What constitutes an SBC seminary?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, May 16, 2005.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Hey Gang,

    This may be an "in house" debate for SBC "hands" but others' opinions are welcome and relevent.

    IMO Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary, Luther Rice Seminary, Beeson Divinity School (Samford), Criswell College (FBC Dallas) are all SBC seminaries or grad schools. There may be others that I have missed and do not want to slight in any way. Please list them in our discussion.

    Because:

    1. They teach SBC polity.

    2. They teach SBC history.

    3. Generally, most of the profs have SBC higher ed credentials.

    4. Some SBC monies from churches and individuals support their work.

    5. They teach SBC missions.

    6. This may be the most important of all. The Churches of the SBC and the Missions agencies of the SBC have opened their doors to these institutional graduates to serve the Lord through the venues mentioned.

    7. They are denominationally loyal.

    Let me hear back from you. I expect some strong opinions and rebuttals here.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  2. PatsFan

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    IMO the schools you mentioned are either SBC or SBC wannabe schools. What I mean is, without appearing cynical, if these unofficial seminaries are seen by denominational leaders as drawing funds away from the official seminaries, they may never be FULLY accepted. If that is not, indeed, an issue, then I'm not sure why they aren't given a more official status. With the battle of the Fundamentalists and the Moderates still raging, I suspect some may be concerned about finances as people take there money elsewhere. I do think the seminaries you mention are very much Southern Baptist in the ways you mentioned, however.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    PatsFan,

    Thanks for the RSVP. There is another situation that is developing also. The seminaries have long had a type of "trade-line agreement" with the state sponsored SBC colleges. "We will not start any colleges and you don't start any siminaries (grad schools of rel)!" That way the education $ dollar does not get split in half as it were. You can do undergrad ed and we will do grad and professional ed.

    BUT, nearly all of the seminaries have started undergrad programs; Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern, & NOBTS. And (my favorite Baptist university-Union) some of the universities have started some grad schools of religion or at least some master's level programs. So, there seems to be a competition for the Cooperative Program funds. I don't know how this will turn out?

    This is in the shadow of some state schools withdrawing form the state conventions and starting their own seminary programs like Mercer. Mainly these have been more liberal and have left since the conservative resurgence.

    Makes good fodder for thought I guess?! Let me hear some more good opinions!!!!!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  4. PatsFan

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    Very interesting stuff! I wondered if the Cooperative funds were being used for schools. Thanks for clarifying that. I've noticed over the years that student costs have risen at the SBC seminaries also. For some students it might not be that much cheaper to get their M.A.C.E. at SWBTS, for example. They might just as well stay at Dallas Baptist University or a similar baptist college where they may already be established.
     
  5. StefanM

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    Also, many schools allow for use of federal aid, which is not available at the 6 SBC seminaries.
     
  6. PastorSBC1303

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    I guess the technical answer to your question is that the ones funded by the Cooperative program are the SBC seminaries. However I think all those that you listed are SBC schools as well, just in a little different category.
     
  7. PatsFan

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    Also, many schools allow for use of federal aid, which is not available at the 6 SBC seminaries. </font>[/QUOTE]I wonder why they can't get federal aid at the 6 SBC seminaries?
     
  8. StefanM

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    I believe the seminaries have chosen on principle to reject government aid.


    http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=1415

    In this article from a SWBTS associate director of communications, the author seems to advocate divorcing theological education from any form of government funding. Perhaps this represents the prevailing sentiment in the seminaries.

    As a side note, the lack of government financial aid at the SBC seminaries is one of the main reasons why I'm not planning to enroll in any of them.
     
  9. PatsFan

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    I believe the seminaries have chosen on principle to reject government aid.
    http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=1415

    In this article from a SWBTS associate director of communications, the author seems to advocate divorcing theological education from any form of government funding. Perhaps this represents the prevailing sentiment in the seminaries.

    As a side note, the lack of government financial aid at the SBC seminaries is one of the main reasons why I'm not planning to enroll in any of them.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I had no idea that had become an issue. Fortunately there are a lot of really fine non-SBC seminaries that still accept federal aid.
     
  10. StefanM

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    I was honestly confused for the longest time (until today, basically) about this issue. I couldn't understand why on earth a seminary wouldn't allow federal loans! When I found this article, I guess my question was answered.

    I don't see why federal aid is a bad idea as long as the seminary still has control over the curriculum.
     
  11. PatsFan

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    Hey Stefan,

    I agree with you. I read the article. I don't quite come up with the same conclusions that he does. In fact, he seems to be combining various loosely related issues in order to arrive at his conclusion: http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=1415

    It might have made sense to avoid federal aid in the 1970's or something when the 6 SBC seminaries were funded more adequately. Today with all the division and infighting in our denomination, it seems like such a decision to avoid federal aid could present some obstacles to both seminary attendance and to ministers receiving the training they need for ministry.
     
  12. StefanM

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    Amen! The ministry is hard enough! We don't need to make it harder!
     
  13. Rhetorician

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    Hey gang,

    Let's "stay on task" with the two questions above.

    Let me add one for the mix:

    QUESTION:

    Is there an SBC seminary that is "world class?"

    If so, which one is it?

    Why?

    sdg!

    rd

    PS. This need not be an "SBC Insiders" question, other are certainly welcome to join in the discussion.
     
  14. gb93433

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    The SBC seminaries are attempting to start undergraduate schools in an effort to draw people in and make themselves look good. Let's face it if you could go to a school that was 1000 dollars tuition and another was 12,000 dolars tuition which would you pick? By providing a low cost tuition school don't you think it would hurt the other private Baptist schools.
     
  15. StefanM

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    The difference is not that pronounced. E.g. Boyce College (at SBTS) is $180 for SBC students and $360 for other denominations.

    While this is cheaper, the lack of federal financial aid would make a difference for some students.

    Overall, I definitely think this is somewhat of a shot at Baptist colleges.
     
  16. Rhetorician

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    Two "insider" observations:

    First:

    I am not sure that it "definitely . . . is somewhat of a shot at Baptist colleges." It seems to me as much of an expansion of ministry base and opportunity as anything else. It gives young people the opportunity or ability to not have to move around so many times when/after they finished their undergrad program. Then go directly to grad professional school for their MDiv work

    Second:

    SBC seminary education has been so cheap for so long that many is the time when outside denominational personnel have come to "The Big Six" in order to get their PhD degrees. Traditionally, (I am not sure about now?) the SBC Cooperative Program dollars have underwritten tuition costs by as much as 75-90%. When other denominational people have come to our seminaries they only had to pay twice what our cooperating & ordained SBC young people had to pay. The outside people were "still getting a bargain" with the SBC paying up to 50% of their tuition. Go figure! This is comparing SBC tuition to some place like TEDS or GC in older dollars (something I knew about in those days of my youth).

    The prices for tuition @ SBC seminaries/colleges are going up but are still about 1/2 what I paid for an RA Bible college (Christian Liberal Arts now) in my home town. Still seems like a good deal to me!

    I have not checked on prices; but if I were a betting man: I would wager that the tuition price at one of the SBC seminary aligned colleges would be considerably cheaper than a state Baptist college. For some people, price is the not the main concern; it is the ONLY concern.

    You can go there cheaper and then not have to move your family to go to grad school! Sounds like a PLAn & a DEAL to me!

    I am not "ranting or raving" against either side of the issue. I am just reporting what I have seen and what is my opinion. Besides I cannot stop it. People with more power and influence do what they believe at the time to be God's will.

    More fodder for thought!

    SDG!

    "dr"
     
  17. JGrayhound

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    Southern
     
  18. StefanM

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    I am one to think that having a BA and MDiv from the same school is not the best idea, anyway.
     
  19. gb93433

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    The professors I had in seminary did not recommend for a student to have the same major in their BA degree as the seminary. They recommended a wider variety of education.
     
  20. StefanM

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    Perhaps I'm a bit paranoid, but I see some of the SBC seminary undergrad programs as an attempt to derail the Baptist schools which may be more "liberal" than the SBC leadership likes. The SBC leadership doesn't have direct control over these Baptist colleges, but they do over the seminaries. If they make undergrad programs substantially cheaper, then they can siphon away ministry students from the Baptist colleges, and they will not have to worry about "liberalism."
     

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