Welch College

Introduction

About

Welch College is owned and operated by the National Association of Free Will Baptists and is governed by a board of trustees elected by that association. The college subscribes to the beliefs and practices set forth in the Free Will Baptist Treatise.

The National Association of Free Will Baptists founded the college as Free Will Baptist Bible College in 1942. The Board of Education of the National Association chose Nashville as an ideal site for the new college, centrally located among the major centers of the denominational population in the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest.

The Board of Education selected Georgia native Linton C. Johnson as the college’s first president, a post he held for 34 years. The ministry of Dr. Johnson and his wife Ruth was of singular influence in shaping the character of the college, its sponsoring denomination, and its theological expression in the twentieth century. Under his leadership, the college moved from a fledgling Bible school to a comprehensive, accredited Bible college with numerous new buildings and programs of study.

The college purchased one building on Richland Avenue in the historic Richland-West End neighborhood, which later became known as Davidson Hall. Eight students gathered there in 1942, comprising the original student body. The original faculty and staff numbered four, including such luminaries as Laura Belle Barnard, J. R. Davidson, and Henry Melvin. Originally a two-year institution, the college added a third year of study in 1949 and a fourth year in 1950, and awarded its first bachelor’s degrees to five seniors in 1951.

In 2012 the college changed its name to Welch College to signify its development into a more comprehensive Christian college. The college is named for John L Welch and his wife Mary. Welch was the leading figure in bringing together eastern and western Free Will Baptists to establish the National Association of Free Will Baptists in 1935, having served as the first moderator and secretary of education of that association.

In addition to Dr. L. C. Johnson, Welch College has been led by four presidents: L. R. Ennis (1944-1947), Dr. Charles A. Thigpen (1979-1990), Dr. C. Thomas Malone (1990-2002), and Dr. J. Matthew Pinson (2002-present). Today the College enrolls about 315 students annually from approximately 22 states and several international countries.

Campus Life

Community - We're better together

This is an exciting time to be at Welch College where education consists of more than courses and textbooks. Although most students will have left family behind when coming here, the close-knit community of the college will allow them to feel at home. Faculty and staff are friendly and accessible, and numerous student organizations—including various ministry groups, societies, intramural activities, dramatic and musical groups, and more—provide students many opportunities to develop meaningful relationships that will last their entire lives.

On Campus Activities

Block Party Block Party is a college family picnic which takes place the Friday of the second full week of each fall semester. The picnic is followed by a campus club parade, games, and entertainment.

Rush Night Rush Night happens the Friday of the third full week of each fall semester. Four men’s clubs (Apha Chi Omega Society, John Bunyan Society, Pi Gamma Chi Society, and the William Jennings Bryan Society), four women’s clubs (Christina Rossetti Society, Elizabeth Barrett Browning Society, Louisa Mae Alcott Society, and the Charlotte Bronte Society), and the Commuter Council have competed since the beginning of the semester for members. The night is filled with video comedies created by the clubs who are making one last attempt to convince new students to join their organization. The event ends in the gym when new students are placed at mid-court and given two minutes to “rush” to their chosen club. Every student is expected to join one of the clubs to which they will be a member while they attend Welch College. These clubs help give each person a sense of social place, purpose and connectedness to our campus.

Welch Film Festival Welch Film Festival is an annual event that was started in 2008 as a means of encouraging the development and appreciation of videography as an art form and ministry tool. The festival is open to entries from church youth groups, alumni, and members of the Welch College family. Awards are given for Best Picture, Best Performance, Best in Technical Merit, and other categories at the judges’ discretion. Click on the festival name above for more details.

Junior/Senior Banquet Each year the junior class organizes a formal banquet and entertainment to honor the Senior class. There is a charge to attend.

Community Service

Blood Drives Two or three times each year our faculty, staff, and student body participate in on-campus blood drives. The Red Cross sends a mobile team on-site for these events. Welch College has the reputation in Nashville as one of the top per capita giving college campuses.

Super Bowl of Caring Each year, prior to the Super Bowl, our campus clubs compete to see who can collect the most cans of food. In cooperation with the Super Bowl of Caring organization, they are then donated to Second Harvest to be distributed to needy families in our community.

Project Pumpkin Project Pumpkin takes place October 31 each year, unless the day is a Sunday. As an outreach to the community, the student body hosts a mini-carnival as a festival alternative for any children who may want to attend. Campus clubs operate the booths. Hundreds of local church youth and neighborhood children and adults typically attend.

Spiritual Formation

Days of Prayer One unique characteristic of Welch College is an administration, faculty, staff, and student body that sets aside other activities one day each semester to pray. While we turn our hearts toward God more than once a semester, we do enjoy the Day of Prayer as a time to concentrate on the Lord’s blessings and ask for His intervention in our lives.

See You at the Pole See You at the Pole (SYATP) is an annual gathering of Christian students of all ages at a flagpole in front of their local school for prayer, scripture-reading, and hymn-singing during the early morning before school starts. This event occurs every fourth Wednesday of September.

Student Revivals Typically, the Student Council will plan events such as student-led revival services, periods of prayer and fasting, or concerts of prayer to urge each other toward greater commitment to God’s leading and obedience to His Word.

Leadership Development

Leadership Training Resident assistants, Student Council members, student mentors, and SpirituaLife leaders come a week early to fall semester for a time of intensive training. They also have a chance for hands-on application of these servant-leader skills as they assist new students during Freshman Orientation, the week before college starts. Brush-up training sessions then continue throughout the year.

Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) Welch College supports the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) by sending delegates from the Student Council to their annual deliberative sessions on the legislative floor of the state capital. Our representative won the “Best Senator” award in the fall of 2011.

Online Learning

Earn your degree from anywhere

Are you unable to seriously consider relocating for studies as a Welch College campus student? No problem! Welch College can come to where you are, as long as you have a good Internet connection.

This is a perfect program for adults who find themselves already caring for family, church, job, or career. They can work on becoming more effective church or business workers, without having to interrupt their current responsibilities.

If you have the same commitment to faithfulness, excellence and service in all things, then we should talk! Our program is accredited, the same as the campus program. Faithfulness to God’s Word in all things, in all courses, among all students and all faculty. That is Welch College, on campus or online.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

View MSc »

Programs

This school also offers:

MSc

Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry

Online 33 hours September 2016 USA Nashville

The Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry at Welch College is designed for college graduates who desire additional education in the classical theological disciplines and the integration of those disciplines within the practice of Christian ministry. The 33-semester-hour M.A. degree is an advanced degree, with a hybrid format, that focuses on developing skills and knowledge in the area of Christian ministry. You will study under faculty members who are gifted scholars with specialties in a broad range of disciplines and are experienced in ministry. They will teach effectively and mentor you intentionally to apply biblical and theological depth to your ministry. The emphasis is on practical application that builds on your experience. [+]

Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry Classical Theology. Practical Ministry. The Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry at Welch College is designed for college graduates who desire additional education in the classical theological disciplines and the integration of those disciplines within the practice of Christian ministry. The 33-semester-hour M.A. degree is an advanced degree, with a hybrid format, that focuses on developing skills and knowledge in the area of Christian ministry. You will study under faculty members who are gifted scholars with specialties in a broad range of disciplines and are experienced in ministry. They will teach effectively and mentor you intentionally to apply biblical and theological depth to your ministry. The emphasis is on practical application that builds on your experience. The Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry is regionally and nationally accredited. Learn more about our accreditation here Hybrid Format Most courses are offered in a hybrid format that contains both online and traditional, in-class sessions. There are two fully online courses in the program. Hybrid courses are nine weeks in length. Eight weeks of the coursework is completed online with one week being an on-campus intensive. Housing for individual students is provided during the one-week intensive. Program Details & Cost MAT 6007 Mission and Church Growth MAT 6017 The Arminian Theological Tradition MAT 6027 Issues in Old Testament Studies MAT 6037 Discovering and Communicating Biblical Truth MAT 6047 Church and Culture MAT 6057 Ministry and Leadership I MAT 6067 Issues in New Testament Studies MAT 6077 Ministry and Leadership II MAT 6087 Theological Foundations (Fully online course) MAT 6097 The History of Doctrine (Fully online course) MAT 6107 Summative Experience Program Costs Tuition: $450 per credit hour Total Cost for Program: 33 credit hours X $450 = $14,850 Scholarships A graduate education is expensive but it is one of the most important endeavors you will ever undertake. We can help you pay for your education by keeping costs low and helping you find financial aid in the form of loans and scholarships. Several institutional scholarships are available for Welch graduate students. Students must apply for scholarships through the Financial Aid Office. Documentation such as a copy of the ministerial ordination certificate (Ministry Scholarship) or transcript from undergraduate institutions (Academic Merit Scholarship) should be provided along with the scholarship application. Program Objectives Students who successfully complete the program should demonstrate: A thorough understanding of the history, principles, and methods of Biblical exegesis and the ability both to defend the reliability of the Biblical text and to communicate the Bible’s redemptive storyline in an effective, relevant way. Mastery and implementation of a biblical philosophy of church and pastoral leadership as applied to: (a) the leader’s personal spiritual formation and interpersonal relationships; (b) Christian worship; (c) principles of pastoral care in ministering to people’s spiritual, psychological, relational and material needs; and (d) practical issues involved in the pastoral ministry within the local church. Application of rigorous theological critique informed by a Christian worldview toward the assessment of: (a) trends, issues, and ethical concerns in the secular culture; and (b) current movements and trajectories within the church culture. An understanding of Christian theological thought with a view toward: (a) critical engagement with a wide scope of theological systems and worldviews; (b) grounding in Reformation Arminianism and the distinctives of Free Will Baptist theology; and, (c) the role of presuppositional apologetics oriented toward worldview critique. Grasp of the global expanse of God’s Kingdom-building through His church encompassing: (a) missiological principles of international evangelization and church planting as applied to the local church; and (b) organic models of church growth founded upon an understanding of biblical principles of evangelism and discipleship. A solid grasp of the history of the church, particularly: (a) the heritage of evangelical orthodoxy traced through the patristic, reformation, and post-reformation eras; and (b) Free Will Baptist history and traditions, with an emphasis on confessional loyalty. [-]

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