Programs at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Theological Seminaries in the United States.
Students may enroll in programs on 13 different topics at Southern Baptist Seminary with degrees and diplomas offered at every level of collegiate study. The vast majority of programs offered at the school are graduate-level or doctoral level degrees, but there are a few diplomas that students may earn if they don’t already have a bachelor’s degree and can’t enroll in a traditional graduate program.
Diploma options for students who have yet to earn an undergraduate degree include a Diploma in Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, and a Diploma in Theology. The seminary also offers a diploma program in Spanish. Students must be at least 30-years-old to qualify for the diploma programs and will take three to four years to finish the program.
For graduate-level students, the seminary offers many degrees on topics that include biblical and theological studies, biblical counseling, church ministry, and education. Students may also study Islamic studies, missions & evangelism, and philosophy. Further degrees are offered in worldview & apologetics music & worship, and church planting. Similar topics are available as doctoral programs.
In addition to the handful of diplomas at Southern Baptist Seminary, students may earn Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, or Master of Theology degrees if they already have a bachelor’s degree. Students with interest in doctoral study may choose from Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Missiology, or Doctor of Education degrees. Doctoral students may also pursue a Doctor of Education, Doctor of Ministry, or Doctor of Theology program on any number of topics.
Some programs may require that students take remedial or pre-requisite courses in order to qualify for full admission to the program. For example, the Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry requires that students know elementary Hebrew, elementary Greek, and have college-level written communication skills. After students qualify for the program, they’ll take classes like Introduction to the New Testament and Southern Baptist Heritage and Mission.
For students who want to earn a doctorate, some of the available paths include a Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Counseling, a Doctor of Ministry in Applied Apologetics, and a Doctor of Ministry in Church Revitalization. Other doctoral programs include the Doctor of Educational Ministry in Global Missions and the Doctor of Education in Ministry in Family Ministry.
About Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and offers students a campus of 100 acres. The institution is one of six seminaries with ties to the Southern Baptist Convention and is also the oldest such school. Established in 1859, the seminary was first located in Greenville, South Carolina, but it would move to Louisville after the Civil War.
There are more than 3,100 students enrolled for classes at the seminary, which makes it one of the largest in the world. The seminary is notable for having undergone desegregation in 1951 when segregation laws remained in place for public facilities in the state. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the seminary would welcome Martin Luther King, Jr.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Accreditation Details
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and has maintained this accreditation for more than 80 years. The seminary was one of the first such accredited institutions in the country. Regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools would come in 1968, and the seminary was one of the first to gain successful accreditation from a regional organization.
The seminary is also approved for operations in several states around the country with approval for distance education in locations like Chicago, New York, Nashville, Washington, D.C., and New England. There are programs offered at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary that are outside of divinity and theology, and some of those programs are accredited or approved by various groups. Approvals come from the National Association of Schools of Music and the Council on Social Work Education.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Application Requirements
Students may complete the entire application process for Southern Baptist Seminary online and must submit a variety of documents to complete their submissions. Items required include a completed application form, a non-refundable application fee of $40, and a completed medical information form. Students must also agree to sign the Southeastern Covenant, which is a form that details the behavioral standards required for enrollees.
Other application materials include a form with the student’s immunization history, two character reference forms, and official transcripts from all colleges attended. Applicants must also complete a pastor reference form and a church recommendation form, as well as have their spouse submit a personal statement. Applicants must also pass a criminal background check.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The cost per credit hour at Southern Baptist Seminary is $648, but students who are part of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) receive a 50 percent reduction in tuition, which means a cost of $324 per credit hour. So, a student affiliated with the SBC would pay full-time tuition of $2,916 per semester along with fees of $342, and books for $300. The total for tuition each semester would be $3,058 before reductions from financial aid.
Meanwhile, students who aren’t affiliated with the SBC will pay a full-time rate of $5,832 each semester for tuition, as well as fees of $342 and books for $300. The total per semester would be $6,474. All students are eligible for a $500 scholarship directly from the seminary, which will reduce the total cost of tuition. Tuition amounts may vary for students who take more than the average number of credits per session.
Those who attend Southern Baptist Seminary may qualify for tuition assistance, veterans benefits, student loans, grants, and scholarships that can reduce the overall cost of tuition. The seminary offers financial aid counselors to students who have questions about the application process for aid. Students don’t need to submit a FAFSA form when they attend SBTS because the school doesn’t participate in the federal student loan program.
Some of the scholarships students may receive from the seminary include the General Scholarship of $600 to $1,760 per year, the Rice-Judson Scholarship of $2,500 per year, or the F-1 International Student Scholarship of $1,600 per year. Other scholarships from Southern Baptist Seminary include the Hoover Scholarship – New England, the Woman’s Auxiliary Scholarship, or the Mission Grant, which is offered to current missionaries.