Cedarville University to add new master’s degree, residence hall

A rendering of Cedarville University's Duane Wood Residence Hall. CONTRIBUTED

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A rendering of Cedarville University's Duane Wood Residence Hall. CONTRIBUTED

Cedarville University is preparing to roll out a new online master’s degree program that will fill the gaps in theological training for local ministries. The school also will open a new residence hall in the fall.

The new Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree, offered entirely online, is designed to fill the gap between theological seminaries and nontraditional students looking to enter ministry later in life.

“We’ve seen an increase in Protestant churches training pastors in-house,” said Trent Rogers, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek. “It’s not just 18 and 20-year-olds feeling a call to ministry; some have already had a career. But the transition into ministry can be challenging with a traditional seminary model. Churches have tried to meet the need of that, but what some organizations have realized is Cedarville is well-equipped to deliver practical theology training.”

ExploreRecord number of students graduate from Cedarville University

Pending external approval, the program will train ministry leaders in biblical knowledge, theology, and applied skills, including 15 hours of applied ministry training on-site. One track will allow students who are already receiving training in a partnering ministry, while the other is focused on general studies.

“There’s been overwhelming initial interest from prospective students and prospective partners,” Rogers said. “We want to make sure people going into ministry receive good training. But I do think that seminaries and graduate schools need to be thinking strategically in innovative ways in how they might partner with churches to train the next generation of pastors well.”

The private, Christian university has secured commitments totaling $105.4 million as part of the One Thousand Days campaign. The fundraising effort is the largest in the university’s history. Of their $125 million goal, $92.5 million will be used to construct new university facilities, including a welcome center and the $38 million Lorne D. Sharnberg Business Center, expected to break ground this fall.

The Dr. Duane Wood women’s residence hall will house between 108 and 120 women. Located on the west end of the present Johnson and St. Clair residence halls, the residence hall is slated to open in August, and is one of the projects funded through the university’s One Thousand Days campaign.

Wood, a longtime Cedarville administrator and graduate professor, passed away in December 2019. He led the development of Cedarville’s school of engineering and computer science, paved the way for a school of pharmacy, and was instrumental in implementing the industrial and innovative design program, in partnership with the International Center for Creativity in Columbus. He also oversaw Cedarville’s foray into graduate programs.

Cedarville recently completed an expansion to the Callan Athletic Center that houses the developing physician assistant program and the Master of Athletic Training program, including a varsity weight room, meeting space, and athletic department offices.

Cedarville’s 2022 graduating class, 774 undergraduates and 150 graduate students, is a record number for the university.

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