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The Top 10 Graduate Programs
in Christian Apologetics

On January 3, 2012, an on-line organization named “TheBestSchools.org” published a list of “The Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.” CES is on that list. It was at that time that I decided that I would share a few positive achievements/endorsements with our readers about CES.

Over the years, CES has enjoyed some very good reviews, solid endorsements, and positive professional comments from people in academia. At the same time, there have been a few who--for their own personal and questionable motives--have posted vitriolic and misleading comments and even lies about CES. There can be a fine line between “considering the source” and the “genetic fallacy,” and we do not want to commit the latter. So, we have always considered any negative comments, openly assessed them to see if there was any truth in them, and if there was, we have made the necessary changes. However, if there was no truth in the negative comments, then we ignored them and went on doing what we needed to do to make CES a good, solid school.

Here, then, is a non-exhaustive list of achievements and/or endorsements that we would like to share with you (they are listed here in no particular order).

1. Listed number 10 in Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics

From their web site: “TheBestSchools.org is an independent organization with no ties to any other educational institution. Its editors all hold Ph.D.’s and have extensive experience in teaching, research, and publishing at the university level. The general editor of TheBestSchools.org is James Barham, a native Texan, who received a B.A. in Classics from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in the history of science from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame.”

TheBestSchools.org ranked these Top Ten schools and made comments as to why the schools ranked as they did. I will not give the full comments here of each school. The reader can click on their link and see the comments on the TheBestSchools.org web site:

(1) Biola University (cost: $485 per credit hour)
(2) Southern Evangelical Seminary (cost: $333 per credit hour)
(3) Liberty University (cost: $436 per credit hour)
(4/5) (tie) Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Costs: SEBTS is $190–$257 per credit hour depending on full- or part-time status ($514, if non-SBC). SBTS is $219 per credit hour ($438, if non-SBC).
(6) Veritas Evangelical Seminary (Cost: $215 per credit hour)
(7) Denver Seminary (cost: $450 per credit hour)
(8) Luther Rice Seminary (cost: $215 per credit hour)
(9) Westminster Theological Seminary (Cost: about $885 per credit hour)

Here, now, is CES’s listing with the comments from TheBestSchools.org:

(10) Columbia Evangelical Seminary (Cost: a modest $95 per credit hour)

Our final entry is Columbia Evangelical Seminary (CES), based in Buckley, Washington. The alma mater of James R. White, CES offers a self-directed mentoring curriculum similar to European programs. As such, it has no teaching campus and demands only a modest $95 per credit hour. Also—and unfortunately—this model might leave the school forever beyond accreditation by U.S. standards.

CES’s non-traditional program makes the school very accessible and its strong emphasis on philosophy adds some credibility. Its faculty is surprisingly sturdy, with numerous published authors and a century’s worth of teaching experience.

Founded in 1991, CES is fairly young. If it can somehow achieve accreditation, expect it to leap into the top tier of apologetics schools.

2. Affiliate Status with ABHE: Columbia Evangelical Seminary is an affiliate institution of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. As such, it participates in and contributes to collegial and professional development activities of the association. Affiliate status does not, however, constitute, imply, or presume ABHE accredited status at present or in the future.

3. Graduates accepted at accredited schools: Here’s a list of just a few of them: Bakke Graduate University (fka Northwest Graduate School of the Ministry); Erskine Theological Seminary; Liberty University; Luther Rice University (fka Luther Rice Seminary); Southern Evangelical Seminary; Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. . . . Also, our seminary is the only unaccredited school on the globe that is accepted by North West University of South Africa (fka Potchefstroom University). Want to earn your PhD completely off campus from an internationally accredited university? If you have a master's degree with thesis from Columbia Evangelical Seminary, you can transfer into North-West University's PhD program via distance learning, Two of our Master's graduates have gone on to earn their accredited PhDs from North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa) all by distance learning.

4. Oregon State Approves our DTS Degree: In 2011, a CES graduate, Dan Christensen, submitted his CES Doctor of Theological Studies to the Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization for review and possible approval. After their review and assessment of CES in general and the Doctor of Theological Studies degree in particular, the Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization approved our Doctor of Theological Studies degree.

5. Endorsement from Dr. John Bear: Distance Learning Expert and Diploma Mill Consultant to the FBI, 1979-1992 ". . . Columbia Evangelical Seminary is true to its mission statement and offers its students both an education and a credential of which they can be justly proud." Click here for full endorsement

6. Endorsement from Dr. James R. White: Director of Alpha & Omega Ministries
“Columbia . . . operates very much like the European ‘mentoring’ method, where you design a program and work with an individual scholar on achieving your goals. It does not have a campus or all the attendant trappings (and costs), hence, the tuition is about 1/10th to 1/5th of the traditional schools . . . Everything I did ended up helping others, which made it seem, to me anyway, like a truly Christian experience of education.” — Dr. James R. White, Director of Alpha & Omega Ministries. Click here for full endorsement

7. The Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board has determined that Columbia Evangelical Seminary qualifies for religious exempt status from the Degree-Granting Institutions Act for the following programs: Associate of Christian Studies (A.C.S.); Associate of Religion (A.Rel.); Associate of Theology (Th.A.); Bachelor of Christian Studies (B.C.S.); Bachelor of Religion (B.Rel.); Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.); Master of Apologetics (M.Apol.); Master of Christian Philosophy (M.C.Phil.); Master of Christian Studies (M.C.S.); Master of Divinity (M.Div.); Master of Religion (M.Rel.); Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.); Master of Theology (Th.M.); Doctor of Christian Philosophy (D.C.Phil.); Doctor of Christian Studies (D.C.S.); Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.); Doctor of Religion (Rel.D.); Doctor of Theological Studies (D.T.S.); and Doctor of Theology (Th.D.). The HECB makes no evaluation of the administration, faculty, business practices, financial condition or quality of the offerings by this institution. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the HECB at P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430.

Concluding Remarks: We at CES believe that we have achieved our original mission statement . . .

Established in April 1991, Columbia Evangelical Seminary's purpose is to provide enriching biblical, ministerial, and theological training and education. Many people, in all age groups, desire to earn college degrees but are hindered because they are fully engaged in ministry or some other occupation. Columbia has been established to reach this segment of adult learners, those who cannot afford to leave their job to live on a college campus for several years. Therefore, the curriculum has been designed for self-paced learning by Mentorship Study.

. . . and we plan to continue to do so.