DALLAS–Criswell College’s new Bachelor of Science in Education degree was approved by the Texas Education Agency State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) this summer and more recently by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The 129-hour program is one of only two education degrees accredited by SBEC in 2016, and the only traditional program approved.
Created to train students who desire to teach early childhood through 6th grade in both public and private schools, the inaugural program is unique in its requirement that each student take 42 hours of Theology and Biblical Studies in order to earn their degree.
Although Criswell has long been known as a school that prepares men and women for vocational ministry, the addition of the Education degree is in line with W.A. Criswell’s original vision to provide a biblical education for laypeople who would work outside the church.
Dr. Vickie Brown came to Criswell in 2015 to develop and direct the Education program, and she presented the proposal and supporting documentation to SBEC in June. The program was approved unanimously.
According to Brown, the program is designed to create virtuous teachers who are capable of bringing wisdom and excellence into the classroom, with the long-term goal of engaging young minds and transforming the culture of the education system.
“Teachers are stealth missionaries,” Brown said. “We get to be sent out into our mission field: the American school system.”
According to Vice President for Academic Affairs Joe Wooddell, students have already begun signing up for Fall classes. Wooddell expressed excitement over the program and the way it fits into Criswell’s overall mission.
“Criswell College is distinct in its approach to higher education, and so will always have a disproportionate effect for the cause of Christ,” Wooddell said. “We desire to engage students’ minds and transform the culture in ways that demonstrate deep love for God and for our neighbors.”
Brown hopes that exposing students to these classes will help clear up misconceptions about having an active life of faith within the sphere of public education.
“Training future leaders is at the core of the mission and vision of Criswell College,” she said. “We believe that infusing the lives of our pre-service teachers with a foundation of truth, through a biblical core, produces individuals with the character and virtue that is an essential requirement for anyone who desires to teach the future generation.”
Students who graduate from the program will be certified to teach Kindergarten through 6th grade at both public and private schools in Texas.
Fall classes at Criswell College begin August 15th.