Bluefield University in the News


by | Nov 19, 2010

Bluefield College recently signed an articulation agreement with The John Leland Center for Theological Studies that will give students who have an interest in Christian ministry greater access to the theological training they’ll need to fulfill their calling.

A Christ-centered liberal arts college in southwest Virginia and in covenant with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, Bluefield College offers 20 undergraduate degrees accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Among its offerings: Christian studies, a baccalaureate degree program designed to educate and train those called to serve in Christian ministry. Making that particular program available to even more students is one of the reasons why BC leaders say they signed the agreement with the Leland Center.

“The Leland partnership is vital to Bluefield College’s commitment to provide quality theological education throughout the state of Virginia and particularly in the Appalachian region of southwest Virginia,” said BC’s Dr. Robert Shippey, vice president for academic affairs. “Those who are called into some form of professional ministry need to benefit from quality theological education.”

Located in Falls Church, Virginia, and rooted in the Baptist tradition, the Leland Center is also deeply committed to providing quality, affordable, accessible theological education to those wishing to pursue preparation for Christian ministry. While its central mission is to offer graduate degrees in theology, the Center also offers an undergraduate Diploma Program, which consists of 48 baccalaureate credit hours in Biblical and practical ministry studies.

“At Leland, we recognize the advisability and benefits of a well-rounded education,” said Dr. Mark J. Olson, president of the seminary, “and we encourage our Diploma students to continue studies toward a bachelor’s degree.”

But, because the Center’s accrediting body only sanctions graduate courses and to offer baccalaureate degrees through the Diploma Program would require Leland to commit resources to areas not central to it’s mission, the partnership with Bluefield College was necessary. In fact, the pact will allow students to begin their academic preparation with Leland, complete their bachelor’s degree at BC, and then continue with graduate study back at the seminary.

“The Kingdom of Christ deserves informed spiritual leaders,” said Dr. Shippey, “equipped with critical and creative thinking skills to provide relevant and vibrant ministry service in the 21st century. This partnership helps achieve that goal.”

Designed to give Leland Diploma Program graduates greater access to a bachelor of arts degree in Christian studies, the articulation agreement stipulates that baccalaureate degree credits earned by Diploma students at the Leland Center are to be applied toward a bachelor’s degree in BC’s traditional Christian studies program or toward a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership offered through Bluefield’s inSPIRE degree completion program.

And, vice versa, the Leland Center will accept academic credits earned by students in BC’s Christian studies program who wish to enroll in the Diploma Program at Leland. In addition, students who graduate from Bluefield with a baccalaureate degree, regardless of discipline, will be accepted to any of Leland’s graduate programs.

“What Leland or Bluefield might not achieve alone,” Dr. Shippey added, “we have determined to achieve together for the benefit of all Virginia Baptists.”

Bluefield University

[email protected]276.326.4212

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

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  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

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  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

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Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

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  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


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