When church business manager Ron Van Kirk (’01) decided to get an M.B.A., he researched over twenty-five institutions. But he was unable to even consider starting the degree because of the cost and time commitment away from his ministry. Then, PCC announced that they would be offering four degrees that could be completed entirely online: Master of Business Administration, Master of Educational Leadership, Master of Bible Exposition, and Master of Ministry.
“The M.B.A. degree has already proven helpful. I have used much of the information learned to enhance the ‘business side’ of the ministry for which I work,” he said. “I have been able to completely rewrite our policy and procedures manual, the communication between staff has improved dramatically, and the statistical information gained will prove helpful in monitoring student progress in our Christian school.”
As Van Kirk takes his classes online, he finds the cost not only affordable but the practical application of each course invaluable. “The explanation of the PCC instructors online has been the same high-quality teaching that I received for my undergrad,” he said.
Van Kirk is just one example of graduates who are finding ways to fit their degrees around their busy lives, a concept that has been inspirational for PCC and PTS online graduate studies.
“Graduate school built for real life” is the goal of each graduate degree program. “The concept behind this is that you can still get the degree you need while doing the things you love,” said Noah Frary, a PCC staff member involved in promoting the online degrees.
“Having offerings available on campus and online provides the greatest flexibility for student preferences,” said Dr. Raylene Cochran, academic vice president. “Content is the same whether the course is taken online or on campus. Even in their first graduate course, students are getting content that can immediately be applied in their current responsibilities.”
According to Dr. John Reese, PCC faculty member for over 30 years, “These online courses offer much more than a list of readings and a series of critiques and discussion threads to complete. Rather, they represent a combination of strong theoretical background and content complemented by practical class illustrations which allow students to apply their learning in a real-world manner professionally and personally.”
The practicality and flexibility of the courses offered lead to many graduate students earning their master’s degree in as little as two years, completely debt free. With the new FlexPay option for graduate studies, students can spread their payments out over the course of their degree, an alternative that makes earning an advanced degree budget friendly. Over the course of one class, a student can pay merely $241 a month (or $278 per credit hour).*
Through online courses, those who cannot leave their jobs for on-campus classes have a new option for gaining their degrees. To those considering PCC for an advanced degree, Van Kirk says, “The focus on Christ is unparalleled. The instruction is excellent. The price is by far the most affordable that you will find—Do it!”
*Subject to change if necessary