Logos Bible Software/Knox program now open to women
With great fanfare, Logos Bible Software has started a joint program with the infamously conservative Knox Theological Seminary to offer a special “DMin in Preaching and Teaching.” This is a hybrid program – most of the work is done as distance education, although there are four on-site classes each year. Now here is the kicker – the program offers special discounts on Logos Bible Software (a free copy of Logos’ Portfolio edition, normally priced at $4290 plus $600 worth of student-selectable free additional add-on packages). In fact, to add sweetener, “Logos Bible Software will cover your airfare booking and costs for your first on-site class if you apply before May 30, 2012.”
Further, this is a very weird sort of Doctor of Ministry degree: the very first required course is:
Enriching Preaching through Logos Bible Software (3hrs)
To preach and teach effectively, the pastor must have a foundation of sound exegetical competence upon which to build. This course is a developmental course designed to teach pastors and teachers the latest software tools in exegetical analysis stressing proficiency in skill and efficiency in time. It is designed to show the pastor or teacher how to use Logos Bible Software as a resource for thousands of illustrations and sermon texts to enrich Biblical teaching for maximum effectiveness. The timeless principles of classical rhetoric as first identified by Aristotle, that is, the use of all available means of persuasion, are developed to give structure and force to the message.
But here’s the thing – Knox does not allow women to enroll in its D.Min. programs:
The Doctor of Ministry is a professional program for pastors, missionaries, and others actively engaged in ministry-related fields. Admission to the Doctor of Ministry program is limited to men. This admission policy derives from Knox’s commitment to operate according to the Holy Scriptures and the constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America, namely the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Catechisms, and the Book of Church Order. [Emphasis added]
Now, to be fair, Logos offers academic discounts to a wide variety of institutions (I teach at a secular university and receive a very healthy discount). And to be fair, Logos has gone to a considerable efforts to include material relevant to Jews, Catholics, non-Reformed Christians, and others. But, those academic discounts are merely discounts – they do not make the software free. They do not include $600 of free credits. They do not include free airfare.
Now I might be inclined to forgive Logos for this new “men get it for free; women have to pay” policy if Logos were to partner with other institutions as well. But as it stands, men can get Logos for free by entering this program, whereas women simply have to pay more. That doesn’t seem right to me.
Update (5/18): Knox has now rescinded its language restricting the program to men only, and Dan Pritchett from Logos software has assured us that the program will continue to be open to both men and women. I would like to thank Logos and Knox for this change.