Southwestern OR Midwestern

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by micahaaron, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. micahaaron

    micahaaron
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    I am looking at these two Southern Baptist seminaries.
    What are the pro's and con's of each sem and are they conservitive or liberal etc.? What is the social life like and faculty?

    MA
     
  2. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    I went to Southwestern in the mid 80's. It has changed possibly to be a tad more conservative since then.

    As a female, I would not have ever considered Midwestern in any serious form or fashion. I feel I got a quality education at Southwestern.

    Social life? Don't count on the seminary to provide it. You must have a real life. This ain't college anymore.
     
  3. NateT

    NateT
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    Midwestern is MUCH smaller in size in terms of # of students. Therefore, it's also goign to offer less in terms of outside class activities. For example, my last pastor and his wife recently graduated (2000 or 2001) from Southwestern. They said every thursday the grocery store would bring all the stuff that said "sell by:" and was past that date. It was either free or extremely discounted.

    You'll also have bigger "names" at Southwestern just because its a bigger school. However, I was impressed with Dr. Branch at midwestern when we met with him. I haven't visted Southwestern, but Midwestern was definitely very friendly. We were supposed to get to meet Dr. Robertson but he was on a mission trip. When we went to visit Southern, we didn't even THINK of meeting Dr. Mohler.

    I think the best advice is, go visit them. You can get a lot of information from friends and family, but you don't know until you step foot on campus.
     
  4. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    Easy Choice.

    More Course Choices at the Bigger School. That translates to you studying more of what you want to than at a smaller school where your only options are limited.
     
  5. micahaaron

    micahaaron
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    I am looking for sems on Interstate 35, there is Bethel Sem in Arden Hills, MN; Midwestern; Southwestern etc. Southwestern is close to my in-laws, Bethel is close to my family, Midwestern is far enough, but yet close enough to both families.

    MA
     
  6. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Come and join our big family here at SWBTS my friend!

    Between the two I'd pick SWBTS over MBTS any day for several reasons:
    1. SWBTS has more to offer in degrees and faculty
    2. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is better in terms of activities, ministries, and more diversity of churches
    3. SWBTS is located in the middle of a large area of need for local pastors and staff
    4. SWBTS has the better faculty and endowment

    Just a couple of thoughts! :D
     
  7. zuchva

    zuchva
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    I have been to Midwestern and the campus reminds me of a high school.
    The top three things about MW:
    1.tuition
    2.tuition
    3.tuition
    Then again with CP funds any SBC is more than affordable.
    Phil Roberts would be great in class.

    SWBTS would be my choice between the two.
     
  8. micahaaron

    micahaaron
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    Zuchva,
    Are you saying the tuition is higher at MW than SWBTS?
     
  9. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Bethel is in the more liberal tradition of the Swedish (General) Baptists. It is a good school academically, but if you are SBC, you would NOT be happy.

    Also in Minneapolis (Plymouth) is Central Baptist Theological Seminary. It is a premier IFB school. If you are on the very conservative edge of the SBC it would be a great place. Small but some high quality men.

    Then down I35 in Des Moines (Ankeny) is Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, antoher small but high caliber IFB school.

    Think you need to see where YOU ARE theologically and denominationally before the ultimate choice. You WILL be labeled by the seminary you attend.

    (Have a son that is SBC for years, but went to an IFB school and is still "suspect" for that!)
     
  10. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I graduated from Midwestern in May 2003 with a MDiv, and I loved every minute of it. I looked at the other SBC seminaries, but here are the reasons I selected and would recommend Midwestern to anyone:

    1. Family atmosphere--it is a small school, but because of that you get a change to really build relationships with people. I was able to get to know many of my profs on a first name basis. They actually acted like they cared about me and my family and were interested in allowing us to grow.

    2. The Faculty--it may be a small school, but it truly has a world class faculty. Dr. Ben Awbrey is in my opinion the top preaching professor in the SBC. Dr. Alan Tomlinson, professor of NT and Greek is a truly amazing man. I would love to go back and just take his classes over again, just to hear him. Dr. Don Whitney is a world class Spiritual formation professor. His class on personal spiritual disciplines changed my life. I could go on and on.

    3. Missions/Ministry Opportunities--Again being a smaller school there are a bunch of opportunities to be involved in ministries and mission work from the local area to around the world. I was able to serve in a local church setting for my entire time there that was very valueable. I have friends that attended other SBC seminaries and with so many students the spots of ministry were few and hard to come by unless you knew someone important.

    4. KC area--and just personally I loved the campus and the city. Before my first visit to the campus I had never been to KC. But my wife and I fell in love with the area. It has something for everyone. It is small enough that it still really has the hometown country atmosphere in a lot of ways, and yet large enough that there are many events and activities to be a part of while you are there.

    I hope this helps. If you need any further info regarding Midwestern, feel free to Private message me.
     
  11. zuchva

    zuchva
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    mic-
    No I am saying that MW's tuition is lower than SW
     
  12. Rosell

    Rosell
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    Actually, in terms of tuition, they're both about the same. If you are Southern Baptist, they would both be far less expensive than just about any other school.

    I looked at both when I was trying to decide, and chose Southwestern for several reasons:

    1. It has a world class faculty. I know a lot of Midwestern alums love theirs, and got to know them well, but they're just not in the same category.

    2. Midwestern is in constant financial turmoil, which causes a lot of disruption, and that was what a number of students there told me. On several occasions in recent years, serious consideration has been given to closing it down and even though the officials in charge deny that, it is a matter of record. At least twice in the past decade, it has been made as a motion at the convention and considered and studied by a committee. It appears that some powers in the SBC would like to merge it with Mid-America seminary in Memphis.

    3. Southwestern has an incomparable library. Sitting in an overstuffed chair on one of the upper floors in one of the corner windows for hours at a time, it's like a personal devotional revival

    4. There isn't much in the way of "social life" at either school, but the Dallas-Fort Worth area has a lot more to offer than Kansas City. And the weather is a lot better.

    5. Midwestern has had some ongoing difficulties related to accreditation. Again, you won't hear much from current students or staff, but its a fact.

    6. As far as the label "conservative" goes, if that's what you're looking for, Southwestern is a guarantee. I attended in the last few years of Dr. Dilday's term as president and it was solidly conservative and evangelical then, contrary to what its critics were saying. Patterson is a bit too pushy and controlling for me, with a lot of personal biases he doesn't mind airing in public, but he's a solid Biblical scholar and once you get beneath the surface, you'll find his leadership to be relatively balanced and fair, also in spite of his critics. You can'd have done the in-depth study of scripture and application that he's done, and have his kind of experience, and not have a deep understanding of both the truths of scripture and the needs of theological education. I think Patterson has both sides. He realizes he has to be a blustering politician to remain in leadership--that's all for the leaders of the SBC. But a truly in-depth study of the Word gets you way past the populist theology that exists in the pews, and Patterson knows that as well.

    Personally, these days, if I had the decision to make over, I wouldn't go to either of them but if that's your choice, go with SWBTS.
     
  13. micahaaron

    micahaaron
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    Rosell,
    Personally, these days, if I had the decision to make over, I wouldn't go to either of them but if that's your choice, go with SWBTS.

    Where would you go instead?
     
  14. Rosell

    Rosell
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    For myself, if I had it to do over, my first choice would be Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. The two factors there would be cost and proximity to my family, who mostly live in western Michigan. If reputation of school and quality of faculty were the main decision making criteria, and cost and location weren't a factor, I'd probably choose Fuller Theological Seminary in Southern California or Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas.

    Since a location close to I-35 seems to be important to you, I'd recommend Truett Seminary at Baylor University. It seems to be right on target theologically for its constituency of conservative Texas Baptists in the BGCT, it has a world class faculty, many of them with well known and respected reputations earned at Southwestern when I was a student there, and I understand it does an outstanding job of balancing student need with financial assistance. The Baptist General Convention of Texas, despite its revolt against the SBC, is still a theologically conservative body and Truett's rapid growth in student population and resources is evidence that it is providing a quality education within its constituency.

    Keep in mind that I was raised in the home of a pastor in the ABC-USA in western Michigan, which is an area where the primary Christian influence is from the Reformed (mainly Dutch variety) Church and where choices in theological education are limited. The SBC and the opportunities it provided seemed to be much brighter prospects than what I could see from where I was, so I came to Southwestern and then went out to pastor a small town SBC church for a while. I no longer look at the prospect of continuing ministry in a Southern Baptist church as favorable. So you probably need to take my advice with that particular grain of salt.
     

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