By Norm Miller
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) – Truett-McConnell College unlocks yet another educational door with the addition of a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree.
Approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, TMC's new degree makes more missions, concentrations, and degrees possible: one in general biology, seven Bachelor of Science in pre-health concentrations, and seven Bachelor of Arts in pre-health/missions interdisciplinary degrees.
TMC faculty also recently added to the college's interdisciplinary offerings a Psychology in Missions degree.
"The student who earns the Psychology in Missions degree can be salt and light to the nations," said Harvard graduate Holly Haynes, who is TMC's associate professor of Behavioral Sciences.
"Through personal interaction with the residents of an orphanage, group home, teen pregnancy center or drug and alcohol abuse rehab facility, graduates with this degree can exemplify the New Testament model of a tentmaker, providing a service to people from the foundation of Jesus Christ."
"The Bachelor of Science in Biology degree also will give our students the foundational instruction necessary to be trained as doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, optometrists, physical therapists and veterinarians," TMC President Emir Caner said.
"Combined with our required minor in Great Commission Studies, we can raise up a generation of Christ followers who fulfill the two greatest commandments: to love the Lord with all of your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
This generation of students who will graduate from TMC can now fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment all in one degree," Caner added.
"I'm absolutely thrilled about the pre-health degrees," said TMC's World Missions Center Director Ed Pruitt. "I'm even more elated that seven of them are interdisciplinary, missions degrees." Pruitt is also associate professor of Christian Studies and missions division chair.
"By combining our missions degree with a pre-health degree, students who are called by God to missions anywhere in the world can answer that call both spiritually and vocationally," Pruitt said.
"The addition of the biology degree significantly enhances the application of our tent-making missiology and ministry philosophy," Caner said, referring to the Apostle Paul, who, according to Scripture, was primarily a self-supporting church planter and missionary.
Caner told TMCNews his desire is to train students for a professional vocation while preparing them for whatever field of ministry God has called them.
"Students so equipped and called can walk through numerous occupational doors around the world and take the gospel and ministry of Jesus Christ with them as they go -- whether in North America or North Africa," he said.
Vice President for Academic Services Brad Reynolds said the new degree "bodes well for the future of Truett-McConnell as a pacesetter among evangelical and Southern Baptist institutions of higher learning. We are anticipating the form of missions in the far-term, and are preparing our students in the near-term.
"When one considers both the national and global economies, and the number of countries hostile or even closed to overt Christian ministry, then Truett-McConnell's tent making missiology is more than mere curricula, it's visionary," Reynolds said.
"To my knowledge there are only about a half-dozen schools in the world where one can receive an accredited college degree in the sciences taught from a young-age creationist perspective," said Harvard graduate Kurt P. Wise, who is professor of biology and division chair.
"Truett-McConnell College is unique in that we are equipped to offer students academic and missions opportunities through our BA in interdisciplinary studies," Reynolds added. "We're not simply following the trend, we're setting it. And our record-breaking influx of new students for two years running seems to be the proof of that."
Norm Miller is director of communications at Truett-McConnell College, which is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.