Southern and Southeastern

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by panicbird, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. panicbird

    panicbird
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    I think of these schools as the top two SBC seminaries. Which of them, however, is numero uno in terms of academics? I realize that there are students and grads from both of these schools on the board. Try to be as objective as possible. If you say one is better than the other, please explain why and in what ways the other one is deficient.
    Thanks!

    Lon
     
  2. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Both schools have their strengths and weaknesses. As an alumnus of both institutions, I am somewhat objective.

    SEBTS is more focused on practicality (actual evangelism, exciting worship, etc.) and SBTS is more focused on academics (Calvinism is a big issue at SBTS no matter what others might suggest).

    Both schools resemble the leadership of the men who made them what they are: SEBTS reflects Patterson (mega-church mentality) and SBTS mirrors Mohler (northeastern church mentality).

    Both are great schools. IMHO there is more of a tendency among SBTS students to lose sight of the reality of everyday ministry than those at SEBTS.
     
  3. panicbird

    panicbird
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    I have two desires as far as ministry goes. First, I would like to eventually teach at a seminary or Christian university. Second, I want to preach in/pastor a local church. How these two will work out, I do not know. Which of these schools would better equip me for these roles?
    Thanks.

    Lon
     
  4. DeclareHim

    DeclareHim
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    Does SEBTS have a website. Just curious.
     
  5. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Both schools have excellent scholars in many of their departments. If my goal was to teach at a seminary level, I would probably attend SBTS.

    Seminary education simply becomes what one makes of it. Regardless of which seminary you attend, there is a danger of getting caught up in the ivory tower mentality and losing sight of everday ministry. It happens to many (if not most). SEBTS does a better job, IMO, of trying to prevent that from happening.

    The advice I offer to seminary students regularly is this: involve yourself in the ministry of a local church as you attend school. Don't lose sight of the bump and grind of what it takes to apply biblical truth in an everyday setting. The average Joe doesn't give a rip about the role God's sovereign election plays in salvation, but he does want to know how to raise his kids, how to treat his wife, how to control his anger, and how to handle temptation. If we can offer a theological treatise on election but fail to communicate how to live the everyday Christian life, our seminary education has failed us. I have the highest degrees seminary education can offer, but my local church ministry teaches me so much more than I have ever learned in a classroom (which is not to downplay the importance of the education, as I said I have gone to the highest level of it). Keep your head out of the clouds and in the valley of everyday living. Make sure the "so what" question is one you ask yourself regularly.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  6. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    www.sebts.edu
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
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    A man once told me that it is less likely to happen to those who are older. I was older when I went to seminary and was humbled some when I began to notice the humility and compassion of Jesus as I studied the Greek text. For twenty years I had been discipling others and welcomed the chance to go to seminary. One of my friends from seminary went for the sole purpose of being a better Sunday School teacher. Imagine Sunday School teachers like that!

    If we study to know God better so that we can help others to know Him too then we are solid humble ground. But if we go for a job or a better job then we are there for the wrong reason. There is nothing that surpasses the value of knowing Jesus Christ.

    It always bothered me when I heard men say they couldn’t wait to preach. Preaching is an awesome responsibility and privilege. By it we teach and lead God’s people. Hopefully we do our best and do it right.
     
  8. DeclareHim

    DeclareHim
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    Thanks for the link.
     
  9. dr396

    dr396
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    Panicbird,

    If you want to eventually teach, then I would suggest going to Southern for your M.Div. The academic level far surpasses that of almost all other Evangelical institutions. As for Ph.D work, I would suggest going elsewhere. For one, it is extremely difficult to get into the Ph.D program at Southern (I am finding that out myself now). Secondly, it looks good to have more than one school on your resume. New Orleans, for instance, has an up-and-coming program in Theology and probably the best in Expository Preaching. Going somewhere like that will also increase your chances of teaching within the seminary. Both New Orleans and now Southwestern have growing undergrad programs that will afford you those opportunities to teach if you would like.

    The best choice, however, is to go to Southern (since it has the best rep among Evangelical seminaries) for M.Div and then take off to a non-Southern Baptist school like Westminster, Talbot, Trinity Evangelical, Regent in Vancouver, or an Ivy League school to get your Ph.D. Obtaining a degree from one of those institutions will pretty much guarantee you a place in the future of the SBC seminaries. Just check out some of the faculty resumes as Southern and you will see what I mean.

    As for preaching, there are always places for you to serve part-time to full-time while in school or just out which are within driving distance of any of the SBC seminaries. Find one, get plugged in, but remember to keep school as your first objective. I have seen way too many people drop out because of their current ministries (or just drop the ball on their studies because of time restraints), never to finish or get out of the school what they went there for. I hope you will visit these schools first before making a decision. That is the best advice I could give.

    DR
     
  10. JGrayhound

    JGrayhound
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    The Calvinism thing at Southern is WAY overplayed by those outside of the seminary...even alumni.

    As a current student, one who is very involved with campus life, I can assure you it is not an issue.

    Southern is the best seminary in the SBC for academics...that is really not much of a debate. You would hear Dr.Akin say the same thing, in fact I have heard him say that several times. Southeastern would be #2, and it is getting better. I am sure Patterson will help Southwestern a lot, as they are currently a very mediocre academic school. NOBTS is poor academically, primarily because it focuses so much on getting students in and out of school so fast.

    If you want to teach, go to Southern.
     
  11. JGrayhound

    JGrayhound
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    Very true...it really represents the two strains of baptist history, eh?

    I think this is a pretty ridiculous statement. For one, you cannot possibly know what the majority of students do or how they act or think. Especially if you are going to say they "lose sight..". How do you compare that tangibly to what SEBTS students think/feel/do?

    There are more SBTS graduates being sent by IMB in the past few years than from any other seminary. It has been my experience that SBTS prepares men of God for faithful ministry, ministry that is very practical.

    Now if you mean that SEBTS focuses less on academics than on practicality then that may be true. But to say that students are not ministry-minded is a erroneous, IMO. Yes, Southern draws the more academic type to campus, but that does not mean that they are not ministry minded. I think your thoughts on this are flawed.

    I can tell you this, Dr. Akin will basically be making the SEBTS catalog look just like the SBTS catalog...so you can tell what Dr. Akin's mindset is on the direction of SEBTS. He wants it to be like Southern.
     
  12. panicbird

    panicbird
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    Now, wait a minute. You just called someone on not knowing someone's thoughts. You cannot turn around and then do the same. I do not think that Dr. Akin wants Southeastern to be like Southern. Perhaps he wants to strengthen it in areas it needs strengthening, but that does not mean he wants it to be like Southern.

    Lon
     
  13. JGrayhound

    JGrayhound
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    He was making a blanket general statement about people he has never talked with nor even knows....I am making a statement based on things I have heard first person come from Dr. Akin's mouth. Those are 2 completely different scenarios.

    Dr. Akin is a big reason that Southern is how it is. Should it really be shocking that he would try and pattern Southeastern after Southern?
    I do not see how it as a bad thing at all for SEBTS to become more like SBTS, especially in certain areas where they are not as strong.
     
  14. The Chief

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    I would have to agree with Grayhound. I think that after Akin has been at S Eastern for a while, he will build an academic atmosphere. However, schools always reflect (over time) their leaders. Thus, there will never be a school like SOuthern because there is not another leader like Mohler. SEBTS is a fine school, but I think that Southern is the better school overall.
     
  15. NateT

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    I guess SEBTS could only be 4/5 of Southern :D
     
  16. JGrayhound

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    Southern has a unique place in SBC life and in the academic world, mostly due to Mohler. The top conservative scholars want to come to Southern. It is now known as one of the top (if not THE top) conservative academic schools in the world. Akin had a huge part in that as well, and I am sure that he will take Southeastern to unprecedented heights.

    I have a lot of respect for Dr. Akin and for Southeastern, and it would be the only other SBC seminary that I would consider attending.

    Will SBTS and SEBTS be exactly alike? No way. They will be more similar in the future years due to Akin's role in both institutions, but they will still each fill a unique niche in SBC life.
     
  17. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    JCG:

    Call it ridiculous if you desire. I have spent 8 years at SBTS so I will assume I have a better grasp of things than you. I have known Danny Akin for 12+ years. He is a close friend and mentor of mine, so my words are not simply shooting from the hip. Someone asked my opinion of SBTS vs SEBTS and I gave it. It is simply my opinion. You are entitled to your own as well. But please do not suggest that my opinion is uninformed.

    Godspeed.
     
  18. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    JCG regarding Akin's desire for SEBTS: "He wants it to be like Southern."

    Now that is a ridiculous statement. As a matter of fact, he will get quite a kick out of these words.

    BTW, Calvinism is an issue.
     
  19. JGrayhound

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    First, it's JG...not JCG. But I thank you for making me more like Christ (JC...I know, it was a bad joke). :D

    I am not saying you are uniformed, you sound as if you are very well informed....but don't act as if I am uninformed. I am here in the midst of it, and have access to quite a bit of what is going on here. Sorry if I came off as discounting you, it was not my intention...I just don't think the Calvinism thing is that big of a deal.

    I am telling you my experience first hand as a current student at SBTS, one who is very involved with profs and administration. It is really only an issue to people outside the seminary and their perceptions of Southern. Inside, it is not any more of an issue than it is at any other school...except that we have a lot of students who are Calvinists. I'll assume that since you are no longer a student at Southern, that you will see that I have a much better perspective of what is CURRENTLY going on with the student body. It is not like that is all that is discussed, in fact rarely is it discussed, and I think you are making more of an issue of it than it really is.

    As for Dr.Akin, I am not saying that he is trying to make Southeastern EXACTLY like Southern. But, there are certain things about Southern that make it unique, that he will emulate at SEBTS. Like I said, he is a huge reason that Southern is how it is, so why would it be surprising that he would carry some things over?? Of course it will look different, becasue it will resemble him more, just as Southern resembles Mohler. But there are some areas where he will make SEBTS like SBTS.
    If he is truly going to make the academic programs mirror Southern's (as I have heard from someone who knows very well), then that would be a good example of one area where Akin will make SEBTS look like SBTS. True?

    Look, this is no slight on Akin or SEBTS whatsoever. There are many things I admire about that school and many more that I admire about Akin. But, my posts were also my opinions...based on my knowledge and involvement at Southern.

    [ June 22, 2004, 05:32 PM: Message edited by: JGrayhound ]
     
  20. All about Grace

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    Actually until I walk across the stage in December with my final degree, I am a current student. Although I am not on campus (I have had ABD status for a couple of years), I am very informed with what goes on. Like I said, Danny Akin is a dear friend of mine. We discuss regularly the "concerns" of the seminary & the Calvinism perception (based on a level of reality). Like it or not, Calvinism is THE issue that Southern must constantly address at this stage.

    I would agree that there are certain things he will attempt to emulate, but I can also tell you that based on our recent conversations, he is thrilled he has not had to discuss the Calvinism issue a single time since arriving at SEBTS.

    I know. I arrived at SBTS one week after Akin. He is the sole reason we decided to come to Southern.

    I agree that he will seek to strengthen the academic programs of SEBTS.

    There are also areas where SBTS should emulate SEBTS, such as SE's emphasis on evangelism and the contagious, worshipful spirit of their chapel services.

    Both schools will remain unique with their strengths and weaknesses (which mirrors my original post I believe).
     

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