Kuyper Signs Accelerated Pre-Seminary Studies Program Partnership Agreement with Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
January 30, 2012
Dr. Nick Kroeze, Kuyper College’s President, announced the signing of an agreement between Kuyper College and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary to offer Kuyper’s innovative Accelerated Pre-Seminary Studies (APSS) program.
Because of Kuyper’s highly developed curriculum, program graduates receive a Bachelor of Science degree from Kuyper and a Master of Divinity from Grand Rapids Theological in as little
as six years—thus eliminating the need for the extra seventh year of studies associated with traditional programs. Kuyper’s APSS program benefits students not only by shortening the duration of the academic journey, but also by helping to reduce the overall cost of their education. The program also benefits churches by providing much needed pastoral staff to fill many open positions throughout the country. A similar agreement was signed last year between Kuyper and Calvin Theological Seminary.
“We are very pleased to provide this program in partnership with Grand Rapids Theological Seminary,” said Dr. Kroeze. “It will benefit our students and both institutions. Providing our students a high-quality theological education and saving them one year of school while doing so makes both academic and financial sense,” he added.
“All of us at Cornerstone University, and specifically those of us Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, are delighted with this new cooperative agreement that enables us to partner with Kuyper College in making graduate theological training more accessible and affordable to students,” said Dr. Joseph Stowell, President of Cornerstone University. This partnership enhances the educational experience and credentials of students at both of our schools which makes Kuyper College a valued partner with Cornerstone in preparing the next generation to go into our world to influence the cultures of our world for Christ.”
Dr. John VerBerkmoes, Vice President and Academic Dean at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, said: “Kuyper graduates come to GRTS with solid biblical and theological foundations, and they are serious about using their gifts to serve Christ’s church. They demonstrate proven educational capability, ministry competency, theological perspective and character.” Dr. Melvin Flikkema, Kuyper’s College Provost, said: “Student debt is becoming a real problem in higher education, and this program goes a long way to ensuring that students can graduate from seminary with smaller student loans.”
Dr. Flikkema sees the whole educational experience at Kuyper not just in terms of credits earned, but also in terms of competencies needed to function in the pastoral ministry. “Those competencies are defined in terms of knowledge—what our students need to know; character—that will help sustain our students through the rigors of pastoral ministry over the decades; and practiced skills—which will help them put together and preach a sermon, as well as ably carry on the many other responsibilities of the pastorate,” said Flikkema. “At Kuyper we do all of that. We equip our students to be knowledgeable, exhibit character and demonstrate skills.”
In addition to APSS, Kuyper graduates of other programs such as Social Work, also receive advanced standing for their post-graduate degrees studies at other schools, including Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University.