This level flows on from Level 1. It is primarily aimed at those individuals who have shown a keen interest for further studies. Individuals are encouraged to achieve a personalized ‘study goal’ under the supervision of their local eldership. To this end, there are two options to consider;
1. Undergraduate Study through the North American Reformed Seminary (TNARS).
TNARS is well recognized and endorsed, but it is not formally accredited by a secular educational board (please keep this in mind if you are thinking about pursuing this option). Incredibly, this seminary program avails itself at no cost (to the student), however it does place a very high demand upon those enrolled. This route should only be taken if the eldership thinks that a) this is indeed the best option for you; and b) you are indeed able to handle the heavy work load.
TNARS considers itself to be a resource to the local church. Any lack of residency is made up through involvement at the local church level, and in accountability to the local church eldership. Please note that before you can in enroll in any of the programs, you will need to have a letter of approval and recommendation from your eldership.
For all undergraduate degrees, TNARS also requires that students have a local mentor. If no one in your own local church is able to enrol as your mentor, you may request one from within the broader fellowship of Reformed Baptist churches (please email Michael Beck – firstname.lastname@example.org). To see more information about TNARS and their degree programs, go to http://www.tnars.net/academics/
2. Informal and personalized study program (local eldership)
In this option, there is no formal recognition for your studies. The benefits however, are in the fact that a) the elders can personalize a study program that is more focused – and most relevant to you; b) study goals can be set without any external time constraint; c) study goals can be achieved at a much more short-term level.
While the resources involved in this program are in no way limited by the list that follows (but are selected as you work together in accountability with your local eldership), consideration of following (freely available on the internet) is highly recommended:
1. Covenant Seminary (http://www.worldwide-classroom.com/)
As a ministry of Covenant Theological Seminary, the Worldwide Classroom offers free access to biblically-based, grace-centered theological training materials for the benefit of the church. The lectures are presented in English in MP3 format; transcripts and study guides are available as PDFs. Anyone may download, use, and share these courses at no charge for non-commercial purposes. Online students are encouraged to explore ‘My Classroom’. This is a tool that tracks study progress and recommends a course plan based upon your / your church’s unique goals.
2. BiblicalTraining.org (http://www.biblicaltraining.org)
The vision of BiblicalTraining is to help fulfill the Great Commission by providing world-class educational resources for making new and fully-devoted followers of Christ within the context of the local church. [They] hope to accomplish this through providing a free online seminary with a wide range of courses from a broadly evangelical perspective that crosses many denominational lines. [They] also provide discipleship resources for new and growing believers. A key component of the discipleship resources [is] a certificate program that will allow a mentor to monitor the progress of an individual or group as they take courses in spiritual foundations, biblical foundations, or leadership development.
3. Third Millennium Ministries (http://thirdmill.org/)
Third Millennium Ministries seek to provide Christian education to hundreds of thousands of pastors around the world who lack sufficient training for ministry. The curriculum is designed to be used in support of existing schools, as well as by groups and individuals. It consists of three central elements: graphic-driven videos, printed instruction and internet resources. In order to accomplish their production goals, they have developed a highly cost-effective method of producing high-quality multimedia video lessons. They strive to maintain quality not only in production, but also in content. All the instructors are seminary professors, and their writers and editors are theologically trained educators.