Saturday, June 26, 2010

Biola Distance Learning Certificate in Apologetics: Review 1 of 3

This is part one of a three part series (part 2, part 3) of reviews of the content of Biola University’s Distance Learning Certificate Program in Apologetics. The goal of today’s review is to allow others to see “what’s in the box” when they order the distance learning materials. Later reviews will deal with the content of program and the overall impression of the course work. Photos can be clicked for enlargement.

The program and its course materials comes in three modules. If ordering the distance learning materials, one Defending the Faith Lecture Series will come in its own module box along with a packet of course materials. The quick reference guide that comes with Module 1 tells you what you need to do to get a certificate in Christian apologetics:

  1. Listen to the lectures
  2. Take notes and study the outlines provided
  3. Complete and return the Certificate Quiz, then complete the other two required modules in the same way.

Each module (as can be seen from the photos) comes with a stack of audio resources on CD. Each album contains two CDs. That is a total of 16 CDs of content from a lot of good apologists. Each module also contents detailed notes of each lecture for you to study and follow along with.

Also included in Module 1 are instructions on how to convert your work into actual M.A. credit. This would include additional textbooks and reading. This may be  useful if you are considering Biola’s Masters program in Apologetics, but you just want to try it out a bit before going all the way.

First Impressions
When the box arrived it was a lot bigger than I expected. The first impression was, “wow – that’s a lot of material!” And that is a good thing. Everything was packed in bubble wrap and was clean and in order. No damaged boxes or slipshod packaging. Also a good thing. The calibre of the speakers was appealing as well. Most of them are very well known apologists – but I was excited to hear their “definitive” lectures on these topics presented for the Biola program. The fact that this course work is applicable to potential M.A. credit was notable as well. In sum, I was quite impressed with the materials that arrived, their quality, and presentation. I look forward to getting into it.

Summary of Audio Content
Module 1
The Case for Faith: A Personal Exploration by Lee Strobel
The Absurdity of Life without God by William Lane Craig
Arguments for the Existence of God by J.P. Moreland
Solving the Problem of Evil by Garrett J. DeWeese
Defending the Gospel Accounts of Jesus by Joe Hellerman
Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ by Craig J. Hazen
Christianity and the Problem of Popular Culture by John Mark Reynolds
Responding to Relativism by Greg Koukl

Module 2
Christianity and the Nature of Science by J.P. Moreland
The Historical Jesus by Gary Habermas
Contending for the Christian Worldview by John Mark Reynolds
Reading Scripture with All Your Mind by Walt Russell
Responding to the Cults by Kevin Lewis
What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel? by Greg Koukl
Christianity Among the World Religions by Craig J. Hazen
Miracles and the Modern Mind by Doug Geivett

Module 3
In Defense of the Soul by J.P. Moreland
The Case for Moral Absolutes by Francis Beckwith
Answers to Bioethical Challenges by Scott Rae
Darwinism in Crisis by Philip Johnson, Paul Nelson, John Mark Reynolds, J.P. Moreland
Key Issues in New Testament Textual Criticism by David Allen Black
Jesus: The Smartest Man who Ever Lived? by Dallas Willard
Successful Tactics in Defense of the Faith by Greg Koukl
Apologetics and the Spiritual Life by John Coe

Overall, this looks like a great course, as I have heard from many. If you have any questions about any of the materials or content, feel free to ask. This can serve others by helping them make wise informed decisions as well.

Biola has given Apologetics 315 readers a discount. Normally the materials for one module are $95. But you can get them at THIS LINK for only $75. 

For more about Biola’s M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics, click here. Info on their Certificate Program can be found here.

The next review will cover the content of the modules themselves. Part 2 here.


  1. 1peter315 June 26, 2010

    I am doing this right now. I am just finishing module 1. I decided not to do the MA route as I am also doing doctoral studies. Still, it is a good introduction to apologetics. Not too deep to beyond beginners but also good for people who have specialized in one area but need a wider look at apologetics in general. So far, I am enjoying it.

  2. J. K. Jones June 26, 2010

    I hold the distance certificate.

    This is a program well worth taking. It has been of great help to me.

  3. Darren Webb June 26, 2010

    The discount link isn't working when you click on it. Just wanted to let you know!

  4. Brian June 26, 2010

    I will ask Biola to fix that. Now if gmail would actually work today!

  5. pds June 26, 2010

    Thanks for doing this review Brian, it will be a great help to many of us who are interested in doing some sort of certificated program.

  6. Eldnar June 26, 2010

    Brain, thanks for the discount! I started this program back when you first interviewed Craig Hazen. I must say, this program is incredible. I'm currently half way through the second module. I have elected to pursue the M.A. credit.
    I'm interested to hear your thoughts after you have listened to the lectures by John Mark Reynolds. I thought they have been absolutely stellar and are a surprise series highlight. I suspect his honest, accurate pull no punches approach may be difficult for many to swallow, but we need to take heed to what he's saying, they are a real wake up call. You definitely need to add him to your list of apologist interviews.

  7. Brian June 26, 2010

    Okay, that link is fixed now. Go for it.

  8. Matthew June 27, 2010

    This question is somewhat related to this topic, so excuse me for veering off course a little. What do you all think about the Ph.d program in Apologetics and Worldview at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary? Do you think it would be worth the cost?

  9. Cory June 27, 2010

    I'm confused. The provided link ( that each lecture series costs $185, not $95. Does the special link save $20 per series or $110 per series?

  10. Brian June 27, 2010

    That other price you see is not the distance learning one. On that same Biola page on the left menu there are two versions of the certificate: the distance option or the campus option. So the special link provided will save you 20 dollars off the materials for the distance learning certificate.

  11. <-BYang-> June 29, 2010

    Is this just a temporary price discount? If so, how long will it last?

  12. Brian June 29, 2010

    The discount will last for one month from the date of this blog post.

  13. Ryan August 21, 2010

    The discount was still available as of 8/13/2010. The program is excellent so far!

  14. Billy November 18, 2010

    I just ordered this today (11/18/10) so they are still giving a discount. Looking forward to starting the material. Will be doing the Certificate Program.

  15. Stormbringer July 2, 2011

    Do they slam young earth Creationists? I have heard apologists go out of their way to do just that, including selective citing and misrepresentation.

  16. Brian Auten July 2, 2011

    I have heard no emphasis on disputing the age of the earth one way or another. And I haven't heard any "slamming" going on.

  17. Piltdown Superman July 2, 2011

    Thanks for the info. Naturally, I should expect such high standards from Biola, but then, I was rudely surprised by those other apologists, so it doesn't hurt to check.

  18. Jason Schaitel August 18, 2012

    There is a group of us taking the course, some for the certificate and some just auditing the lectures.

    I wanted to report that as of August 2012 Biola will still give the discount for Apologetics 315 readers. I was able to get all three modules for $75 each + $5 for shipping per module.

  19. Apologies0 December 9, 2012


    It worked in August 2012?
    Which link did you click?
    It's december 2012 here and the link doesn't seem to work.


  20. Robert Figueroa November 4, 2013

    Do you recommend taking notes of the audio's or listening and memorizing the outline? It seems a bit repetitive but I guess that's the way we will learn. The Note's that I would take are essentially what's on the outline.

    Any comments would be appreciated on How you are studying and preparing for the quiz. I just started listening today!!

  21. BrokenButNotDead November 26, 2014

    I don't like how many of the questions are structured. Especially the questions pertaining to the Lee Strobel lecture. Some of the answers have two lines on the sheet, when only one should be given (which causes confusion). And some of the answers have more than one word to answer, but the sheet puts one line, which gives the impression that there is only a one word answer, when there can actually be two. In the quiz about William Craig's lecture, it says that in atheism, there is no difference between Hitler and (blank). Hitler was nowhere mentioned in the lecture, to say nothing about the (blank). The only reason I knew the answer, is because of a Youtube debate I once heard with Craig where he actually did mention the Hitler analogy.

  22. Victor Zaldana February 24, 2015

    I´m thinking about starting this course in this year, but I really would like to get the full M.A degree in distance learning, is that possible? what is the proccess to convert the certificate into an M.A degree?

  23. Victor Zaldana March 2, 2015

    I´m thinking about starting this course in this year, but I really would like to get the full M.A degree in distance learning, is that possible? what is the proccess to convert the certificate into an M.A degree?

  24. Victor Zaldana March 2, 2015

    I´m thinking about starting this course in this year, but I really would like to get the full M.A degree in distance learning, is that possible? what is the proccess to convert the certificate into an M.A degree?

  25. Victor Zaldana March 2, 2015

    I´m thinking about starting this course in this year, but I really would like to get the full M.A degree in distance learning, is that possible? what is the proccess to convert the certificate into an M.A degree?

  26. Alex July 8, 2016

    I guess they want $125 per module now, and everything is electronic :(. More money for less now.

  27. Unknown July 28, 2016

    The CDs are still available in limited quantity. I have been thinking about doing this program for YEARS now (probably since 2010) but have always made excuses not to. However, since they've moved to the electronic mode and I REALLY wanted the CDs, I bit the bullet and enrolled so that I could get some of the last coveted discs. The price has gone up, but I was still able to get a discount. I paid $250 for all three modules (as opposed to the $225 original discount, which isn't bad) + $15 for shipping for all three ($5 each). The price really hasn't gone up at all, they've just decided to include the grading fees in the initial charge now instead of later. It's a great deal and I'm looking forward to listening to the lectures!! If anyone is interested in the CDs I suggest you move on it before they're all gone.

  28. Alex October 12, 2016

    How are you guys getting it for so cheap? They want $350 for all three modules.

    Also, would you prefer the online version or physical cd's and packets?