Printer-friendly Version E-mail Story
Boyce College offers associate of arts degree in the Spanish language
June 04, 2007
By David Roach
Beginning in the fall semester, Hispanic church leaders will be able to earn an associate's degree online in their native language through Boyce College, the undergraduate college of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The 60-hour degree, an associate of arts in biblical and theological studies, will not include any residency requirement for students. Course lectures will be delivered to students on DVD and material will be discussed and enhanced through virtual classrooms online. Class assignments will be submitted online as well.
"The Hispanic community is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States," said Hayward Armstrong, Southern's associate vice president for distance education and innovative learning.
"Many Hispanics are bringing with them an evangelical background while others bring a predisposition to hearing and responding to the Gospel as a part of their transition to a new culture," Armstrong said. "Southern Baptists have a responsibility as cultural hosts and as spiritual mentors to help provide training for leaders in a rapidly growing number of Hispanic churches."
The degree, which is a Spanish-language version of an existing program, is targeted primarily at Hispanic pastors and church leaders serving Spanish-speaking congregations across the United States. The undergraduate offering will complement the graduate-level courses Southern already offers in Spanish, Armstrong said.
"The associate of arts program in Spanish will allow us to drill down below the top leadership who come to our country with a basic theological education and provide basic biblical and theological formation for leaders with little or no prior training," Armstrong said.
Boyce originally considered opening an extension center to meet the need of educating Hispanic ministers but ultimately realized that an online degree addresses the barriers to theological education most effectively.
Armstrong said courses in the degree program would be geared uniquely toward ministry in a Hispanic culture and not simply attempt to translate ministry principles for English-speaking America into Spanish.
"Boyce College is committed to providing explicitly biblical and thoroughly practical training of Great Commission workers for the churches of the world," Armstrong said. "This program continues that commitment, with a Latino flavor.
"Courses are not simply translations of English courses. They are designed to prepare Great Commission Hispanic leaders to minister in Hispanic contexts."
In addition to its upcoming Spanish-language degree, Boyce currently offers a bachelor of arts in Vietnamese.
For additional information about the associate of arts in Spanish, call Programas Hispanos at or visit Programas Hispanos online at www.boycecollege.com.