Editor’s note: AiG and ICR, the two largest creation groups in the world, have an important working relationship. AiG is thrilled to be able to promote a new ICR online program of study in the hope that more educators will use this master’s degree program to be trained to mold the next generation in a biblical creationist worldview.
Last month, a unique online master’s degree in science education—with a creationist emphasis—had its debut. The program—offered by one of the world’s oldest and most-respected creation groups, the Institute for Creation Research—now gives science teachers a new opportunity to learn about the scientific evidence for creation and how to teach those truths, while earning an accredited master’s degree.
Each online course approaches the content the same way ICR’s scientists approach the study of origins: if an idea, scientific or otherwise, is contrary to God’s Word, it is false.
ICR’s online “Master’s Degree Program in Science Education” is unique because it supports the biblical creation model. ICR’s graduate school is the ONLY graduate school with an MS specifically for science teachers that proclaims the standard of the inerrancy of God’s Word and works through scientific creation.
It is ICR’s conviction that if this generation of young people is taught the truth and develops an eagerness for scientifically confirming God’s creation, the next generation of American scientists could see a turnaround in the creation-evolution debate. Teachers, however, must be provided the tools to discern the truth, teach the truth, make science exciting to learn—and also present science as a dynamic profession for Christians.
The online program prepares science teachers to communicate the truths of biblical creation to middle school and high school students, and some college instructors may also find the degree helpful.
Each MS candidate is required to take six science education courses, three science courses and two electives. Applicants must already possess a bachelor’s degree in a field of science or in science education. All 11 courses will be offered online.
Courses are conducted much the same as face-to-face courses at the ICR Graduate School (ICRGS) near San Diego, utilizing textbooks (including the Bible) and journal articles to deliver the content. Online quizzes, class discussions through synchronous and asynchronous environments, written papers, group projects and class presentations facilitate learning and interaction.
The courses are offered in 12-week quarters with four quarters per year. Students who take two courses in the summer and one each of the other three quarters can finish in two years. Individuals move through a sequence of courses that build in knowledge and understanding. This is a nonthesis master’s degree requiring a science education paper and a comprehensive exam at the end of the program.
A vital goal of the program is to bring together science teachers who desire to teach scientific truths about biblical creation. As like-minded teachers from across America work together in their courses to carry out practical assignments that help them teach effectively, a network of creation-minded science teachers becomes a reality. It is hoped that the result could be a renewed synergy and focus for the teaching of creation research.
Sadly, many science teachers who are Christians have not been exposed to the truth! Teachers in some Christian schools have little training in creation research. The secular textbooks they often use are steeped in naturalism; unfortunately, many of these science teachers are ill-prepared to defend creation. In fact, very few Christian colleges teach creation, thus leaving a void in many foundational issues of the Bible.
The courses in the ICRGS online master’s program guide science teachers to the truth by presenting the biblical worldview about science, while they also analyze the premise of different worldviews.
The vision of the late Dr. Henry Morris (father of the modern creation movement, founder of ICR and one of Ken Ham’s heroes of the faith) was to create a graduate school that would “be sound academically, but would not compromise in any degree with evolutionism and humanism” (H. Morris, History of Modern Creationism, p. 311). More recently in Dr. Morris’s working paper ICR’s Raison D’etre (p. 5), he put special emphasis on science education. The advent of the new online program is another vehicle that makes his vision a reality.
As a master’s degree-granting institution, ICRGS received continuing accreditation for the remaining five years of the ten-year cycle by the Accreditation Commission of TRACS in 2004. ICR was also granted approval for a distance-learning program through the internet for their MS degree in Science Education.
The second quarter of distance education courses begins June 12 with courses on Advanced Educational Psychology, Advanced Ecology, Curriculum Design and Advanced Creationism being offered.
Even if you aren’t a potential student for this degree, you could forward this article to a science teacher who might benefit from a unique course of study like this. Also, please pray that the Lord will raise up many teachers to be trained in such a program.
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