Mature Student Status and Certificate Tracks

This article was written by MJTI Academic Dean Rabbi Vered Hillel.

As many of you know, I began my graduate work after my children had grown and begun building families of their own. Over a fifteen year period, I completed a BA in Bible and Theology, a MA in New Testament and the Backgrounds to Christianity, and a MA and PhD in 2nd Temple period Literature. All of this study showed me what I didn’t know. So in my “golden years,” as they say in Israel, I completed the Master of Jewish Studies at MJTI and then completed the Master of Rabbinic Studies, which led to my smicha (ordination) in May 2018 from the MJRC as a Rabbi in Israel. My husband likes to say that I have more degrees than a thermometer. It is true, I am what they call an eternal student, but I have no plans to tackle another degree. Instead, I want to continue studying and learning in a less formal environment and with less time commitment than a degree requires.

I share this about me to encourage those of you who want to study but have obstacles blocking your path. Some of you are “mature adults” who don’t have a bachelor’s degree and others are not able or do not want the commitment necessary to complete a Master degree. MJTI has been working on overcoming these obstacles in order to provide you the opportunity to study in our Jewish Studies program. Beginning in the Fall of 2019 MJTI will begin offering Certificate Tracks and Mature Status Student entrance qualification.

Certificate Tracks are designed for students with or without a bachelor’s degree who desire to study Bible, Messianic Jewish theology and related subjects at a graduate level in small increments. Each Certificate is a unit consisting of three classes with one tuition cost for the certificate unit. Various certificates, related to specific fields of concentration, will be offered each year, e.g., Biblical Hebrew, Messianic Jewish Studies, Rabbinic Literature. Each certificate track is designed to be completed in one year. However, a student may choose to complete the individual classes in a certificate within a four-year period with no penalties. The cost of each certificate track is $2,000 for the unit of three classes, which can be paid in multiple payments.
The foundational certificate “Introduction to Messianic Jewish Studies” (IMJS) will be offered in the 2019-2020 school year. The IMJS certificate includes the following courses: Tanakh: the Beginning of the Jewish People; Apostolic Writings (New Testament): the Early Messianic Jewish Community; and the Shape of Messianic Jewish Theology.

For all who are interested in the IMJS certificate, or even for becoming a matriculated student in MJTI’s Master of Jewish Studies degree but are not qualified to study at a graduate level because you do not have a bachelor’s degree, don’t despair. The new Mature Status Student admission allows you to begin studying with MJTI. Mature status is intended for those students who are at least 30-years-old with substantial biblical background and studies, and preferably involved in the Messianic Jewish community, but do not have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree. Mature status students may apply to the Master of Jewish Studies degree or to one of the Certificate tracks but must successfully complete the IMJS certificate before moving on to their desired program.

Now you have heard a little of my story, and the steps MJTI has taken to make it possible for you to overcome some of the obstacles that are keeping you from studying at MJTI. Have a look at the Certificate Tracks and the Mature Status Student admission in the new catalog and submit your application to study at MJTI.

This post was written by Academic Dean Dr. Vered Hillel. For more by Rabbi Hillel, read her analysis of the divine name “Adonai Echad,” hear a good news flash, or revisit her ordination and leave a mazel tov in the comments!

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