I often get asked about where someone should go to get apologetics training. There are many options and thankfully the list is getting longer. But the first thing I ask before giving an answer is about the purpose for the studies.
What do you want to do with your degree? Are you seeking a theological education for ordination within a denomination? Are you hoping to receive the credentials required to teach in a university or seminary? Are you just interested in learning and equipping yourself to defend your faith and interact with others? The answer to this question will help determine the answer.
If you are seeking ordination, you need to check with your denomination about what the educational requirements are. If you want to teach, you need to get certain degrees by recognized and accredited schools. But if you are planning on using your education without changing your career, the options become much wider. There are many distance education options available. Unfortunately, many are “degree mills” that will basically give you a degree for paying a certain fee. That is a waste of your time and money.
One school that has risen to the top of the distance education list is Columbia Evangelical Seminary. Let me be clear, I have no connection with CES. I am neither a former nor current student. I am not a teacher with the school. But I have talked with students and have read of people’s experiences and CES has a very good reputation. You must be aware that CES is not accredited and therefore there are no guarantees that their degrees will be recognized for ordination, teaching or as a step toward a higher degree (although a number of schools do recognize their degrees). But if you are interested in apologetics, have a desire to work and are willing to make the most of an educational opportunity, you may be able to use CES to further your apologetics goals. An added bonus is that CES has a tuition a fraction of many other schools. CES was placed within the top ten schools offering apologetics programs. CES will not lead to a position of professor of philosophy at Oxford or Yale, but it very well might raise your apologetics knowledge considerably, making you more effective in ministry.