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Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS)

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS)

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As the flagship seminary for the Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Seminary is committed to offering an exceptional, Christ-centered education while honoring your family, professional and financial commitments. Whether you are pursuing an on-campus Master of Divinity diploma, or taking one of our on-line courses to begin your journey, Southern Seminary has a program to further your ministry.

ATS Accreditation Status: Accredited

2825 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40280
Phone: 502-897-4011, 800-626-5525
Fax: 502-899-1770

R. Albert Mohler Jr., President Ph: 502-897-4121
Russell D. Moore, Senior Vice President for Academic Administration & Dean of the School of Theology Ph: 502-897-4112

Denomination: Southern Baptist Convention

Fall 2010 Data:
Enrollment: 2525 (1365.3 FTE)
Faculty Full-Time: 61
Faculty Part-Time: 49

Approved Degrees: MA in Discipleship and Family Ministry (preliminary), MA in Children’s and Family Ministry (preliminary), MA in College Ministry (preliminary), MA in Women’s Leadership (preliminary), MA in Worship Leadership and Church Ministry (preliminary), MDiv, MA in Christian Education, MA in Leadership (preliminary), MA in Youth and Family Ministry (preliminary), MA in Missiology, MA in Biblical Counseling, MA in Church Ministries, MA in Worship Leadership (preliminary), MA in Christian School Administration (preliminary), MCM, Master of Music (preliminary), MA (Theological Studies), DMin, DEdMin (preliminary), EdD, DMiss, DMA, Doctor of Music Ministry, ThM, PhD

Comprehensive distance education program: no

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8 Reviews

  1. Our time at Southern was wonderful. I began seminary work at NOBTS, and transferred to SBTS soon after Hurricane Katrina. It was an absolute delight to study in an intentionally confessional context (the Abstract of Principles is a jewel of a document) and to grow in the riches of historic Reformed Baptistic theology.

    To give an idea of the rigorous expectations: I had a 3.7 GPA after 3 semesters at NOBTS — and was admitted to SBTS on academic probation! However, as an SBC student, I was able to transfer my classes to Louisville successfully.

    The coursework was indeed challenging (for example, studying Jonathan Edwards at 6 AM with Tom Nettles will test you in ways you never knew possible!) — but also richly rewarding. As a pastor, I draw every day from what I learned about the Bible there, and I’m so thankful that God allowed me to have those years of study at Southern.

    If you are able to be a part of what God is doing there, I encourage you to dig a deep well, push yourself hard, ask lots of questions (the profs are very patient and enjoy interacting with students), and do it with an eye to serving the people of Christ. You’re in for an immense blessing at SBTS. Enjoy.

  2. Southern Seminary is one of the finest seminaries in the world. The teachers are great and the atmosphere is incredible. You will not regret going there.

  3. I am a recent graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The quality of the education I received is nothing short of outstanding. My professors were knowledgeable, thorough, and stretched my thinking as I progressed through my doctoral program. For academic rigor, research excellence, and ministry preparation, everyone considering a seminary education owes it to themselves to consider Southern.

  4. In terms of education and facilities, this seminary is pretty good. However, Boyce College is overrunning the seminary. In fact, no matter where you go on campus, it feels more like a college campus than a seminary. Though some professors maintain a professional and academic environment in the classroom, students are immediately overwhelmed by the loud clamoring and rambunctious antics of immature college students in the hallways. This is exacerbated by the fact that the seminary shares all of the same facilities. This means that lines at the cafeteria and cafe are always long during days where they are classes. It also means that you will have a very difficult time finding anywhere quiet to study. I have often had to leave the cafe area (if I ever found a place to study in the first place) because it was too loud. I have even been unable to study in certain parts of the library because Boyce students were talking out loud, watching videos together, laughing obnoxiously, etc. even in areas where people were clearly trying to study and where signs were posted that people should be quiet. I have had the same problem in other sitting areas on campus as well. If you are looking for an serious academic environment in which to study, do not go to SBTS. It’s a seminary with a college atmosphere. Clearly, having a lot of students and making money is more important at SBTS than providing a quality seminary experience.

    Furthermore, student housing is outrageously expensive and has poor upkeep. Springdale is $795/mo. (as of 2013); they have a terrible floor plan; and the floors creek like a haunted house. The parking lot floods every time there’s a decent rain; the gutters haven’t been cleaned out in decades (some of them have fallen off and the others no longer do their job at all). We personally had to call maintenance five times over the course of a year because the outside unit for our heater was freezing over so that it was blowing in cold air. Further, one time when it snowed, they came through with a snow plow one time, leaving a long pile of snow behind the cars. When I couldn’t get out of the parking spot because of the pile, I called and asked if someone could come down with a shovel. The secretary said she would let management know. Nothing was ever done about it.

    I came to Southern because there is a lot of hype in conservative circles about it. But like everything else that’s hyped up, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I think you could have a much better seminary education by going to a smaller seminary that is not amalgamated with a college.

  5. The on-line section of SBTS is decreasing the seminary’s influence because the courses are so poorly managed. The professors do not interact in the course, the Garret Fellows (grader) does not respond to emails, assignments are busy work, you do not receive feedback on your assignments, emails sent to the professors are responded with “DO NOT EMAIL ME. EMAIL THE GARRETT FELLOW.”, emails sent to admin are not responded to consistently. I took more courses through SBTS on line than at the actual campus. So, I’m not only speaking of one course; what I’ve written here is true of 90% of the courses I took.

  6. This school is the foremost seminary on this continent. The professors are world-class scholars. The faculty and students are passionate about the Great Commission. The campus environment is heavenly. Having been a student at other theological schools, Southern is in a classification all of its own.

  7. Southern is a great school in a great city with great professors. The school is affordable, with a 50% tuition discount for students coming from or attending SBC churches. The city is beautiful, affordable, and a great place to live with a diverse population from many countries and ethnic and religious backgrounds. There are many great churches in the area from traditional SBC churches (e.g. and to more informal and relaxed churches like Sojourn ( and Fellowship (

    The faculty is reformed, but in a pastoral way that is invigorating, insightful, and encouraging (I came in as an Arminian). The professors are firm in their convictions, but are always showing how others come to differing opinions and why they remain convinced of their position. They teach the Bible clearly, without drawing many unnecessary lines in the sand.

    A few of the best professors, in my experience have been:
    Dr. Peter Gentry is a first rate student of ancient languages and teaches from a linguistic perspective, while bringing in translation and theological issues.
    Dr. James Hamilton is an up and coming scholar whose Hermeneutics course opened the Bible to me in a way that no one ever had before. He is passionate and loves the Word, and it shows in class. His insights into the text have been a big part of my learning experience.
    Dr. Thomas Schreiner teaches New Testament clearly and helps students understand the background of Second Temple Judaism, interacting with many of the world’s most well known biblical scholars.
    Dr. Jonathan Pennington teaches Greek and New Testament. His understanding of and explanation of the Gospels have been formative for me. He teaches his students to read the stories in their narrative context and theologically to understand the fuller picture of what Jesus’ life and ministry means.
    Dr. JD Payne teaches church planting. He opens up to students the NT model of apostolic church planting and helps students see beyond current models to the model of Paul and how we can learn from him today.

    There are not many downsides I have found at Southern, but here are a few:
    1) Southern is the largest seminary in the SBC, with about 3,000 students, so some of the classes are too big, and this problem has been increasing in recent years.
    2) The reality is, it is difficult to support a family through seminary. This is true of any seminary. While Southern probably does a great job in comparison to many others in terms of affordability, there are several things they could do better in terms of affordable on-campus housing and finding ways to reduce student expenses to allow them to focus on their studies. The expectations for reading, writing, studying, etc. are often unbearable for those who work and have families. Students are also expected to be serving in their churches, while their studies leave little time for this.
    3) Southern is ministry-focused. They aim to teach practical theology. While there are some definite advantages to this approach, there are also drawbacks. Many of the professors reference more academic works, but rarely assign them. Most of the reading is less rigorous than I would prefer.

  8. If you want a robust biblical & theological education to prepare you for ministry, SBTS is the place. I’m constantly amazed by my professors’ knowledge & acquaintance with the Bible. You’ll also make some great friends along the way.

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