Frequently Asked Questions
We want you to be as well-informed as possible about Mid-America. Below is a list of questions we frequently get asked. Please take a moment to see if your subject is already addressed. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to answer any other questions you may have.
Mid-America’s primary purpose is to train students for the gospel ministry of Jesus Christ. Guided by this singular focus, Mid-America is committed to providing solid theological and ministerial training to others among God’s people whose life calling may be enhanced by our education. The Mid-America student will enjoy the curricular concentration arising from the school’s single focus, while also being shaped by an education that meets a diverse service goal.
What is Mid-America all about? What’s unique about our approach to training students for the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Gospel Focus – One dominant conviction has shaped Mid-America throughout its history: Christ builds His church by His Spirit and Word. The proclamation of the biblical gospel or evangel of Christ and His saving work lies at the core of the church’s mission in the world.
Commitment to Scripture – Mid-America is wholeheartedly committed to the supreme authority and complete truthfulness of the Word of God. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the standard for everything that is taught in the classroom and for our approach to training students for the gospel ministry.
Confessional Approach – We believe the historic Reformed confessions of the church are the best expression of biblical Christianity. Thus, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Westminster Confession set the parameters for our course of instruction. We take a fresh and enthusiastic look at the historic Christian creeds and use them in the formation of our preaching and teaching.
Relationship with the Church – We exist to serve the church. We believe the health of the church depends on the faithful ministry of God’s Word and our mission is to provide the best training possible for students who are preparing for gospel ministry. Our focus is on equipping students with the academic and practical tools that will enable them to fulfill the calling of a minister in the church and to the world.
Mid-America’s Dyer, Indiana, location is in Chicagoland, the crossroads of North America. The Seminary campus, just a few miles south of US Interstate 80-94, is easily accessible from anywhere in the Chicago area. It is only 45 minutes from downtown Chicago and about an hour from O’Hare International Airport.
Mid-America is closely associated with confessional Reformed and Presbyterian churches; however, it is not governed by the rules of any denomination. This enables it to serve more effectively several affiliations with sound training for a solid pulpit.
All members of the faculty, the Association, and the Board are wholeheartedly committed to the Holy Scriptures as the infallible and inerrant Word of God and affirm that the Reformed confessions faithfully set forth the system of truth taught in Scripture. In conformity with the Word, they are committed to the ecumenical creeds of Christendom (the Apostles’, Athanasian, and Nicene Creeds) and to the following Reformed Confessions: the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort, and the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Mid-America’s faculty and board of trustees hale from confessionally Reformed and Presbyterian churches. Students come from a wide variety of church backgrounds.
There are currently 6 full-time resident faculty members at Mid-America. In addition, Mid-America employs various adjunct professors, visiting professors, and guest lecturers.
On the seminary campus, students have access to computers in the library (open 6 days a week), a student lounge, and kitchen facilities. Mid-America has wireless internet throughout the building. Students often take advantage of the grounds to play hockey, Frisbee, softball, soccer, and football.
The Library is the intellectual heart of our seminary community, serving as the chief academic resource for the students and faculty of Mid-America. Its core collection of circulating books, reference and special collections, subject-specific and general periodical indices, and journals (both print and online) are supplemented by digital materials (sermons in mp3 format, primary sources online and on CD, audio lectures, etc.) that provide a solid foundation for theological education. We continue to develop the collection in support of our primary goal: preparing students for gospel ministry in the Reformed and Presbyterian churches.
Mid-America Reformed Seminary has full handicap access, and the Seminary office works with the Dean of Students to assist disabled students who request accommodations. The office provides orientation to campus resources and recommendation for accommodation of the student’s disability. When medical verification is on file and the request for accommodation has been approved, a per semester academic accommodation plan may be developed in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. The office can also assist in requesting accommodations in housing and facilities. Physically challenged students are encouraged to request accommodation as early as possible in their planning process.
Mid-America Reformed Seminary has an accredited membership with The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. ATS, through its commission on accrediting, is recognized by the United States Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for the accreditation of graduate professional theological schools in the United States.
Mid-America Reformed Seminary was first accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) as a Category III (Masters degree-granting) institution April 6, 2005. TRACS is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as a national accrediting body for Christian institutions, colleges, universities, and seminaries. TRACS is also a member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education. Mid-America ended its relationship with TRACS in 2017.
Mid-America works alongside the church in preparing persons for the mission field. All M.Div. students are required to take the core course in missions and evangelism, wherein students are taught what the field of missiology entails, the biblical and theological foundations for missions, the motives for missions, along with the goals and purpose of missions within a larger kingdom perspective. Students are also taught the methods and strategies of missions, including consideration of Christ and culture issues, the question of contextualization, and the gospel in an entirely non-Christian context. Students also benefit from taking elective courses in the field of missions. Mid-America periodically hosts "Church Planting Workshops" pertaining to home missions, inviting ministers who are actively involved in this work to relay their experiences and discoveries.
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree program is a three-year program designed for students with a Bachelor of Arts or equivalent degree, who fulfill the recommended prerequisites, and who seek a Master of Divinity degree for ordination.
The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree program is a two or three year program for students with a Bachelor of Arts or equivalent degree who desire theological education but do not seek ordination.
Students who have graduated from the M.Div program have gone on to pastor churches, plant churches, serve on the mission field, become chaplains, teach, and pursue further study.
Students with a MTS degree typically go into mission work, teach, take a position on a church staff, or go on for further study.
The overall ratio of students to faculty is 6:1. Each student has a faculty advisor, who functions as the student's counselor. Every Thursday morning, faculty advisors meet with students assigned to their care for a time of mentoring and prayer. Students and alumni of Mid-America Reformed Seminary consistently rate their relationships with the professors as one of the Seminary's greatest benefits.
90%+ of Mid-America graduates are in pastoral ministry.
At Mid-America, 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.
Knowledge and compassion are equally important in the ministry of a pastor. To foster intellectual and spiritual development, the Seminary offers courses in biblical, theological, ecclesiastical, and ministerial disciplines. But knowledge is not enough to effectively reach our neighbors and the nations with the gospel. A solid grounding in essential biblical doctrines must always be accompanied by humble submission to God's Word. Both are indispensable elements of a servant ministry that glorifies God.
Mid-America's program is concerned that students at the Seminary receive practical experience as well as an excellent academic education. Mid-America's academic standards are high and its program rigorous, but academic excellence alone does not make an effective minister of the Word. Knowledge is of little value if the student is not able to apply what he has learned to the daily situations and regular preaching involved in the pastorate. In addition to having knowledge of the Word in his head, a minister of the gospel must have the Word in his heart. The indwelling Word and Spirit are crucial in shaping a minister who is not only a knowledgeable preacher, but also a compassionate pastor.
Yes; since Mid-America's academic program combines a focus on each of the major theological disciplines-biblical studies, historical studies, doctrinal studies, and ministerial studies-with a strong accent on the history of doctrine and the biblical languages, intellectually gifted students are well-prepared to engage in further theological study, whether the student chooses to pursue a Th.M. or a Ph.D. Our ATS accreditation assures that our academic program is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education, and, thus, any doctoral program you would want to get into.
A limited number of students who have not earned the B.A. degree, but whose life experience suggests that they would be suitable M.Div. students, may apply for the M.Div. program. See the seminary catalog for more information.
All prospective students for whom English is not their first language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Mid-America's institution code is 7418. For information on the administration of TOEFL, see www.toefl.org or write Education Testing Service, Box 2971, Princeton, New Jersey 08541, U.S.A.
In keeping with general standards for graduate work in English, a total score of at least 550 on the PBT (Paper Based Test) or a total score of at least 79-80 on the IBT (Internet Based Test) is required for admission.
In some circumstances, this is allowed. Please contact the Admissions Office for approval.
Applicants with a low college GPA may be admitted, but the Registrar will review their seminary academic work on an individual basis.
Once all parts of the application are received, notification should happen within two weeks.
Credit transfers and program placement are always discussed with the student in an attempt to honor the work of other schools and be as flexible as possible. The Registrar, in consultation with the relevant instructors, may grant credit for master's level course work completed at other institutions. See the transfer students page for more details.
Students holding a Master of Arts degree in biblical or theological studies or a Master of Arts in Religion degree from an accredited theological seminary may be granted advanced standing toward the Master of Divinity degree.
While Mid-America does not offer on-campus housing, the Chicagoland area provides numerous housing opportunities within 10 to 20 minutes of the Seminary. Prospective students may contact the Seminary office, which maintains a listing of available housing, for assistance in securing housing. The Seminary enlists volunteers from the community to help locate housing for students who are unable to visit the area prior to arriving for study. Besides Dyer, Indiana, students typically live in nearby communities such as Griffith, Highland, Schererville, and St. John in Indiana and Lynwood, Lansing, Crete, and South Holland in Illinois.
For help with this, Mid-America faculty recommend reading Dr. John R. Sittema's booklet, Called to Preach.
Tuition is $260* per credit hour. The annual estimated cost of educational and living expenses ranges from $22,600 for single students to $31,500 for married students. Check out our cost page for more information.
(*Starting the Fall of 2017, a $10 increase per credit hour will be implemented in each of the subsequent three school years.)
Funds and scholarships are available to assist students in need. In order to be eligible for financial assistance, the applicant must seek financial aid first from his local church, as well as his classis or presbytery. Verification of this effort must be in the form of a signed letter from the diaconate, or the signature of a member of the diaconate on the Financial Aid Application (which is provided to the applicant by the Seminary along with his other financial aid forms). These forms must be submitted to the Business Office by May 1 in order to ensure compliance with school guidelines. For more information on scholarships and financial aid, check out our cost page.