Guest Blog Post by Joshua W. Anderson (joshuaanderson<at>fuller.edu)
What if I told you it’s possible to get a free theological education online? It’s well known that one can get a degree online these days; more and more schools are making their courses available on “virtual campuses.” They include the same lectures you would hear in the classroom—just recorded and posted online. Applying for school online has become a viable option, especially for those whose current walk in life makes them unwilling or unable to move across country to be on campus.
But let’s say you don’t want to actually enroll in a program and dish out the money for a degree. (Maybe you already have another degree, or are in the workforce, or ministry). Can you still get a theological education for free? You sure can: many Christian colleges and seminaries have posted classes to download for free on iTunes U. So much so, you can build your own curriculum rivaling the amount of classroom time it would take to actually go to school. At the end of your studies you won’t get a piece of paper to hang on the wall and show your friends, but you will learn a lot that God will be able to use for your ministry.
If you’re feeling led to do this, I’d recommend downloading a flash card program like Anki http://ankisrs.net/ and building flash card decks full of only the information you hear in the lectures you want to stick in your brain. Don’t go crazy building a huge deck of cards you’ll feel overwhelmed with; just put stuff on there you actually want to be able to quote off the top of your head. Then incorporate a daily (or weekly) time of study into your life. Just listen to a lecture (taking notes or adding info to your Anki deck), and then go over your flashcards again for the day. Anki is really cool because it’s designed upon an algorithm that works with the way we learn—so you only have to designate a set amount of time you want to study each day and over time you will master large amounts of material.
The time is going to pass either way: a year from now either you will have absorbed the equivalent of a master’s degree of knowledge, or not. I’m just telling you that you can do it for free!
Check out the links below for schools that have courses online, and my own ideas for putting together a curriculum.
God bless you in your studies.
Fuller Theological Seminary:
Reformed Theological Seminary:
Dallas Theological Seminary:
Westminster Theological Seminary:
History of Christianity I (Reformed Theological Seminary)
History of Christianity II (Reformed Theological Seminary)
History I (Reformed Theological Seminary)
History II (Reformed Theological Seminary)
History of the Christian Church I (Liberty University)
History of the Christian Church II (Liberty University)
Ancient and Medieval Church History (Covenant Theological Seminary)
Christian Philosophy and Apologetics:
Critical Reasoning for Beginners (Oxford University)
Ethics for Complete Beginners (Oxford University)
History of Philosophy and Christian Thought (Reformed Theological Seminary)
Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (Notre Dame)
Defenders Class by William Lane Craig (ReasonableFaith.org)
Apologetics and Outreach (Covenant Theological Seminary)
Introduction to Apologetics (Liberty University)
Christian Apologetics as Taught by Ronald Nash (Reformed Theological Seminary)
Christian Apologetics as Taught by John Frame (Reformed Theological Seminary)
History and Nature of Apologetics (Westminster Theological Seminary)
Hermeneutics and Exegesis:
Biblical Hermeneutics (Fuller Theological Seminary)
Bible Study Methods (Dallas Theological Seminary)
Biblical Hermeneutics (Concordia Seminary)
The Gospels as Histories taught by Richard Bauckham (Reformed Theological Seminary)
The Pentateuch (Fuller Theological Seminary)
The Prophets (Fuller Theological Seminary)
The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (Daniel Wallace)
Basics of Biblical Hebrew (Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary)
Elementary Hebrew (Concordia Seminary)
Elementary Greek (Concordia Seminary)
Elements of Greek I (Dallas Theological Seminary)
Elements of Greek II (Dallas Theological Seminary)
Preaching and Homiletics:
Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety (UC Davis)
Expository Preaching I (Dallas Theological Seminary)
Homiletics II (Concordia Seminary)
Systematic Theology as Taught by Wayne Grudem
Intro to Theology (Dallas Theological Seminary)
Some Notable Secular Institutions and Courses:
Philosophy of Mind as Taught by John Searle (UC Berkley)
Science and Religion Lectures (Cambridge University)
I stuck with only links through iTunes U (except for William Lane Craig’s Defender’s class, and Dan Wallace’s material, because I couldn’t resist) but obviously you don’t have to limit yourself to this; there are also awesome podcasts that you could learn from that are not affiliated with a Christian university. Just go for it!