FAQ CONTENTS:  
1. General Questions  
2. Exam Questions  
3. Student Operational Questions
4. Payment Questions
5. Course Utilization and Availability Questions
6. Studying at AISOM but Also Taking ACU Courses


1.  GENERAL QUESTIONS:

What is Ames International School of Ministry (AISOM)?  AISOM is the free bible college affiliate of Ames Christian University (ACU). It exists to make free bible study courses available via the Internet ONLY.  A small processing administrative fee is charged for each course only if credit is desired.

What is the history of ACU and AISOM and why does the AISOM e-mail and correspondence come from Ames Learning Systems or Ames Support Staff Team?  Ames Christian University began in March, 2002.  In September 2003 a partnership was created and Ames Bible College (ABC), which became Ames International School of Ministry (AISOM), was founded and became affiliated through ACU.  Both schools were created separately with separate founders.  

In January, 2005 the president of ACU stepped down for health reasons and the President and founder of AISOM, Dr. Vince Rizzo, was elected into the office of President of Ames Christian University (ACU).  As a result, both entities have become conglomerates of one another but ACU is the parent group.  Both operate separately but are managed collectively.  We created the Ames Learning Systems/Ames Support Staff Team name to cover both schools.  AISOM is primarily a scholarship school providing free or low-cost biblical education under the auspices of Ames Christian University, the governing entity.

What is the AISOM curriculum?  AISOM uses the curriculum published by the Harvestime Institute. The curriculum is divided into four modules designed around a theme with each module generally increasing in the level of challenge it presents.  Based on a foundation of biblical studies, the Harvestime curriculum brings learners closer to God through knowledge of the Word and experience of God’s love.  Beginning with a comprehensive overview of the scriptures, the AISOM curriculum integrates personal, community, and special applications of God’s Word.  By completing the program, learners encounter God’s presence in their lives, work, church, and community.  

Why are the courses free?  This is just too good to be true!!  Thousands of students from around the world are deprived of a bible college education due to lack of funds and availability.  AISOM, formerly Ames Bible College (ABC), was specifically designed to be a blessing to the Body of Christ.  By placing sponsor ads on our site which generates a small percentage of funding and by keeping our expenses low, we have been able to provide free and low cost education to benefit those who can not afford the exorbitant educational costs of other Christian schools.  

Since we can not provide a free Accredited Program, we put together payment plans as low as $20.00 US dollars that almost anyone can afford, to work towards a (BBS / BA) Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree through Ames.

What is the difference between the free and the low-cost Accredited Program?  In the Free Program, students receive no credits, no transcript and no transferable credits.  Free students that complete our program will receive a .PDF Certificate of Completion that we assemble and email to students and the students print their own certificates.  

In the Accredited Program, there is a $20.00 US dollars per course administrative fee and all accredited students are required to post a brief weekly report of their study progress. Upon graduation, the student must submit all 22 grades and payment in full must be received.  Then student must notify us by email that they are ready to graduate, and we will forward your graduation documents which include a printed official Certificate of Biblical Studies and transcript.  The transcript will also be forwarded to ACU if you wish to further your studies.  In the completed Accredited Program students accrue 87 credits transferable towards the 120 credits needed for an ACU Bachelors degree in Biblical Studies.

How do I switch to the Accredited Program if I began in the Free Program?  All that is needed is for you to make a payment.  If you pay through our online payment systems (Paypal or Google Checkout), you are automatically entered into the Accredited Program. If you pay by check, money order or Money Gram through Western Union, mail the payment to the address below.  Once we receive the payment and it is received, processed, and/or cleared, then you are automatically in the Accredited Program.  Mail payments to:

Ames Christian University
6900 Daniels Parkway, Suite 29 – 225
Fort Myers, FL  33912

How long does it take to complete the AISOM program?  From the time a student enrolls to when a student completes all the courses, submits all their grades and makes all their payments shall not be less than one calendar year.  This also applies to the free program as well.  As the courses are entirely self-paced, which means that each person’s time to completion will vary, that means that no student shall graduate in less than one (1) calendar year and there is no time limit beyond one year. The curriculum has been assessed for college credit, so a college-equivalent experience is expected. Depending on your availability to study you may be able to complete 1-2 courses per month as each course differs in length.  Learners should expect to spend approximately as much time on each course as they would on an equivalent college course.  Normally it should take between one to two years to complete all 22 courses.

What if I can’t complete an AISOM course because of personal reasons or otherwise?  As all 22 AISOM courses are self-paced, there is no time structure.  That is the beauty of distance learning.  We have no sessions or semesters, however the completion time of one to two years is the expected duration for all 22 courses.  All your payments and grades are kept on your individual account file indefinitely.

Does AISOM accept transfer credits from other colleges?  AISOM does accept transfer credits from other bible colleges.  All transcripts sent to us for evaluation must come from the academic institution where you received your credits or degree and upon our acceptance, there is a $15.00 US dollars fee per transfer credit.  If you have the full 87 transferable biblical credits from another institution, upon approval and payment of $15.00 US dollars per credit of the 87 credits (for a total of $1,305.00 US dollars) this would then be the substitute for the 22 AISOM courses and upon approval you would then enroll at ACU.  

If you do not have 87 transferable biblical credits from another institution, depending upon the amount of credits we do accept, you then would need to complete the necessary AISOM courses required to make up the required 87 credits to graduate and transfer to ACU.  These extra AISOM course choices are at the discretion of the student.

Are there other schools that accept AISOM credits besides ACU?  Each educational institution evaluates transferable credits on a case by case basis.  You will need to contact the other colleges you are considering to see if they will accept credits from ACU. 

Does AISOM grant degrees?  While AISOM is not in itself a degree-granting institution, by virtue of its affiliation with ACU, AISOM learners may convert their completed certificates into ACU for credit.  Fully completing the AISOM program and paying the $20.00 US dollars administrative fee per course will result in 87 transferable college credits which is approximately 75% of the number of required credits toward the Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree at ACU.  Upon graduation from AISOM, all Accredited students are issued a printed Certificate of Completion and a printed official transcript.  If the student desires to further his studies at ACU he must request that the graduations documents are forwarded to ACU.  Students in the Free Program receive a .PDF Certificate of Completion rather than a printed Certificate of Biblical Studies Diploma.

How are the AISOM courses administered?  Courses are delivered online in the popular Adobe Acrobat .PDF file format or in .html format.  Each course is a self-contained module of lessons, study assignments, and tests.  Exams are proctored by a person of notable integrity and honesty and completed in the Student Exam Center and grades are submitted to AISOM online on the Student Page.  Courses can also be accessed from a 4 GB USB which are free to students who pay for all their courses in full at the time of enrollment.  

Do I have to memorize ALL the scripture verses?  Memorization of all scripture verses in the courses is NOT mandatory but they are recommended and helpful to everyday life, to the value of the point of the course and to your spiritual growth.  As God’s word is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword discerning men’s hearts and intentions (Hebrews 4:12), the scriptures contain the supernatural power through which God can change our hearts, our desires, our lives, and our circumstances so they are a very valuable part of the studies.  If you have the time and interest, please read and meditate on the verses as they are life changing and communicate God’s love and His desires for us.

How can I teach these courses at my church?  AISOM previously had an extension campus program with 55 centers but it was discontinued in July 2009.  We now suggest that interested organizations order the curriculum from Harvestime or download and print the course books through the internet from our website for their students.  

Once students have gone through all 22 courses and graduated, the following process is required to enroll a new student at ACU to go on to the Bachelor of Biblical Studies Program:

1. Graduates need to contact us with their desire to attend ACU
2. Have their school or organization they attended send us their transcript
3. Student needs to pay AISOM $440.00 US dollars for the 22 courses
4. We will graduate them with our documents
5. They will then transfer to ACU and receive an ACU invitation by email
6. Student will then enroll and fill out paperwork (ACU Student Agreement Form)
7. Student will then pay the Application Fee which is (20.00 US dollars) and the Degree Completion Plan Fee which is ($30.00 US dollars) 
8. Student will then register and pay for their first course (all ACU BBS courses are $198.00 US dollars per course) and student will                 need to complete all 11 courses per student’s designated concentration


2.  EXAM QUESTIONS / HONESTY POLICY:

Why are the answers made available to us and why are we expected to have another person proctor our exams?  We currently have over 46,000+ students worldwide in 157 countries taking the 22 AISOM courses, many of which are in our Free Program, and at that rate it is impossible for us to manage grading that many exams.  We therefore operate on by the honor system.  All exams are "closed book", so to speak and no self-tests are to be accessed during any exams.  We prefer for you to have your courses proctored and graded by a person other than yourself of notable authority if possible.  It can be a pastor, a teacher, a parent or guardian or adult relative but preferably an honorable person of integrity and spiritual maturity.  IF THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE, students are permitted to grade their own exams with the utmost integrity and honesty before the Lord.

All AISOM exams are specifically designed and created to inform us if you do not complete them honestly.  Processes have been built and developed within the curriculum to ensure that learners study and take our exams by the academic honor code.  Academic excellence is required to advance to and graduate from ACU.  The Bible says:  Be sure your sins will find you out and the Bible proves men's hearts so do not be foolish in your pursuits because IT WILL AFFECT YOUR FUTURE.  

If I enroll in the Free Program and decide to pay at a later date, will I have to start all over or do I get credit for the courses I have taken thus far?  Once you pay the administrative fees, the courses you have taken become accredited and you do not have to take them again.  We suggest that if you are not going to pay upfront for all the courses, that you try a few courses and then switch to the Accredited Program and begin making the $20.00 US dollars payments as you go.  Otherwise, when you graduate, we can not issue graduation documents until you are paid in full.  This will also prolong the time that you can go on to ACU.  If you pay as you go, your payments will be completed at the same time you graduate.  Once you make any payment and it is received and cleared, your account is credited and you are automatically switched to the Accredited Program.


3.  STUDENT OPERATIONAL QUESTIONS:

How do I take my courses?  The instructions are on the Student Page where you will be directed upon enrolling and the Student Page can be accessed by clicking on the words “Student Page” at the top of the Home Page.

How do I download my courses? On the Student Page Look for the DOWNLOAD CENTER Button.

I can't open my course, what's wrong?  You must have Adobe Acrobat file format to open .PDF files and it must be a current version.   

You can download it free.  If a link does not work, try downloading directly from the server at www.amesbible.org/courses/.   

Due to the fact that students from other countries have problems downloading the .PDF files, we have added .html files.  The format is not as appealing as the .PDF files, however they are functional.

How do I submit my grades?  LOOK FOR Grade Submission Button  that is found on your Student Page: and fill out the form.  We only need the final exam grades, not the grades for the chapter self-tests.  

The chapter self-tests are designed to prepare you for the final exam at the end of each course.  All we need is the letter grade and the number of incorrect answers you had after completion of the entire course which we then record in your student file in our database.  

When you have submitted all your grades, YOU MUST CONTACT US by email to let us know that you are finished.  We will then verify the grades and process your graduation. 

DO NOT SEND YOUR EXAMS BY MAIL TO US OR TO HARVESTIME.  USE THE FORM PROVIDED IN THE STUDENT EXAM CENTER TO POST YOUR GRADES. 


4.  PAYMENT QUESTIONS:

I am an accredited student.  How do I pay for my courses?  LOOK FOR THE LINK in the navigation bar to find the online payment center there are many options:  http://www.amesintl.org/PAYMENT-CENTER.html 

There are several, easy methods to pay:

You can pay after you download each course
You can pay after you submit your final exam grade for each course
You can pay in advance for all the courses
You can make monthly payments for 22 months at $20.00 US dollars per month
We have several installment payment options available

Where do I mail my course payments?  Make your check, money order or Western Union Money Gram payable to Ames Christian University and mail to:

Ames Christian University
6900 Daniels Parkway 
Suite 29-225
Fort Myers, FL 33912

I have paid for my courses but can not finish them because of certain obligations or personal circumstances.  How do I discontinue my time at Ames?  Discontinuing is not necessary.  The courses are offered totally free and you are under no obligation to pay. There is a non-negotiable refund policy on the administration fees due to the fact that you were under no obligation to pay in the first place.  If you stop paying and have a credit, it will remain on your account indefinitely in case you desire to resume at a later date or you can choose to be a partial payment graduate at which point we will issue you a .PDF certificate of completion by email.  Please notify us in writing by email if this is your desire.  You also need to notify us by email if you desire to have your credits transferred to another school of your choosing.

(FOR OTHER PAYMENT QUESTIONS, PLEASE CLICK ON THE PAYMENT CENTER BUTTON AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.)

5.  COURSE UTILIZATION AND AVAILABILITY QUESTIONS:

Do you have courses on a USB?  When you pay for all your courses in full at one time, we will send you a free 4 GB USB containing: 

The complete menu driven Dickson Biblical Research Library
All 22 courses in English and Spanish
The Audio Version of the Old and New Testaments read by Alexander Scourby
The King’s Table Devotional 
Plus a Library of 15,000 zipped Christian .PDF E-Books 
Extra space to store other programs

We believe this option is really worth the $440.00!!!

Do you have printed courses or do you have the courses on CD?  You can order printed courses from Harvestime for a charge of $20.00 US dollars each and printed books are only in English and only mailed in the United States.  

A CD of all 22 courses from Harvestime Int’l Network is available for $50.00 US dollars.  Harvestime also has the courses in Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Thai Languages.

To Contact Harvestime:   (949) 707-1487

Harvestime International Network    www.harvestime.org
3176A Via Buena Vista
Laguna Woods, CA  92637

After I graduate from AISOM, is it mandatory that I enroll in ACU upon completion of AISOM?  No, AISOM is a total stand-alone program.  You do not have to go any further unless you desire a degree.  ACU is simply available to you as ACU guarantees AISOM course transfer acceptance.  You are under no obligation to study beyond the AISOM courses.  When you graduate from AISOM and you have paid all your fees, you can transfer your credits to ACU or another school of your choice.

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