Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

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Updated August 6, 2020

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary appears in the ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Ministry Degrees Online.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary was opened in May 1950 by Sydnor L. Stealey for the Southern Baptist Convention in Appleby Hall at Wake Forest's original 615-acre, Georgian-style campus. Six years later, Wake Forest College relocated to Winston-Salem and SEBTS set permanent North Carolina roots. By the 1960s, the newly accredited seminary had attracted 28 faculty, admitted women, and erected 13 new buildings. In 1974, the Master of Divinity was born as the seminary's signature program. Nowadays, the private, nonprofit Christian ministry school budgets $29.1 million yearly to serve 3,400. Dedicated to Revelation 7:9, the Gospel-inspired programs are primarily graduate with bachelor's study in The College at Southeastern. Online learning also helps expand beyond Forbes' 20th fastest-growing suburb that's trained Will Graham, Johnny Hunt, Jeff Struecker, and others. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary was ranked America's fifth largest ATS member by The Gospel Coalition.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Accreditation Details

In 2012, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary underwent a comprehensive evaluation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to retain Level VI accreditation for another 10 years under its sixth president, Dr. Daniel Akin. Located over 400 miles southwest in Decatur, this respected 11-state "Dixieland" accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to check the quality of SEBTS' two associate, 12 baccalaureate, 31 master's and 24 doctoral majors. The Christian divinity college has also been accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) since 1958.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Application Requirements

Getting into Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is labeled "non-competitive" by Peterson's since 98.4 percent of the 414 Fall 2016 applicants were successful. Online master's programs only admit graduates of regionally or nationally accredited four-year baccalaureates. Provisional acceptance is available for ambitious seniors with evidence of 112+ credits earned. Having a strong liberal arts foundation with 60+ credits like English, Philosophy, History, Fine Arts, Religion, and Classical Languages is preferred. Each student must submit to a certified criminal background check. Master of Arts applicants need a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher. If the GRE Writing Assessment isn't taken, a quality graded research paper is required. The College at Southeastern graduates can receive up to nine master's credits transferred for "A" or "B" grades. Non-native English speakers need a TOEFL pBT score above 600 or equivalent.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has rolling admission until 30 days before the Fall, Spring, Summer, and January starts. The M.A. in Ethics, Theology, and Culture is one exception needing at least 60 days though. Interested online master's majors can submit the 30-minute application via Visualzen up to 12 months before enrollment. If needed, send official documents to 120 South Wingate Street in Wake Forest, NC 27587. Please contact or (919) 761-2324 for further assistance. The master's application checklist generally includes these:

  • $40 non-refundable fee payment
  • Official post-secondary transcripts
  • Signed Southeastern Covenant
  • Two character reference forms
  • One Pastor recommendation form
  • Spouse personal statement if wed
  • Background check from CastleBranch
  • Medical immunization history form
  • Graded writing sample or GRE results

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary will charge online M.Div. or M.A. students $596 per credit. The military discount brings tuition to $290 per credit for Armed Forces service. Members of Southern Baptist churches also pay $290 per credit. Post-grads are billed the $305 enrollment fee every semester. Summer or J-Term study is reduced to $79 per course. The Biblical Women's Institute has a $25 fee per class too. Certificates currently cost $300 per one-hour course. Note that several online classes, such as Christ-Centered Exposition and Leyendo E Interpretando La Biblia, are free. Total online degree prices range from $21,456 (M.A. in Church Planting) to $48,276 (Master of Divinity).

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office helps 49 percent of full-time SEBTS students receive tuition assistance that averages just $1,449. Institutional funds include the Missionary Kid Scholarship, Barbara Osborn Scholarship, Macedonia Project Scholarship, Returning Journeyman Scholarship, Kingdom Diversity Scholarship, Women's Auxiliary Scholarship, Dorothy Middleton Scholarship, and Kalu Yala Scholarship. The Shepard's for the Savior Ministry Education Grant has April and November 1st deadlines. The Active International Mission Board Scholarship covers 50 percent of tuition for IMB personnel, even online. Veterans should submit the GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility for education benefits. Enter the Employment Services Portal for interim ministry job opportunities. Check into North Carolina programs like the Bullard Scholarship and Risden P. Reece Scholarship. File the FAFSA form with code G02963 for Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Grad Plus loans. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary limits borrowing to $15,000 per year from private sources like Sallie Mae or PNC too.

Online Degree(s) Available

The Distance Learning Division at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary logs into Blackboard to deliver four fully online master's and 11 free for-credit courses. For example, the Online M.A. in Church Planting partners with denominational missions to train post-grads for leading the growth of new parishes. Directed by Dr. Greg Mathias, the 36-credit curriculum integrates courses like Baptist History, Hermeneutics, and Great Commission Studies strictly for IMB missionaries. Online instruction with a 14:1 student-professor ratio leads to off-campus EQUIP practicum at approved churches. In contrast, the M.A. in Christian Studies Online emphasizes research over fieldwork to lay the foundation for doctoral theology programs. This 39-credit, three-year option headed by Dr. Walter Strickland II since 2013 spans courses from Bible Exposition to Apologetics in English or Spanish. Online students pair with faculty mentors to complete original research and 25-page thesis papers.

Chaired by David Beck, the flagship Master of Divinity is now online for SEBTS post-grads entering the pastoral profession to fulfill God's calling to spread the Word. The 81-84 credit degree offers three fully online concentrations: Christian Ministry, Missiology, or North American Church Planting. Students with at least 27 credits of undergrad theology credits and one year of Greek/Hebrew qualify for the 61-credit Advanced M.Div. track instead. Partnered with the NAMB, the three-year sequence requires a 2.0 GPA throughout courses like Biblical Counseling, Personal Discipleship, and Evangelism. Lastly, the Online M.A. in Intercultural Studies gives bachelor's grads the advanced push into global missions that transcend national borders. This 54-credit, non-thesis track with an optional Orality Concentration has Blackboard courses from Anthropology to Contextualization Theory overseen by Dr. Jerry Lassetter. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary ends the curriculum with practicum abroad in Kenya, Cambodia, Romania, and more.

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