Why did JCSTS switch to a competency-based model?
JCSTS discontinued its Master of Divinity degree in favor of a competency-based model for a number of compelling reasons:
There currently are more Master of Divinity degree programs in the United States than there are people to enroll in them. It did make economic sense for JCSTS to continue offering a program for which there is decreasing demand.
Many people today embark on a career in Christian ministry, only to find out they are not adequately prepared for the challenges they face. Competency-based education is a readily available means for clergy and laypeople to acquire practical skills necessary for effective ministry in today's world.
The cost of higher education today (including theological education) is high, so high that many people are opting out of it. Competency-based education is affordable and therefore accessible to people who otherwise would opt not to enroll.
Today's Internet makes it possible to deliver high quality education of the caliber that previously could only be achieved in the classroom--at a fraction of the cost.