Academic Rigor & Real Life Flexibility
Forge Theological Seminary (FTS) exists to provide rigorous theological education that will serve both students and Christ's church. Students shouldn't accrue significant debt for a job that is a calling from God and doesn’t provide much income for the overwhelming majority of ministers. We want our students to learn within their own schedule and pace. This is because we want our students to actually learn academic and practical theology. We don’t want our students to rush their studies in order to get a diploma. This is because we want our students to have ample time to serve the local church. This is also because we want our students to have ample time to love their families.
All staff and faculty members affirm The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, the Nashville Statement, the Danvers Statement, the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, the five Solas of the Protestant Reformation, the Nicene Creed, the Apostles' Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Chalcedonian Creed.
For a list of students currently enrolled in degree programs, click here.
FTS is a distance education institution that utilizes lectures and materials produced by a wide array of believing Christian scholars. The education we provide is not personality-based but is rather text, video/audio, research, and mentor-based. Thus, while students will have a qualified faculty member who will supervise their work and serve as their professor, they will utilize materials from the best Christian scholars in the world. Upon approval, students may also utilize their Pastor to serve as their adviser. Students interested in this option should indicate their preference on their application.
Christopher L. Bolt (Professor of Christian Philosophy & Apologetics)*
BA in Philosophy & Religion
MDiv in Christian Ministry
PhD in Christian Philosophy
Michael R. Burgos (Professor of Theology)
AS in General Studies
BS in Bible & Theology
MA in Biblical Studies
PhD in Polemic Theology
Christopher Engelsma (Professor of Theology)
BA in Liberal Arts
MTS in Theological Studies
Jonathan Dennis (Professor of Church History & Practical Theology)
BA in Biblical & Religious Studies
John M. Kight (Professor of Biblical Studies)
AA in Religion
BA in Biblical Studies
MAR in Biblical Studies
Steven H. Mathews (Professor of Biblical and Pastoral Studies).
BA in Theology
MA in Philosophy
PhD in Biblical and Religious Studies
Christain S. Watkins (Professor of Theology)*
BA Biblical & Theological Studies
ThM in Old Testament Studies
PhD in Theological Studies
We're currently looking to expand our faculty. Individuals interested may contact us at Info@Forge.Education.
* Member of the Board of Directors
A Word About Accreditation
FTS is not accredited by any accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). That does not mean, however, that the educational programs offered by FTS are inferior to those institutions that have chosen either regional or national accreditation. According to the USDE,
Unaccredited institutions are not reviewed against a set of standards to determine the quality of their education and training. This does not necessarily mean that an unaccredited institution is of poor quality, but earning a degree from an unaccredited institution may create problems for students.
Two qualifications must be made regarding the above statement by the USDE. First, while it is true that unaccredited institutions are not reviewed by USDE/CHEA accreditors, such institutions may be reviewed against another set of standards. In the case of FTS, the quality of our academics and degree programs is ensured by godly persons who possess a commitment to biblical fidelity and who are aware of what constitutes rigorous and effective curricula. The assumption in the USDE’s statement is that an education from an institution accredited by a USDE/CHEA recognized accreditor is necessarily of good quality. In light of the ungodly and unbiblical education offered by a legion of traditionally accredited institutions, this assumption is invalid. Second, whether a degree from an unaccredited institution will create problems for a graduate is dependent upon what one intends to accomplish with an unaccredited degree. Degrees obtained from FTS are intended only for service to Christ’s church, whether in the pulpit, on the mission field, or other ministerial vocations. If a student intends to achieve a career in academia or another vocation that requires education from an institution with traditional accreditation, he or she ought to attend another institution.
Achieving regional or national accreditation is an expensive and lengthy process that requires an institution to meet a variety of criteria that may or may not be in the best interest of either the institution or its students. While there are several excellent national Christian accreditors (e.g., Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, or the Association for Biblical Higher Education), even these require a certain amount of involvement with the federal government. For instance, Title IV compliance is required by both the aforementioned accreditors. FTS has opted to refrain from such involvement with the federal government to maximize our religious and academic freedom. Moreover, given the recent trajectory of government recognized accreditors in light of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), we believe it is unwise to yoke FTS with the government in any manner.
We believe the local church should not be concerned about secular or parachurch accreditation for theological education and pastoral formation. The church submits to King Jesus. The church has its own authority from King Jesus. It doesn’t ultimately submit to the state. It doesn’t submit to colleges, seminaries, and universities. It doesn’t submit to accrediting agencies or parachurch organizations. We want local churches to provide accreditation to our seminary by holding our seminary and students accountable, by approving the work of our students, and by recommending and sending their aspiring ministers to Forge Theological Seminary.
For further information on accreditation see the following resources:
Rick Walson, Walston's Guide to Christian Distance Learning, 5th Ed., (Maitland: Xulon Press, 2007).
Lisa Parro, "Free from State Oversight," Christianity Today, 10/19/2007.
Ted Olson, "Accreditor Says Creationism Mandate Violates Academic Freedom," Christianity Today, 05/01/2002.
Michael R. Burgos, "On the Logic of the Biblical Counseling Movement & the Question of Accreditation."
John Frame, "Seminaries and Academic Accreditation."
Forge Theological Seminary is authorized and approved to grant degrees upon the basis of the principles of religious freedom given by our Creator and enshrined in the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution of the United States of America and numerous federal statutes including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993).