Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have an ear:

    Gang, I don't know if any of you have ever been through Memphis east to west on I-40 or not? But, if/when you do look for the three crosses on the S. side of the interstate and you will see that they are on the campus of the Bellvue Baptist Church where Adrian Rogers pastored b/f he passed away. Steve Gaines is now the pastor.

    On the other quadrant of the Appling Interchange and also on the S. side of the expressway you will see Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary's new bldg. and campus. MABTS and Bellvue have a longstanding relationship.

    I have said all of that by way of information.

    I would like to know-good or bad-what experiences all (any) of you have had concerning MABTS? Tell me about evangelism practices, scholarship, pastoral leadership, personal experiences, etc. I am a big boy I can take it. I know what they are here in the south but I would like to find out what the perceptions are across the broader US.

    And I will be more than happy if the thread "morphs" in whatever direction it happens to go!

    Let me know when you can?:thumbs:

    sdg!

    rd
     
    #1 Rhetorician, Jul 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2006
  2. Paul33

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    A pastor acquaintance in Alabama received his Ph.D. from MABTS. My impression was that the school required ties and coats to class, weekly reporting of personal evangelism for grade purposes, and produced a certain "type" of pastor in appearance and dress.

    Seemed highly professional (fundamental) and business like in standards.

    I'm not sure I would like to go there because of this emphasis.

    Is this an accurate depiction? Is SBTS like this?
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Response

    Paul,

    That is quite accurate concerning MABTS. I am an alum of Southern also as you may well know. But, I am however at somewhat of a disadvantage if pressed to compare the on campus demeanor of both schools.

    I did about 1/3 of my MDiv on Union University's off campus Southern Center in W. TN., I brought in about 40 hrs (?) from Harding University (Churches of Christ) Graduate of Religion in Memphis, I did some hours at Memphis Theological (Cumberland Theological (Ecumenical)) Seminary in Memphis, and I commuted to do the remainder on campus in Louisville. So, my on campus perspective is somewhat limited.

    You have probably read that I was there on campus in the meeting when Dr. Honeycutt the former Pres. retired/resigned and Al Mohler was nominated. That was in 1994/1995?

    There is one thing that I can do however. I can critique the graduates of both. Mid America's MDiv graduate is going to be an Evangelists wherever he teaches, pastors, works for the denominational, or ministers. That is what they produce and almost nothing else to a fault.

    Southern grads, however, are more of an all around minister. What I mean is that they seem to be more well read and more knowledgeable about say ecumenical matters. They would be more able and apt to sit down with a liberal presbyterian, Anglican, methodist, and talk in depth rather than just dismissing them as a "liberal" and closing their eyes and minds to discussions of theology of social issues.

    That is my humble opinion on which I am an expert.:laugh:

    SD!

    rd
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    Encourage Questions??????

    Hey gang;

    A thought just came to me while I was making the last reply above.

    Many of you may not know of Mid America. Feel free to ask questions here if you want.

    I will, to the best of my ability, answer any questions you may have. I have stayed in Memphis and fairly close to the institution since I graduated in 1985.

    Let me know!

    Moderators:
    We can move this or start another thread if needed? Please advise.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  5. Rhetorician

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  6. RandR

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    Rhet,

    I've interacted with Chuck Quarles, whose M.Div and Ph.D. are both from MABTS. He's as fine a young scholar/theologian as I've encountered in a long time. Articles have appeared in peer reviewed journals and at least a couple of bound volumes are under contract. If he is the rule and not the exception, then it appears as though MABTS is turning out some fine graduates.

    The only negative thing I can think of was that I seem to recall at least one MABTS person got involved in Germantown's business recently, and if I'm not mistaken some MABTS facilities were used to host meetings for one of the factions. If true, (note the "if) I wouldn't find that to be good form.
     
  7. Rhetorician

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    Gbc

    RandR,

    Chuck Quarles is "sorta" "kinda" a friend of mine. He was pastoring a church in a small rural town outside of Memphis at the same time I was pastoring/planting a Black mission church. I know him but it is not on the "friend" level. I too have followed his rise in scholarship. He is a fine and upcoming NT scholar whom we will all hear great things about in the future.

    I am a member @ GBC. And you are correct on that front as well. It truly is a sad experience for GBC. Mid America did allow one of the GBC factions to meet there off GBC's campus. I did not realize that that would have such implications for even a media source like the BB.

    I can verify all that you have seen and heard.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  8. Martin

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    ==I think it would be nice if we could go both (a fire for evangelism and a love for scholarship and debate) from the same school. :laugh:

    I have never been to MABTS so I can add nothing more to this discussion beyond that.
     
  9. Paul1611

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    Rhet,
    I went to their homepage and really liked what I was looking at. It would definetly be a Seminary that I would look into if I was able to go to a Bible Seminary. I noticed they had AA Degress then it went straight to a Masters degree, if someone wanted to go further than an AA degree would they have to go to a different school to get their Bach. degree?
     
  10. Rhetorician

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    Finish you degree?

    Paul1611,

    Yes a person would have to go to a local college to finish the BA/BS. But, there are at least 3 programs here in the Memphis area that are focused on the "once per week class" type schedule. One of them is just up the street in fact, it is the Union University Advance Program I believe they call it.

    That is what I did. I got the Dp of Theology that was later changed over to the ADiv. The whole degree structure has changed since then. The ADiv then was 96 sem. hrs. just like the MDiv less the languages. Now, they have shortened it to 64 sem. hrs. to come in line with the other SBC seminaries and other evangelical seminaries. In essence I have done two MDivs. But I was willing to do what I thought the Lord wanted me to do.

    I was conferring with another ADiv grad at church the other day. He and I both said that if you can do the long ADiv at MABTS then you can go anywhere and do just about anything academically.

    Let me know if you have any more questions or need help.

    By-the-by, notice the extreme divorce policy. I have sent some there before and did not know the divorce policy. They came back to me rather angry.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  11. Paul1611

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    Rhet,
    Thanks for the information and yes I did notice the divorce policy. I have alot of questions about seminaries and colleges in general. I would love to be able to go to a seminary like MABTS or any other good seminary for that matter but its not really possible as of right now. But since you offered help and to answer some questions let me ask you this: If I was to get an AA degree from say my local community college would MABTS or any other seminary accept some of the credits that I aquired from my local community college, you know like the english, math, history credits? And how would I find out what credits the seminary would accept? (I know this is off the subject and maybe should be posted in another thread.) I have noticed that you are kind of an expert on these things, so I hope you dont mind me getting off the subject. Thanks.
     
  12. PeterM

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    Current Student

    I am a current student and hopeful December graduate @ MABTS. In that light allow me to offer some of my own perspective.

    1. MABTS is a good school, but like any other academic institution it has its faults as well. Many of those faults are couched in the subtle "legalism" that exists. There is a general feeling that if we could only recapture the "good old days" the SBC and her churches would be far more effective. That legalism finds its expression in the dress code, the divorce policy, and the mandatory evangelism policies.

    2. MABTS has in its past been a place where certain theological diversity (calvinism/arminianism) was present. In the past year, it seems as though the administration has landed on a particular side of the fence and those who do not find themselves in agreement are leaving.

    3. The professors @ MABTS are required to be active in SBC churches (a good thing) and many end up serving as interim pastors and performing other duties which in my opinion is also a good thing, but there seems to be a lack of energy for the professors to be active writing and getting published. The one professor we did have that has been published at least twice in my time at MABTS left for greener pastures.

    4. The school and its graduates have unfortunitily earned themsevles a certain reputation for turning out legalistic, angry, "my way or the highway" style "preachers" but very few "pastors." This, IMHO is MABTS greatest fault. In EVERY interview I have been apart of, this issue has come up. I usually say say something along the lines of, "Please do not assume because you knew someone from MABTS that you know me." I do not necessarily mind setting myself apart, but the fact that I have to is troubling. If MABTS would spend as much time and effort cultivating the heart of a pastor (Christ) rather than the Baptist preacher, I can only think the positive impact that MABTS could actually have on the world. Maybe this is a cultural issue and not necessarily a MABTS issue.

    I am grateful for MABTS and the impact it has had on my life and ministry as I have learned much over the last three years. I count it as a growing experience. Needless to say I will pursue future academic endeavors elsewhere.

    Blessings to all!
     
  13. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Our new pastor is an MDiv grad from MABTS and is currently finishing up his doctorate as well from Mid America. He is a Godly man, with sound Biblical doctrines, and a heart for the Church. He is also a very expository preacher, which is wonderful.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  14. koreahog2005

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    I received my M.Div. at SWBTS in 1983 and my D.Min. at Mid-America in 1994. I am in my second year of the Ph.D. program at Mid-America. I was on the mission field (IMB) 10 years in South Korea, and I was a pastor, associate pastor, and youth minister from 1981-1995. I really enjoy my interactions with faculty, staff, and other students at Mid-America. The new facilities are outstanding, and we are looking forward to being on the new campus in August. There is a good mixture of perspectives at Mid-America. All believe in inerrancy, but there is diversity in soteriological views. Some faculty members and students are five-point Calvinists, and other faculty members and students are not. We all seem to get along fine. I am learning a lot and recommend Mid-America to those who are looking for a conservative seminary with an emphasis on evangelism.
     
  15. Rhetorician

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    MABTS Response(s)

    Koreahog & Peter;

    Gentlemen:

    I did not know that there were any MABTS folk on the BB who lived or worked or ministered in/around the Memphis area!:thumbsup: I would love to converse with either or both of you via PM or email or in person.

    I want both of you to know that all opinions I have expressed here are done from a heart of love for MABTS. And hopefully some criticism gained from further education in general and grad school education outside the Convention specifically. These have caused me, however, to have some "real world" perspective on this renown institution.

    I am sure that going to SWBTS and then coming to Mid America would either harden or dispel some of the rumors or perspectives concerning our Alma Mater.

    It seems to me that this thread has been most productive and I invite others; either alumni, former students, or present students; to grace us with their valued insights.

    I would even encourage others in the greater Baptist community to offer opinions either pro or con gained from MABTS' alumni or first hand experience.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  16. koreahog2005

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    Rhetorician, let's meet for lunch or coffee sometime. There's a Starbucks near the old campus and the new campus.
     
  17. PeterM

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    Certainly did want to imply that all graduates from MABTS were tyrannical by nature. That is simply the reputation that I have encountered and from what I understand has been for nearly 15 years. My hope and prayer is that MABTS would remain conservative in its theological pursuits and compassionate in its expression.
     
  18. Rhetorician

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    Perceptions

    Peter,

    I have taught Interpersonal Communication for years. One of the big theories of IC is that of "perception."

    I have learned that:

    1. All perceptions are not true;

    2. People will build their lives on an "internal truth" or "perception" that may or may not be true or even real;

    3. And I am not responsible for other peoples' perceptions.

    So, no doubt many of these assumptions are not true.

    But, on the other hand there is some truth in stereotypes.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  19. Speedpass

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    From what I previously read in their catalog, they seem to emphasize the personal soul-winning to the detriment of field education in the local church. The "big six" seminaries offer some form of required field education, where MABTS does not. The main reason I cannot attend there is because my wife was previously married and divorced before she met me (she divorced because her then-husband physically abused her).
     
  20. PeterM

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    Speedpass,

    Your are correct in your interpretation of the catalog as personal soul winning is strongly emphasized (techniquely a necessity if you desire to get credit for your classes). The one element that MABTS does include that you may have missed is our "Practical Mission" requirement. These service/ministry opportunities are required for all PT and FT students that are pursuing degrees. Basically this is a 1 1/2 to 3 hour per week mission/ministry that is typically completed in a church or para-church context. I would guess that this would be similar to "field work" that is required at the other SBC seminaries.

    It is during these hours of service that most of your personal "soul winning" is done.

    Blessings,
    Peter
     

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