to serve Him. What to do?

Well, there are online options. Many want hands-on experience in ministry-related fields, though. That requires some kind of hybrid. Then again, some churches might be fine with all-online if your own church or places you served act as references about your hands-on work. The cohort model even uses your church to do that part. Be sure to ask your church, those in your area, and others where you might move to what they would require or find acceptable.

Here's some options ranked mostly by flexibility:

1. MABTS offers their programs online. Their financial aid is aimed at debt-free education. We like that they require evangelism. You're doing the Great Commission and getting educated at the same time. If you want Biblical Counseling, they also offer inexpensive courses through INS to get ACBC certification. They also have a college. I'd rather you go to a secular one to share with the lost, though.

(Disclosure: I did apply to MABTS once but was rejected. They had a strong community in a city with many lost people. I applied for those reasons more than the degree itself.)

2. NOBTS has a 100% online program. The service you're doing might count for them or others as your hands-on experience. NOBTS also does regular evangelism in New Orleans either in general or if you're in one of those classes. They have people doing the Great Commission and getting educated at the same time.

3. Okanagan is 100% online with a mixed approach: courses from BiblicalTraining.org's Institute program to keep costs low; your local church to assess you on hands-on stuff. If you use them, pick doctrinally-sound courses and mentors. You can also download the lectures using BiblicalTraining's app. Good for when you have no Internet.

4. Hybrid programs that let you take most courses online. Examples include RTS Orlando and Covenant. A RTS rep suggested timing the classes that are in-person so you do them before or after periods of mission and ministry. IIRC, he said theirs last 90 days at a time. You do online for everything else. The RTS app lets you download lectures for offline viewing or to listen to in areas without Internet. Covenant's lectures are downloadable, too. Hybrids with careful timing seems helpful in some situations.

5. The Master's Seminary is more restrictive on this than most schools. It does have options, though. We felt they deserve a chance in this section since they put a lot of free courses on YouTube.

(Back to free courses, learn the Gospel w/ proof it's true, or learn how to share it.)