This is part four of a four-part series on a new model of seminary training.
Perhaps you appreciate the low-residency model, and the fellowship of a cohort sounds great. But practically, what does a student at William Tennent School of Theology do? What is the rhythm of Tennent really like? And where is the campus?
At Tennent, we currently offer one degree, the 72-hour Master of Letters (M.Litt), with concentrations available in Old Testament, New Testament, Historical Theology, Applied Theology, Hebrew, or Greek. It’s a robust program, with five required residencies and a bookcase full of classics to read in-between.
The Pace of our Program
For students who want to finish quickly, the full-time track takes just two-and-a-half years. Full-time students typically begin in the fall, with a steady rhythm of pre-residency study and preparation. About mid-term is a two week residency, and a wind-down period of reflection and writing for the duration of the six month term. Each successive term follows the same rhythm so full-time students can plan on two residencies each year.
Half-time students, on the other hand, complete the same material as a full-time student but over five years—reading, writing, and reflecting at a more leisurely pace, and attending a residency just once a year. A half-time student can expect to spend about 10-12 hours per week on required material, while full-time students, as the designation implies, spend 20-24 hours per week year round.
With either approach, a student would set aside time each week to read and process the coursework: systematic and biblical theology, biographies, and classics of Christian devotion. In addition, they would either dig deeper into biblical languages or work on a thesis, building on it throughout the program, in their chosen concentration.
The Place of our Program
Because we don’t own a campus, we partner with existing ministries, searching out retreat centers that offer gracious hospitality in a beautiful environment. Currently, we are just outside of Woodland Park, Colorado. While we can’t promise which retreat center every future cohort will enjoy, we’ll do our best to make sure you receive top-notch care. Your family is welcome at your residency and Tennent will cover their room and board if you bring them.
Your day would begin with breakfast—coffee and a hot meal with your tribe, your classmates, and your teachers. After the meal, family members go about their day: a handful of kids head off to homeschool, a few spouses linger by the fireside, some adventurers head out on a hike. Meanwhile, students jump into class—two before lunch and two after. After classes are over, the evening is yours to connect with other classmates, faculty, and family over dinner, board games, and rich conversation. All four of the core disciplines—Old and New Testament and Historical and Applied Theology—build through every term at Tennent, with professors hopping into each others’ classes and discussions spilling over into free time.
We take God’s heart for the nations seriously. The study we pursue is not designed to make us satisfied with ourselves (big heads and empty hearts); it is designed to be carefully stewarded, and joyfully given away. As such, your final term at Tennent would encompass a mission trip in which you would create curriculum with others in your cohort, travel overseas together, and teach some of the material you’ve been studying so hard over the past few years.
If this style of seminary could be a good fit for you, check us out or start the process to apply. Our goal is to begin one full-time and one half-time cohort every school year, each with a unique start date. The best way to find out when the next cohort is slated to begin is simply to reach out and ask.
We would be delighted to have you join us.