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BCC Interview: Northland International University Graduate School

October 1, 2011

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This week we highlight the biblical counseling department at Northland International University Graduate School. To learn more about their biblical counseling program, we interviewed their Assistant Director, Greg Dietrich.

BCC: “Professor Dietrich, please tell our readers about the degrees you offer in biblical counseling.”

NIU: “We offer the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling, both in residence and online.”

BCC: “Who is your target audience or ideal student?”

NIU: “Our program targets a wide range of applicants. We provide a solid residential program as well an online program that targets those unable to take significant time away from their ministry. Over the last couple years a growing and significant contingent of our graduate student body has come from overseas for the master’s degree.”

BCC: “Please tell our readers about your program’s mission and vision. What makes your degree program(s) unique?”

NIU: “Our program exists to train the next generation of servant leaders for great commission living. This means we want to train students to take their training and go where the gospel is not preached.”

BCC: “How do you envision your graduates using their degrees? In what types of ministries are your graduates already serving?”

NIU: “Most of our students use their training either in an established local churches, in church planting, or on the mission field around the world.”

BCC: “How many new students do you accept each year?”

NIU: “We do not have an enrollment cap.”

BCC: “How many courses are required? What are the names of some of your core biblical counseling courses?”

NIU: “There are fifteen total courses, the core of which includes both Bible and counseling classes. The core biblical counseling courses are: Foundations of Biblical Counseling, Problem and Procedures I & II, Counseling Women, Medical and Ethical Issues in Counseling, Counseling as a Local Church Ministry, Methods of Biblical Change, Marriage Counseling, Family Counseling and Parenting Skills, as well as a counseling internship.”

BCC: “How many Bible/theology/hermeneutic classes do you require?”

NIU: “There are a total of five courses in our Bible core for the MA in biblical counseling; Systematic Theology I, II, & III, New Testament Biblical Theology, and Practicum in Hermeneutics.”

BCC: “What model(s) of instruction do you use: traditional, modular, online, all/blended?”

NIU: “Northland offers the traditional fifteen-week model, modular classes, plus every course is offered online at least once every two years.”

BCC: “Could you summarize the primary costs associated with your program? What financial aid do you have available?”

NIU: “Our courses are $365 per credit and the degree is a total of 36 hours. With miscellaneous fees and tuition together the total cost of the program is around $15,000. Most students will be heavily supported by the graduate assistant scholarship, the church assistant scholarship, or the Word scholarship. After applying scholarships, the average online student would end up paying a little less than $10,000 total. Graduate assistants work for the university in exchange for room, board, and tuition and receive a weekly stipend. The Church Assistant program is similar to the graduate assistant, but the church covers the tuition costs and stipend ($7300/year) and provides room and board for the student. In exchange the student works 30 hours per week in the church.”

BCC: “What succinct definition of biblical counseling does your program hold to?”

NIU: “Biblical counseling is Christians doing what God instructs us to do as Christians—love God and love others. We love God and love others by using the Scriptures to help ‘anyone caught in any transgression’ by helping them in restoration (Gal 6:1). This all happens in a spirit of gentleness patterned after the life and example of Christ. Biblical counseling is God’s people doing what they are called to do.”

BCC: “Please tell our readers about your director/chair and about your faculty.”

NIU: “Our program chairman is Dr. Jim Juvinall. He earned a D.Min. from Westminster Theological Seminary with an emphasis in biblical counseling. Dr. Juvinall sat under the teaching of some of the biggest names in biblical counseling today (Powlison, Lane, Tripp, Mack). Dr. Juvinall teaches the Problems and Procedures courses, Methods of Biblical Change, Counseling Women, and is the advisor for the internship program.

Dr. Paul Tautges is an adjunct professor and a full-time teaching pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Sheboygan, WI. Dr. Tautges earned a D.Min. from Northland International University and holds certifications with NANC. Aside from pastoring and teaching, Dr. Tautges is also the author of many books and of the blog, Counseling One Another. Dr. Taugtes teaches Foundations for Biblical Counseling, and Family Counseling and Parenting Skills.

Dr. Jim Newcomer is an adjunct professor and a full time assistant pastor at Colonial Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA. Dr. Newcomer has various NANC certifications as well as a D.Min. from Northland International University. Dr. Newcomer teaches Marriage Counseling and Counseling as a Local Church Ministry.”

BCC: “How can people contact you?”

NIU: People can connect with us through: Northland International University Graduate School | W10085 Pike Plains Road, Dunbar, WI 54119 | http://ni.edu/graduateschool | [email protected] | 715.324.6999, ext 3400.”

BCC: “Thank you, Greg, for helping our BCC audience to learn more about your biblical counseling program.”

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