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Earning Your Degree

In the secular field there is a lot of difference between a lawyer, a butcher, a banker, and a dentist. But in the realm of ministry what is the difference between Divinity, Theology, Ministry, Pastoral Counseling, etc.?

Actually, they overlap, for the Bible is the primary and essential textbook for them all.

We offer a total of over 20 different areas of study, which is comparable to many schools much larger than us. We continually work on developing more all the time. Presently we offer:

5 Diplomas
2 Associates
5 Bachelors
6 Masters
5 Earned Doctors Degrees
5 Honorary Dr. Degrees


The True Hope Bible Institute offers five degree levels: Diploma, Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate.

Full Degrees are progressive. One level is built on the preceding one beginning with the Bachelor Degree, each level representing a higher work effort, and the equivalent of another year of study.

DIPLOMA -- The diploma represents an individual achievement showing one's commitment to gain a greater level of understanding in a field of study. Some schools have just a “Certificate” where we have a Diploma.

ASSOCIATE* -- Associate Degree of Christian Studies is the first level of “degree” a student may earn and is offered for those who desire to accomplish more involved studies but may not be able to commit to the effort of gaining a Bachelor Degree.

NOTE:  The THBI Associate Degree is primarily offered as study courses to individuals with no prior ministry studies and who are seeking to fulfill the requirements of ministry license with True Hope Churches & Ministries.

BACHELOR -- (120-128 credits minimum) Most secular colleges will require being a full time student for four years to attain this level of study.

MASTER -- (Bachelor Degree plus an additional 60 credits minimum) these credits are earned in addition to the Bachelor degree, indicating that you have “mastered a subject.”

DOCTOR -- (Master’s degree plus an additional 60 credits minimum) this educational title is awarded for the completion of advanced study and is the highest degree there is. It is the ultimate in the educational world, and has been a title of respect for learned persons since Biblical times, Luke 6:46. It is traditionally held that it takes a doctor to confer a Doctor’s degree upon someone else.

It is important to note that the degrees offered by True Hope Bible Institute are not the same as those you would earn at a secular, academic or liberal arts school. Click here to compare the differences.

True Hope Bible Institute courses are strictly Christian and Bible specific studies that do not include “academic” curriculum such as “English”, “Science”, and “Mathematics” etc.

It is because of this that our students are able to earn our degrees in a shorter time frame than a typical secular college.

Therefore, although our degrees may be recognized by Christian Churches they may not necessarily be recognized or accepted in secular professional settings.


In keeping with the THBI objective of your edification, that is, comprehending spiritual principles in such a way that you are able to correctly apply those principles in life AND to impart that understanding into others (teach); the higher the degree pursued, the greater the demand to show that understanding will be placed on that student.

Remember: We are not merely trying to make it possible for you to “cram for the exam” - - or to merely pass the course exams for a grade, but to help you gain understanding for living in fellowship with God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) as your personal reality AND as a foundation for your ministry to others.

THUS as the student progresses into their degree studies, especially progressing into graduate and doctoral degrees, the course work and exams will necessarily go beyond the simpler expectations of Bachelor or lower .

Students for a Masters or Doctoral degree will be faced with test questions which require answers that illustrate their understanding; answers that are explanatory or essay in addition to the simple True/False or multiple-choice that you can find by reviewing study guides.

  • NOTICE: A minimum passing grade of 70% must be attained on each course test. Grades are NOT averaged, so to fail one test will require the re-taking of that test in order to earn your degree. 


A degree is an academic title conferred by an institution of higher learning showing that a person has satisfactorily completed a particular program of study. The certificate is the actual document itself.

Or to say this another way:  A degree is not something you earn but a level of undersanding and ability that you attain.  When you enroll for a certain "degree", it is not for the certificate but for your own development of ability which is meant to benefit others!

All True Hope Bible Institute degrees are religious in nature rather than secular academics. Because these are Biblical fields of study overlap they are sometimes thought of inter-exchangeable. Therefore, the following is not an exhaustive list but the foundation or basic representation of degree titles that are offered.


BIBLICAL SUBJECTS -- the study of major Scriptural themes and the main topics of the Sacred Scriptures. Courses dealing with various doctrines of the Word of God; that which is devoted to the fundamental beliefs of the Holy Bible.

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION -- general instructions in Christianity and the study of the doctrines of Christ. Training in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the development of Christian Character.

MINISTRY-- pertaining to the work of the Lord and service for God. This is training in the performance of office of clergy; rendering help to people and caring for the saints. Degrees may be titled “Christian Ministry”; “Pastoral Ministry”; etc.

DIVINITY-- the study of the one and only Deity. Having to do with the supreme, infinite and eternal qualities of the Almighty; pertaining to the Divine Godhead or Holy Trinity. That which is inspired by God.

THEOLOGY-- the study of God and the expounding of Christology; Courses dealing with the relationship between God and the universe and man; the cultivation of the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
Since our courses are rather general, we may accommodate our students by granting their preference to receive their diploma, associate, bachelor, masters, or doctor’s degree in Biblical subjects, Christian Education, Divinity, Ministry, or Theology, etc. because as stated above, these terms blend and overlapped in most creeds, books, and schools.

  • NOTE: Since our courses are "Bible specific", we do not offer degrees above the level of Associates in specialized fields of ministry such as Biblical Counseling. Counseling requires the advanced studies in technique and legal considerations that T.H.B.I. does not teach. There are several good resources for Biblical Counseling Training available and if you are called into this field we will be glad to assist you in connecting with an excellent organization for Biblical Counseling training. 

NOTICE: A minimum passing grade of 70% must be attained on each course test. Grades are NOT averaged, so to fail one test will require the re-taking of that test in order to earn your degree.


NOTE: Study credits are awarded only upon completion of course work and passing each course exam with a minimum of 70% correct answers.

Study credits are based on the anticipated minimum amount of study time (equivalent to class time) required to complete the study.

1 unit of Credit = 1 Study Hour; 5 units = 5 study hours 

The following represents the minimum equivalent study credits for each degree earned:

 Diploma =  No Credits Awarded
 Associates Degree  90 Credits
 Bachelor's Degree 120 Credits 
 Masters Degree 180 Credits (Total) 
 Doctoral Degree 240 Credits (Total) 

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