TTP - FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
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» What is The Theology Program (TTP)?
The Theology Program is a program devloped for teaching everyday people how to 'think theologically' for themselves and to provide a solid understanding of theology without going to seminary. It is based upon the Reformation principle that the study of the Bible is a right and privilege for everyone, not just pastors and professional theologians.
Go to TTP Overview to learn more.
First and foremost, TTP seeks to reach all people, no matter what their background, with the truth of God's word. We seek to encourage everyone to use their minds in their endeavor to find and love God. We do not have any denominational affiliation. We are evangelical and the materials (PowerPoint and Student Notes) are evangelical "on the last notch of the belt." This is not to say that the materials are without strong evangelical convictions and persuasions, but that when the material of TTP was created we created it so it could be used by all Christians, representing all traditions accurately. Each church, pastor, teacher, or small group leader can use the TTP materials with great confidence that it will accurately represent their particular persuasion in doctrinal issues. We are committed to the Lordship of Christ, the inspiration of the Scriptures, and need to live a life in view of the coming kingdom.
The Theology Program can be started in different ways depending on where you are in your spiritual life, education, and walk with God. We believe that theology should be learned in community as it is a core premise of this program. In light of this, we suggest you get with a small group and do TTP together. However, you may want to explore this program on your own or you may be in a personal situation where doing it alone is about your only option. God will honor your desire to know Him better in any case and we encourage you to just get started somehow.
Here are some suggestions in taking TTP first steps:
- Go to the TTP Homepage and get an overview of the program and follow the different links to gain a better understanding of the program and the various resources
- ALWAYS start with the Introduction to Theology course before advancing to any of the other courses. It is foundational to all the others and helps you understand the unique way TTP teaches theology.
- Individuals: Start using the TTP resources and materials available online at bible.org beginning with the Introduction To Theology course. Also, learn more about Individual Resources.
- Small Groups: Form a small group of like-minded people interested in learning more about theology. Set up a 2 hour time each week to meet to study together. Also, learn more about TTP Small Groups by downloading this TTP Small Group Resource.
The Theology Program (TTP) is available for FREE use on the internet at bible.org with access to various course materials including the video teaching sessions for each class and corresponding student notes. Although TTP courses can be viewed online for free, it is highly recommended to start a TTP class in your church or small group because theology is learned better in a community than by yourself.
The full course materials for the Introduction to Theology course are available for FREE online without any registration or other requirements. This includes the teaching video for streaming viewing, and full access (including downloads) for the student notes, PowerPoint presentations including teaching notes, and vocabulary quizzes.
The other TTP courses require a simple registration process for FREE access to the video and student notes in the online course classrooms. This lets us know who our users are and how we can serve them better by providing a two-way dialog. The PowerPoint with teacher's notes to the other courses are available in the TTP online store.
The graded online certificate program costs $100 per course. In this program you will be assigned to a class of other students taking the same course. You will also be placed with a seminary trained instructor who will mark your assignments, lead Paltalk session, and guide you ever step of the way.
Yes. Although the student materials can be viewed for free online, the teaching DVDs, printed Student Notes, Leader's Guide with PowerPoint slides and embedded teacher's notes, text books, etc. can be purchased from bible.org online at the TTP Online Store.
There are kits available for sale for individuals, small groups and larger church groups. These make it simple to order the right materials and to enjoy some price discounts as well.
The Theology Program is not currently accredited for college or seminary purposes. TTP is designed specifically for laypeople and is not meant to be a replacement for a Bible college or seminary education.
We are in the process of establishing a TTP accreditation program with ACSI and hope to have that in place by the end of the year. But again, it will only be for lay purposes with CEU credits versus college credits. More information will be available later this year.
There are 6 TTP courses planned all together with each course having 10 classes each. Learn more at TTP Courses.
» How long is each lesson taught by way of TTP video?
Each class is approximately 1 hour & 15 minutes +/- a few minutes. Each class includes a guided discussion and answer session (questions are located in the Student Notebooks) that is designed to complement the video teaching sessions. Plan for each class to be 2 hours to include the video teaching and the follow up question and answer session.
The Theology Program is taught by two pastors, Michael Patton and Rhome Dyck, who both hold seminary degrees. They both are currently serving on the pastoral staff at Stonebriar Community Church where Chuck Swindoll is the Senior Pastor and where The Theology Program is being taught in person on a regular schedule each year.
The recommended way to teach TTP for yourself personally, for your small group, or at your church is to use the purchased resources (DVDs, Student Notebooks, Leader's Guides, etc.) and allow Michael and Rhome to do the primary TTP teaching in your local setting. A person who has already completed TTP training or maybe a qualified teacher (pastor, elder, seminary graduate, experienced Bible teacher, etc.) could provide class support as a facilitator or moderator. They could lead the group discussion designed as a part of TTP curriculum each class session.
The Theology Program (TTP) is designed for a typical church layperson, meaning people from all walks of life with little or no education beyond high school. People who have already successfully completed the full TTP training include high school students (ages 16 and up), to senior adults and everyone in between.
The primary requirement is to have a strong desire to know God better and the discipline to diligently attend the training classes and do the assignments for maximum benefit and edification. The course is designed for fathers, mothers, workers, pastors, elders, church teachers, home-schoolers, skeptics and all lovers of God.
The Theology Program is taught by two pastors, Michael Patton and Rhome Dyck, who both hold seminary degrees. They both are currently serving on the pastoral staff at Stonebriar Community Church where Chuck Swindoll is the Sr. Pastor and where The Theology Program is being taught in person on a regular schedule each year.
» Can I take TTP courses online?
The Theology Program (TTP) is primarily designed to be taught in a church group or small group (like a home study group) setting. However, there has been a significant interest shown in an online type setting from many of our users.
We are currently offering graded online certificate courses. We will eventually offer all the courses online each year.
The Theology Program (TTP) has its own TTP Forum at bible.org where you can join with other TTP users and discuss relevant topics pertaining to The Theology Program. Also, broad issues related to theology are discussed there and you should find this to be a valuable resource as you consider theological issues.
When The Theology Program began we wanted to meet what we felt was a need within the church that was not met anywhere else. There are many good Bible programs available that cover individual books of the Bible, like Precepts and Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), but there seems to be a great lack of theological training.
Most people in the church have lost the ability to think theologically even when it comes to reading Scripture. People who have been in Bible studies all their lives do not know the orthodox definition of the Trinity, do not know about the union of the two natures of Christ, and do not appreciate the rich history in which our theology developed. In short, many people know what they believe, but do not know why they believe it. The only readily available option for people to study theology in such a way has been to go to seminary. The Theology Program (TTP) endeavors to meet this great need.
» What happened to the Apologetics course that was to be offered?
When we first began TTP in 2002, we made a basic outline of what classes would be offered based upon our goal of being comprehensive. At this time, there were some apologetic issues that we wanted to cover and we were not sure if we would be able to get to them in the other courses. As it turned out, when we completed the program, we had covered the majority of the apologetic issues within the six courses available. Therefore, we depleted the content and need for a separate apologetics course. Having done this, we wanted to express that TTP is an apologetic program as apologetics is practically inseparable from doing theology in our current postmodern context. This is similar to our original intent with the history of doctrine. We originally had a separate course in the history of doctrine planned, but as we continued through the courses we came to the conviction that we could not cover systematic theology and do justice to it without covering it historically as well. Therefore, all the classes have the history of doctrine integrated in them.
In short, The Theology Program is a systematic, historic, and apologetic theology program.
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