Faith International University appears in the ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Ministry Degrees Online.
Founded as a Lutheran seminary school in 1969, Faith International University & Seminary is an interdenominational Christian school located in the northwest Tacoma area of Washington state, just 40 miles south of Seattle. Students can visit the Pacific Ocean, a two-hour drive from the school, during downtime as they explore the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Adventurous students will also appreciate the school’s proximity to Mt. Rainier.
The university is a faith-based school, but it does not require students to subscribe to a specific doctrine, nor does it ordain graduates. Over 40 different denominations, including non-denominational, are represented among the 400 students who attend Faith International. The school encourages students studying ministry-based programs to check with their church, synod or other religious association for specific doctrinal requirements. It should be noted that Faith International adheres to nine core beliefs, summarized in their Statement of Faith, that are based on the evangelical, fundamentalist Christian viewpoint.
Students here enjoy the benefit of a comfortable student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. It’s a diverse school, with 65 percent of the student population identifying as a minority race. Students can choose from 12 different programs: four at the undergraduate level, one master’s certificate, five programs that lead to a master’s degree and two doctoral programs. Some courses and programs are hosted online, either through a website or via prerecorded lectures on DVD.
Faith International University Accreditation Details
Faith International University holds institutional accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges & Schools, an accrediting agency that’s recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The school’s Applied Life Coaching Training Program is also considered an Accredited Coach Training Program under the International Coach Federation.
Faith International University Application Requirements
Students hoping to apply at Faith International University should apply as early as possible based on the start date for their program. The school accepts submissions year round, but there are application deadlines based on quarter. For example, the fall quarter deadline for non-doctoral candidates is August 31. Students must meet certain prerequisites for admission. These include:
- A high school diploma and GPA of 2.3 for admission to a bachelor’s program;
- An undergraduate degree from an accredited school and a GPA of 2.7 for admission to a master’s degree program; or
- A master’s degree from an accredited school and a GPA of 3.2 for admission into the Doctor of Strategic Leadership program.
The school hosts an online application process, which students should complete along with a Tuition Payment Worksheet. Undergraduate students will need to submit several documents, including a copy of a valid government-issued ID, reference from a clergy member and an autobiographical essay on why they want to attend Faith International. Students applying for doctoral programs must submit the same basic documents as an undergraduate applicant, plus additional references, a longer personal essay and a 12-page substantive academic paper demonstrating the ability to write and research at the doctoral level.
All students should submit official transcripts of previous schools attended. There is no application fee, but students who miss the deadline for application must pay a $35 fee for application extension.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition at Faith International depends on program type. Undergraduate programs cost $160 per quarter credit hour, making a five-hour course $800. Graduate students pay $225 per quarter credit hour, which makes a four-hour course $900. For those enrolled in doctoral programs, the tuition rate is $250 per quarter credit hour. Students pay the same rate whether they’re taking physical or online courses. In addition to tuition, students will be required to pay for various fees on a quarterly basis. These include the student services fee of $150, initial graduation fee of $180, and a thesis or doctoral reading fee – depending on program – that costs $450 or $600, respectively.
The university is considered an eligible school by the Department of Education for granting certain loans and grants. These are the Federal Pell Grant and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan, which may be unsubsidized or subsidized depending on need. Students who need help paying for college should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to determine eligibility and other award opportunities.
Along with various forms of aid, students who are full-time international missionaries may qualify for a special tuition rate at Faith International. Interested applicants should fill out the missionary rate request form on the school’s website for approval.
Online Degree(s) Available
Faith International offers an online Doctor of Ministry, or DMin, for professionals who want to increase their impact and effectiveness within the field of ministry. Designed for working ministry leaders, this degree program is, according to the school’s website, the highest professional degree available to Christian leaders in vocational ministry. The program includes three tracks for specialization:
- Christian Apologetics
- Expository Communication
- Strategic Leadership
Christian Apologetics focuses on equipping ministry leaders with the skills needed to defend Christianity and the tenets of the Bible. Courses include The Historical Jesus, Prolegomena of Apologetics, and Christianity and the Sciences. Expository Communication helps pastors and others in pulpit ministry develop skills in expository preaching. Course topics include Advanced Principles of Expository Preaching, and OT or NT Exegesis and Exposition Electives. The Strategic Leadership concentration helps ministry professionals working in vocational positions develop their skills as leaders. Students will take courses such as Integrity, Communication, and Decision Making; Organizational Innovation and Change; and Managing Organizational Conflict.
Regardless of concentration, students in the DMin program will engage in high academic research, practical application and personal reflection. The curriculum is centered on the Bible and Christian theology. Candidates for this degree can continue to work in ministry since the program is an in-service program. While many of the courses in the doctoral program can be taken online or via distance learning through prerecorded DVDs, there are residency requirements in place. Students must attend at least four courses in person, and some classes are hybrid courses that require week-long residency seminars throughout the program.
The DMin program takes a minimum of 48 hours to complete, but some students may take up to 64 hours depending on their course of study. Professionals working in ministry will find a rigorous academic program that combines practical academics with traditional Christian theology in the Doctor of Ministry program at Faith International University.