Choosing a seminary school with a Messianic Judaism program can require some research, depending on the degree students are looking for and their career goals. Let's take a look at some considerations for choosing a school, some schools that offer Messianic Judaism programs, and what these programs consist of to help you decide what's best for you.
Seminary Programs with a Focus in Messianic Judaism
Below is a list of the few schools in the country that offer degrees in Messianic Judaism:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Tuition (2015-2016)**|
|Denver Seminary||Littleton, CO||4-year, Private||Master's||$16,200|
|Messianic Judaism Theological Institute||San Diego, CA||Graduate Level, Private||Master's||$12,600*|
|The King's University||Southlake, TX||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $12,990; Graduate: $7,470|
|Biola University||La Mirada, CA||4-year, Private||Master's||$10,026|
|Tyndale Theological Seminary & Biblical Institute||Fort Worth, TX||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $180/course; Graduate: $250/course*|
Sources: *School Websites, **National Center for Educational Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for seminary program with a focus in Messianic Judaism:
- Not all seminary programs will have the same faith and doctrinal position. Students should research the various seminaries' statements of faith to make sure it is what they are looking for.
- Students who don't know if they want to be ordained or work in active ministry, but who have a strong desire to learn about Messianic Judaism, might consider a bachelor's degree or certificate program, rather than a master's degree.
- Some seminaries offer online courses, which may be an attractive quality if a student has a job or can't relocate to a seminary location.
- Decide if accreditation is important for your career goals, as it will help eliminate some schools and make other programs more appealing.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
A few seminary programs in the United States offer bachelor's degree programs with a specialization in Messianic Jewish studies. Though some of these programs offer an education complete enough to prepare a student for active ministry, they are also useful for students who ultimately want to earn a master's or doctoral degree.
Master of Divinity Programs
Master of Divinity programs can generally be completed in about three years. They often require hands-on, supervised ministry.
Master of Practical Theology Programs
A practical theology program places a strong emphasis on courses in practice of ministry. It requires many of the same Biblical and historical courses as a Master of Divinity program and also teaches students to be familiar with Jewish liturgy, holidays and rituals. It might seem counter intuitive that a program designed to prepare students for active ministry focuses more on coursework than the more hands-on divinity programs, but practical theology programs teach the skills and knowledge required for successful ministry.
Most theology programs with a concentration in Messianic Judaism are available at the master's level, though some bachelor's and doctoral programs exist. Some schools choose accreditation for these programs through organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, though others opt to forego accreditation or choose faith-based accrediting agencies, which could affect employment or eligibility for financial aid.