The quiz process
The first step is to listen to the lectures. There are a total of 24 lectures on CDs, equalling about 51 hours of listening time. After listening to all the lectures, and following along in the notes, you are ready to take the quizzes for each module. Don't worry, along with detailed notes (which one could adapt for their own lectures), Biola also provides clear instruction sheets detailing what needs to be done to complete each module properly. If you are just going for the certificate, then you only are required to listen to the lectures (from all three modules). If you are going for Masters credit, then you will also need to complete the required reading list.
The quizzes (or tests) for each of the modules consist of 100 questions on eight lectures. That means for each lecture, you'll have around a dozen questions that are based on the specific lecture content. It may be helpful for someone who is listening to the lecture to follow along in the notes and the quiz and complete them as they go along. Or, one can simply refer to the notes as an aid to complete the fill-in-the-blank questions. For the most part, the questions are composed with direct quotes from the notes. The goal is for increased retention of the material; it's not meant to trick you.
Each module's assignments are to be mailed back to Biola for grading. There is a $30 fee per module for processing and grading. You can either mail your check to them, or call them up and pay by credit card over the phone. I called Biola directly, got a person right away, they knew exactly what I needed to do, and it was quick and simple. (Wow. No robotic voice forwarding me into an electronic maze of voicemail.) If credit card info is given, it isn't charged until the assignments are received and grading has begun. It's a smooth process without any hassle.
There is a Masters essay exam required for potential or current Master's students. If you are doing only the certificate, these essays are not required. Two essays are to be completed based on a choice of six topics. The essays are to be 2 to 4 pages each. For Masters credit, 50 points are given for the certificate quiz, 10 points for reading the two textbooks, and 20 points each for the exams, for a total of 100 points. Further details are provided from Biola in their instruction sheets, but the process is pretty straight forward.
The overall courseAs a whole, the course can be highly recommended. This is the sort of content that all pastors and youth pastors should be equipped with, and then pass along to their congregations and youth groups through various means of teaching and equipping. Apologetics bloggers should seriously consider getting the certificate from Biola to ensure a basic and well-rounded grasp of the issues. Finally, anyone being training formally or informally in apologetics should go ahead and get the certificate and, if possible, apply their credits to their own studies.
Have you completed the certificate? If so, share your feedback on the program in the comments below.
Biola has given Apologetics 315 readers a discount. Normally the materials for one module are $95. But you can get them at THIS LINK for only $75. Follow the link then click on "Distance Certificate Program" on the left.
For more about Biola's M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics, click here. Info on their Certificate Program can be found here.