Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, announced Monday that it will host both certificate and degree programs in Bible and Theology studies at the undergraduate and graduate level at the church's Bellevue location. Classes are scheduled to begin in the Fall of next year.
Corban University has agreed to terms to host a one-year certificate in Biblical Studies, and Western Seminary to host a Master of Arts and Master of Divinity program.
"I am enthusiastic and optimistic about Corban University's partnership with Mars Hill Church," said Sheldon C. Nord, president of Corban University. "It is consistent with our strong desire to be 'Christian thought leaders' – a leading voice on cultural, philosophical and academic issues, with a commitment to raise up future leaders who will champion the cause of Christ in their respective disciplines."
Courses at Corban University hosted at Mars Hill Church Bellevue may include Bible and Theology Foundation, Ministry Skills Foundation, Introduction to Bible, Introduction to Theology, Christian Worldview and Apologetics, Biblical Spiritual Formation, Gospels, Bible Study Methods. Undergraduate classes will be taught by Mars Hill pastors as well as university professors.
Western Seminary will offer an M.A. and M.Div. program, also hosted at Mars Hill Church Bellevue, taught by seminary professors from Western while in the context of a local church.
"Since Western Seminary and Mars Hill share a commitment to equip others to be agents of gospel-centered transformation, partnering to offer seminary training to and through the extensive Mars Hill network is a strategic opportunity to experience the power of God-honoring synergy. We eagerly look forward both to working more closely with our friends at Mars Hill and to the spiritual fruit that the Lord will produce through our collaboration," shares Randy Roberts, DMin. president and professor of Spiritual Formation at Western Seminary.
Driscoll, who is the founding, preaching, and vision pastor for Mars Hill Church adds, "As the father of a child on the threshold of college, I am thrilled to be part of teaching a one-year undergraduate Bible program. As a graduate of Western Seminary, I am very excited to host this top notch theological program and to be in the classroom investing in students committed to serving Jesus' mission through the local church."
Both programs are currently pending accreditation approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Once approved, the certificate and the degree programs would be fully accredited with Corban University and Western Seminary, respectively.
Corban University is an independent Christian university with more than 50 majors and programs of study including professional, liberal arts, and ministries. More information about the institution can be found online at http://www.corban.edu.
Western Seminary is an evangelical school committed to gospel-centered transformation with campuses in Portland, San Jose, and Sacramento and online, say school officials. Mars Hill Church Bellevue is planned to be the school's first campus in Washington state. The seminary school's website address is http://www.westernseminary.edu.