The Board of Trustees and the faculty of Mid-America Reformed Seminary are dedicated to a high academic standard. They recognize that sound Christian scholarship is crucial in equipping ministers to effectively and comprehensively preach the gospel of Christ.
At Mid-America, however, scholarship does not exist as an end in itself. Within the context of a rigorous academic program, the faculty desires to instill in each student a love for the Word of God. The truth of God's Word and how to apply it to life's various situations are incorporated into every aspect of academic study at Mid-America.
It is this combination of the academic and the practical, scholarship and experience, that promotes true intellectual and spiritual growth for the Mid-America student.
The academic component of Mid-America's theological education is implemented through four primary methods: readings, lectures, papers, and examinations. A student's success in balancing the demands of a theological education requires planning and time management. Lists of required readings and the extensive time necessary to research and write papers can seem daunting at the beginning of the semester, but scheduling the work in manageable increments throughout the semester will help the student excel, decrease stress, and result in a more enjoyable and productive learning experience.
A significant portion of the education at Mid-America comes through assigned readings. This places the responsibility upon the student for careful self-instruction. A student must be able to concentrate on and comprehend written material, reading it analytically and critically.
The lecture method of theological instruction remains one of the most effective tools for seminary education. Nothing can substitute for the learning and interaction that takes place in a classroom under the direction of an experienced pastor and master teacher. Lectures generally do not duplicate assigned readings, but augment and complement them.
Writing papers forms a large share of the student's study time and productivity. A written document is a doorway to the author's thoughts. The reflection and analysis evident in a student's paper helps the professor evaluate his character and personality as well as his intellectual orthodoxy and development. The writing process involves much more than simply sitting in front of a computer and sending pages to the printer. It includes reading, research, conceptualizing, organizing, expressing, and manufacturing.
Students may find examinations intimidating, but they serve as the most reliable means for professors to determine the extent of the students' knowledge. Classroom exams help students prepare for the oral comprehensive examinations they will undergo as seniors. And the experience of oral examinations by the faculty at the Seminary is good preparation for the candidacy and ordination exams the student will need to successfully sustain in order to enter the full-time ministry.