Thank you for your interest in seminary education! The Southern Baptist Convention owns six seminaries in the United States and partners with one in Canada to provide theological education and ministerial training to prepare to take the gospel down the street and around the world.
Seminary training can help you prepare for kingdom leadership in many ways. Seminaries specialize in teaching Bible and theology and church history – subjects you are not likely to master without someone to challenge and guide you. A balanced seminary curriculum will force you to study ideas you might not otherwise encounter and prepare you to minister in a pluralistic and religiously diverse global context. Seminary training also includes courses and internships to help you learn to share the gospel, preach more effectively, plan and lead strategically, and care for hurting people. Southern Baptist seminaries use a comprehensive curricular plan – training the head, heart, and hands.
Seminaries today offer a variety of learning venues to meet your needs. We offer in-person, online, video-conference, and regional campus instruction to make our programs available to almost anyone, anytime. Our seminaries combine the best of personal interaction and educational technology to deliver quality training for students in almost any location.
Because of the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptist seminaries are very affordable. Tuition is usually about one-half of the rate charged by independent seminaries and much less than charged by public or private universities. In addition, SBC seminaries offer generous need-based scholarship programs to help fund your preparation for ministry leadership.
One other strong asset of seminary training is establishing a network for continued learning and support. Seminary professors become mentors and fellow students become life-long friends. These relationships – take it from someone who has been in ministry for 40 years – are a huge asset for sustaining all of us through the storms, challenges, and setbacks of being ministry leaders. These relationships will also give you a network through which you can share mission projects, start new churches, and develop new ministry organizations to reach your generation with the gospel.
Southern Baptist seminaries all teach sound doctrine – within the parameters of our confessional statement (Baptist Faith and Message, 2000). Each seminary has distinctive programs and features related to its geographic and cultural setting, as well as its historical commitments. All SBC seminaries offer the Master of Divinity as the foundational degree for a lifetime of service in any leadership capacity. All of them also offer specialized master’s degrees in missions, counseling, educational ministries, chaplaincy, and other fields. For students who aspire to doctoral-level training, the seminaries also offer Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
Benefits of a Seminary Degree
1. Sharpen your skills: A seminary degree can help you further develop your ministry skills. You’ll hone your approach in areas like preaching, counseling, biblical exegesis, and missional practices while getting constructive feedback from seasoned leaders and fellow students.
2. Develop relationships with ministry mentors: All ministry leaders should have access to mentors who can provide guidance and help them success, yet it’s not always easy to find them. In seminary, you’ll be surrounded by experienced leaders with a unique calling to train and mentor others.
3. Prepare for future ministry opportunities: Although the message of Christian ministers is timeless, their work most constantly change as society shifts. A seminary education can help you prepare for these changes as you minister within today’s context.
4. Enable networking with other ministry leaders: As a seminary student, you’ll regularly meet future leaders who have a passion for developing their ministry skills. During your time in school, you’ll have an opportunity to build lifelong relationships with these peers as you support and inspire one another.
5. Access ministry resources: As a seminary student, you’ll be able to tap into resources you can’t easily find anywhere else. These resources will not only help you while in seminary, but they’ll also help you become more effective in your present ministry context.
Check out the links below to discover more about each Southern Baptist seminary. We hope to see you on campus for a visit soon!