Choosing a seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by GraceClarified, May 26, 2011.

  1. GraceClarified

    GraceClarified
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    What an exciting time of the year and its awesome reading about those finishing their degree from a seminary. I would like some opinions of the following seminaries. I am interested in Houston based seminaries and I welcome any and all comments about any of these Houston based schools.

    I am looking to obtain a MA in Christian Education.

    Dallas Theological Seminary (I have read a lot about the quality of education but is it worth the cost?)

    Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (I attend a SBC church and I would qualify for the huge discount)

    Liberty Seminary - (it would be 100% online, how are online degrees viewed when obtaining a ministry position?)

    fire away and thank you in advance.
     
    #1 GraceClarified, May 26, 2011
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  2. StefanM

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    SWBTS would be your best bet of those three. Having an SBC credential would be helpful for ministry in SBC circles. SWBTS also has Bill Yount on faculty, and he is a major player in Christian education. You will probably be required to read his books no matter where you go.

    DTS has a solid academic reputation, but most of this appears to be related to their study of the languages/biblical exegesis. The MACE won't have languages, so I'm not sure the advantage is there. Cost is a big issue, also.

    Liberty is a good option if you are unable to attend on-campus.
     
  3. RG2

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    It's funny I've been considering basically the same question. Same schools, though I've been looking at MDiv programs.

    I own a house in Wylie, a suburb east of Plano and a move isn't in the plans for my family right now. So for Southwestern gas money and time driving out there has to be taken in account for me. I'm finishing up my bachelors at Liberty right now and so far I've enjoyed my time there.

    From factoring cost I've pretty much found SWBTS ($222/hr) and LBTS ($2200 block rate which is $244/hr-9hrs $183/hr-12hrs) to be pretty much the same. Liberty can be a bit cheaper if you load up per semester since they do block costs for 9-15 hrs. DTS ($415/hr) is almost double SWBTS since there isn't any nice SBC discount.

    On the MACE side I've heard good things about DBU's MACE ($710/hr). It's shorter than the SWBTS and you can also get a nice MACE/MBA double for 54 hrs (if you have the prereqs) and it's also available 100% online. Though the cost is really high.

    SWBTS is "The Seminary" in a lot of parts around here but DTS has a really good reputation as well for their ThM. I really haven't heard much either way about their MACE though. Anyway I don't know if any of this helps, but I figured I'd share what I've discovered to maybe help you.
     
  4. GraceClarified

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    Thanks for the responses guys.

    Southwestern has always been "the seminary" I have wanted to attend for years but I am going to weigh the options regardless.

    I have considered DBU but the costs are too hard to over look.

    I hold a BS in biblical counseling from the College of Biblical studies in Houston (a sister school of DTS.) DTS is highly encouraged ... actually the encouragement is nearly obsessive or OCDish.

    Liberty is still an option.
     
  5. StefanM

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    Based on this, I would recommend that you narrow your options to SWBTS and Liberty. DTS is just too expensive, IMO, for a Christian education degree. The same goes for DBU.
     
  6. PilgrimPastor

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    Tbs

    While I know they are going through a transition presently with a huge reshaping of their student dynamics and leadership, I feel very good about recommending Temple Baptist Seminary / Tennessee Temple University. I just wrapped up a doctoral (D.Min.) module on campus this week and had a great experience.

    While the campus is not as large, beautiful, or new as Liberty (for example) the professors are great, the cost is lower, and they are accredited so you can use any financial aide programs, military benefits, etc. The accreditation is TRACS accreditation, though they have hopes of one day being SACS accredited. (that may take a while) Depending on what your intentions are in the future ministry, TRACS is not likely to slow you down.

    They have some great professors and the online program allows no time on campus (for most degrees). It is similar to Liberty only cheaper and smaller so that you can actually get to now your professors in a way that is just difficult to do at Liberty.

    "I hold a BS in biblical counseling from the College of Biblical studies in Houston (a sister school of DTS.) DTS is highly encouraged ... actually the encouragement is nearly obsessive or OCDish."

    That's really funny... an early mentor of mine was the late Dr. Ken Gangel (Former Academic VP at DTS) and everytime we talked he always managed to steer the conversation to why I should leave Liberty and go to the DTS satellite campus at Trinity College near Tampa / St. Pete FL. where I lived at the time and he spent his winters in Tarpon Springs. The love for DTS by alumni is OUTRAGEOUS...
     
    #6 PilgrimPastor, May 27, 2011
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  7. Rhetorician

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    GC Question & Response

    GC,

    May I welcome you to the BB!!

    May I ask, why the MA (Christian Ed)? Rather than an MDiv with a Christian Ed emphasis. You may not know in the future what the Lord might have in store? But if you get labeled as a "Christian Ed" person you may limit opportunites in the future. And, from what I can see in the SBC, the CE people are the "original shrinking man." That is, that position seems to be slowly going away.

    Just my thoughts.

    "That is all!" :thumbs:
     
  8. RG2

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    I dunno while the position title of "Education Minister" is slowly going away, that position isn't, and I don't think the degree is at all. The position still exists in a ton of churches, they are just tending to call it something different. That being said, I understand what your saying. :thumbsup:
     
  9. Havensdad

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    Brother, I take issue with both of these statements. The cost is lower than Liberty, only if you take a very small course load. At 9 credits or more per semester, Liberty is cheaper (in other words, only a part time student would find TTU to be cheaper than Liberty. A full time student would spend less at Liberty). Its also SACS accredited, which is an important difference if there is ever the possibility of using the degree for teaching.
     
  10. PilgrimPastor

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    If you are taking more courses, sure it is a better deal at Liberty. I took 18 credit hours in my undergraduate degree for just that reason. The SACS accreditation is obviously preferred and I get not "limiting" yourself.

    I'm not suggesting that it doesn't matter, only that it doesn't matter for everybody. For example, I have no intention of applying for a job as a seminary prof in a traditional environment with my D.Min. from a TRACS accredited school, nor do I have any desire to sacrifice another 3 years of my life to a Ph.D. at regionally accredited school either.

    So for me, and probably many others, TRACS doesn't make much difference. It allows veterans to use benefits because DETC recognizes them and it also does require a level of credibility to attain TRACS accreditation.

    The professor of the course I just took on campus has a Ph.D. from NOBTS along with a Th.M. from Columbia, for example. A schools quality is measured largely by the quality of its professors and many of those at TBS are at the very top of their "game."

    I get what you are saying and don't disagree with it. I just think that there is a parallel line of thought here. Liberty is a great choice also, just suggesting not to overlook Temple as they are doing some very nice things in Chattanooga.
     
  11. michaelbowe

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    I am a graduate of Liberty's M.Div degree, and know many people who went to Temple. Both schools are very similar. Dr. Lovett, Temple's president, was Liberty's former dean. Cost has to be in consideration here. Do any of the other schools close to you have "need based scholarships." For example, SWBTS, while does not use student loans, the financial aid department is incredibly top notch in helping students get affordable education, i.e. meaning finding scholarships and programs. However, SWBTS is a little too fundamental for me. Liberty has more to offer for the cheapest price, and you do not have to move, which is why I went there. The school is way too fundamental for me, but again cost, distance ed...it worked in my favor. Hope this helps.
     
  12. GraceClarified

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    Rhetorician,

    I don't envision a senior pastor role in my future, but you are correct in saying that I don't know what God holds for the future. Working as a associate pastor or lay person to help support my church is in my future. The time and efforts to obtain the M.Div would be over stressing considering my work load and family life. Counting the costs to me means so much more than how it will affect my pocket book.
     
  13. PilgrimPastor

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    You are wise to count the whole cost and make sure it is consistent with calling and goals. I am nearing the end of my long educational journey through 3 degrees with Liberty and about the enter the project phase of a D.Min. The work load has taken a toll in some ways. My wife is supportive and I am disciplined, BUT, I have sacrificed time and sleep and I look very much forward to spending a little more time with actual leisure time and being "free" mentally with fewer deadlines always looming...

    That said, the M.Div. with Liberty or Temple for that matter is very accomplishable. Not a cake walk and the writing can be challenging if you have not done a lot of it, but very accomplishable.

    That may be another reason to look at Temple in fact. They do offer what I think is about a 30 credit hour Master of Ministry (M.M.) and I think you could get a concentration in Christian Education. If you would like to consider that option email me (www.chrissurber.com) and I can put you in direct contact with the Seminary Dean. (another advantage of a smaller school, it isn't as easy to talk to seminary leadership at Liberty...)
     
  14. PreacherBoi

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    Andersonville Theological Seminary

    I have degrees from LSU, BS, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, M.Div. I have a D.Min. and DBC ( Doctor of Biblical Counseling) from Andersonville Theological Seminary and I'm working on a Th.D. with ATS. I know that ATS is secularly unaccredited, but I really don't care! I have my basic degrees from accredited schools and my degrees from ATS are like icing on the cake! ATS is accedited by National Acrrediting Agency of Private Theological Institutions and Transworld Accrediting Commission. I really don't care that they don't have State Accredition. I love ATS and their classes are just as hard as any of the classes that I had at New Orleans Seminary. I have learned alot at this school. God is using ATS to train his ministers regardless of worldly accredition! I pastor a Southern Baptist Church.:godisgood:
     
  15. mandym

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    Liberty will provide that as well
     
  16. StefanM

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    Yes, but to a lesser extent. SWBTS has the advantage of being a convention-sponsored school.
     
  17. mandym

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    http://www.sbc.net/colleges.asp


    It is listed as a school working with the convention in Virginia.
     
  18. Crucified in Christ

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    You are correct that Liberty is a Southern Baptist-affiliated school, but in my experience, search committees tend to give priority to the "big 6".
     
  19. Crucified in Christ

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    Why would anyone need three unaccredited Doctorates?
     
  20. mandym

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    Hmmm, my experience has been they couldn't care less. I'm sure there are some out there though.
     

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