Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a set timeline for completing courses?
There is no timeline. You may work at your own pace. Most of our students have families and work full time - often in the ministry. Some whiz through a course in a short length of time, but others take 6 months or more to complete each course.
- What courses will I be taking for my program of study?
We depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit with regard to course selection, so the curriculum is different for each student. If you are a counseling major, you should select courses from the Biblical Counseling curriculum as you are led. You may also select courses from the Restorative Justice curriculum, since those courses teach how to counsel offenders, ex-offenders, victims, and the families of all.
- When is graduation? Where do I go for the graduation ceremony?
We do not have a graduation ceremony. Our student body is spread across ten countries and the United States. Since all students are distance-ed and working at their own pace, we have at least one student complete their program of study every week. We wish we could travel to confer the degree personally on every student, but distance does not allow this. We always recommend that the pastor, or one of the elders or deacons of the church to present the degree on our behalf, and we often get reports about the celebration at the church when this happens.
- How do I may payments?
You should pay using our finance page: http://www.theraponuniversity.org/tu_finances.htmlYou may pay as the Lord provides, although we would appreciate your paying a minimum of $75 (the enrollment fee) before you begin the first course. Some people pay $100 a month; others pay much less but on a regular basis. You are allowed to complete the entire program without paying anything, but we will not be able to send your graduation documents until the tuition has been paid in full.Therapon University is all about ministry, not money, so you will never hear a complaint from us about how long it is taking you to pay your fees. We leave all that up to the Lord.
- When can I start?
You may begin as soon as you give us the title of your first course, so we can send you the link.
- When do I turn in the outline for my thesis or dissertation?
You may submit the outline whenever you are ready. Some students finish all their coursework, and then begin work on the thesis or disssertation. Others are thinking, researching, and writing while they are still taking their courses. Everyone has their own style of learning and their own pace.
We are not looking for the normal, formal style of thesis or dissertation. We are looking for something you can use in your own ministry. Several of our courses were actually written by students as their thesis or dissertation project. For example, "Counseling Through the Seasons of Life" was written by a student whose goal was to create something she could use to train lay counselors at her church. "Effective Prison Ministry" was written by a student who was in prison at the time, and saw a lot of mistakes being made by people coming into the prison to minister. Several students collaborated to write "Key Counseling Issue," so we would have a catalog of scriptures that address common counseling issues.
Our newest course is "I Am." This was developed from a series of emails sent by our staff to a woman who has been at home, unable to work because of extreme anxiety issues, for over 30 years. A master's student took the emails, de-personalized them, developed study questions to go with, and now we have a course others can use as a resource if they are counseling with someone who is worried (even fearful) about their finances, health issues, their job, the future. Another student is currently writing a paper on "Freedom." There are 13 chapters devoted to issues such as freedom from alcohol addiction, freedom from drug usage, freedom from depression, freedom from fear and more. She is writing text and questions, and we will be adding that paper as a course to our curriculum.What issues are you passionate about? What is a counseling arena in which you have personal experience because you have already gone through and come out of it with the Lord's help? Is there a topic you would like to use as the basis of a sermon series, or teach your Sunday school class, or use with a home Bible study group? Seek the Holy Spirit regarding what He would have you research for this assignment.
- What is the format for the thesis or dissertation?
Before you begin writing, you should submit an outline with your subject and the points you intend to cover. The actual format for the paper is very simple and straight-forward. A thesis should be 60-90 pages long, and a dissertation should be 90-120 pages long. Please format with one inch margins, double spaced, no footnotes (sources need to be identified within the body of the manuscript), and a bibliography at the back. You do not have to print the paper or have it bound. Simply submit the assignment as an email attachment.
We do check for copy/paste issues. When you include material you have discovered in your research, be sure to rewrite it in your own words. You may include short quotes, giving credit to the author within the same paragraph.
- Are you accredited?
We are accredited with the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions. This is a religious accreditation, rather than secular - voluntary, rather than mandatory. The agency monitors educational and religious standards for Bible colleges, and their accreditation is accepted by many religious organizations. However, this accreditation would not be accepted by some secular organizations, as A.A.A.T.I. is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the seven official regional accrediting agencies. If this is a concern for you, check our accreditation web page for more details.