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Located in Florence, Alabama, Heritage Christian University is a private and religious institution of higher learning. Though the university lists its establishment date as 1968, its roots go back further than that. The Mars Hill Academy opened in 1871 and offered programs for the ministers and other religious leaders working for the Churches of Christ. Though this school closed in 1887, the land it once sat on became the location of the new Mars Hill Bible School, which opened in 1947. The Churches of Christ added a Bible Institute to that school, which later became Heritage Christian University. It also served as the International Bible College and the Southeastern Institute of the Bible over the years.
Heritage Christian University is unique because it offers both BA and AA degree programs. Students first select the type of degree they want to earn, but all students actually major in the Bible or Biblical Studies. The minors they can choose from help supplement their studies. The university also offers graduate programs, including a Master of Ministry and a Master of Divinity. Its Master of Divinity helps prepare students hoping to work as ministers and religious leaders.
Heritage Christian University Accreditation Details
Though Heritage Christian University is a private and religious university, it has accreditation from several prominent organizations and groups. Its main accreditation comes from the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. The university also has approval from the State of Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education, which licensed the school to operate as an institution of higher learning. Though it does not have the standard regional accreditation that other colleges do, it does have a type of accreditation approved by the United States Department of Education. That means you can fill out the FAFSA and get financial aid from both the state and federal government.
Heritage Christian University Application Requirements
Before filling out the online application, make sure that you submit that application prior to the deadline. The deadline for fall admissions is the end of July, and you have until the beginning of December to file an application to start in the spring. The university accepts applications until the middle of April for those who want to start in the summer.
To start the application process, you only need an email address and your full name. The further you get into the application, the more information you need. Heritage Christian University asks for the name of your high school and at least three references. Those references must agree to speak positively on your behalf and explain why you are a good fit for the university. You need to supply an email address, full name and phone number for each of those references. Once you finish the application, you can use a debit card or a credit card to pay the $35 application fee. The university also requires a copy of your official standardized test score. You can take and submit your score from either the ACT or the SAT.
Heritage Christian University also asks for an official high school transcript. This should show the date that you graduated or the estimated date of your graduation. You must also submit three letters of recommendation that come from adults. The university will not accept letters from family members and recommends selecting those you worked for or elders in your church. All prospective students must also sign a document that gives the university the right to do a background check. Heritage Christian University will only accept students who successfully pass a background check.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Heritage Christian University charges around $4,480 per semester for full-time students. If you take at least 12 credits of classes in a single semester, you qualify as a full-time student. The university also charges registration fees that add more than $400 to the total you pay every semester. Textbooks and other supplies will add around $500 to your costs. Those who decide to live on the university campus pay around $2,200 for room and board. This includes a housing fee that reserves your room for the coming year and covers all the maintenance done on the dorm.
The deadline for those applying for scholarships is June 15 for the fall semester and November 8 for the spring semester. The university offers 10 scholarships, including those for recent high school graduates and those designed for students who are active in their churches. You can also get grants from the state government or federal government and take out loans. Some loans are only available for the parents of enrolled students, and alternative loans are available for both students and their parents. Heritage Christian University also participates in the federal work study program, which allows you to work for a campus department and earn regular paychecks during the school year.
B.A. in Biblical Studies
To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, you must agree to complete at least 128 credits of classes. The general education core that all students take includes 36 credits and features courses like English composition, world literature, psychology, physical science and survey of mathematics. Heritage Christian University also requires that all students take a personal finance class that teaches them how to better manage their finances and budget for expenses, which gives them practical skills they can use after graduation.
You will also take 45 credits of biblical and theological courses like biblical interpretation, introduction to christian theology and current religious teachings. This program includes 27 credits of professional studies courses and eight credits of field education classes. Church history, fundamentals of counseling, ministry in the local church and other professional studies courses teach you how to answer the questions that your parishioners might have and how to best work with those followers. The field education classes that you take include missionary trips that let you give back to others.
Concentrations available in this program include preaching ministry and family life ministry. You'll take four extra classes based on the type of work you want to do after graduation. Some of these classes include preaching scripture, marriage and the home, advanced preaching and human development. Heritage Christian University also lets students take 12 credits of electives in lieu of selecting one of these concentrations.