It is important to us that our certificate students hear objections in the form they are offered by opponents to Christianity.
La Crosse, W (PRWEB) September 10, 2012
The Executive Director of Athanatos Christian Ministries, Anthony Horvath, announced today that their apologetics certificate program has been revamped for the 2012-2013 academic year. 'Christian Apologetics' refers to the defense of the Christian faith. ACM's apologetics certificate program is geared towards those who wish to make that defense with greater effectiveness.
Previously, the certificate was organized around a series of 4-6 week modules covering topics such as the resurrection of Jesus, Biblical Greek, and New Testament studies. These courses will still be available, though with some important changes, such as being offered year-round. Now, the certificate program is organized around a series of books that have had a significant impact on Christian thought for over two thousand years; longer if you count the Bible, which is listed as one of the books.
Horvath says, "We selected books with some basic principles in mind. One of them was that the book was not just a re-hash of a bunch of other books. Books like that are often excellent, and we even have some of them listed within the course modules, but we wanted the book to be monumental in itself--something that was influential or provocative enough that other writers responded to it, rather than the other way around."
The ten modules are expected to take students one to three years to finish. Each module requires a written analysis, the reading of a selection of supporting works, a presentation and discussion to non-Christians, and regular discourse with module facilitators. Finally, an important assertion from their paper is defended before a panel of fellow students, course facilitators, and academy staff.
Contrary to what one may expect, the books selected as primary or secondary works are not all written by Christians or even favorable to Christianity. One of the books can only be described as representing sheer hostility to Christianity: Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion." Other books include those by Bertrand Russell, Antony Flew (before he converted to deism), and David Hume.
"It is important to us that our certificate students hear objections in the form they are offered by opponents to Christianity. For example, rather than read a book where Hume is restated and rebutted, we have the students read Hume himself, in his own words. There are reasons why these works shaped Christian thought, and good Christian apologists should have some sense of those reasons," Horvath, a long time Christian apologist himself, said.
One other important change in the certificate program is that it is no longer 'hitched' to the academic calendar. Students will be able to start and end a module any time throughout the year. This is expected to offer a level of flexibility that the academy was not able to have before.
The academy's courses are held entirely online, which allows students from around the world to participate. In fact, while most participants are from the United States, a sizable number have come from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Australia, to name a few other places they've lived.
The books that serve as the backbone to their new apologetics certificate as of September, 2012, are the Bible, "Ecclesiastical History" by Eusebius, "The Quest of the Historical Jesus" by Albert Schweitzer, "The Golden Bough" by James George Frazer, "The Canon of the New Testament" by Bruce Metzger, "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis, "Natural Theology" by William Paley, "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" by David Hume, and "The Kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin.
Horvath indicates that they are accepting certificate candidates effective immediately. "Prospective students should check out our website at academyofapologetics.com and contact me directly. This academy is our way of serving the Church, and we are looking forward to the opportunity.