The Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is offering MDiv and MA degrees in three key areas that are fully online. SBTS now offers seven MDiv degrees fully online.
Paul Akin, dean of the Graham School, said SBTS wants to enable those already working in ministry to stay in their current position while pursuing a master of divinity.
“We want to make sure we are making theological education as accessible as possible to as many people as possible,” he said.
“We want to make sure we are making theological education as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.”
“There are so many pastors and church leaders that are serving in different kinds of roles that don’t allow them to pick up and move to Louisville to campus, so we’re always thinking through how to deliver high-quality theological education to as many people as possible.”
Rather than being oriented toward generalists in ministry, these online degrees are oriented toward the specialist with a narrower ministry focus:
- WORSHIP LEADERSHIP. This degree is for the worship pastor or music minister who is al- ready deeply rooted in the local church, already working in vocational ministry.
- ISLAMIC STUDIES. This degree is for those who are already serving on the mission field— or who plan to serve in a similar venue in the future—in regions or countries that are heavily populated by adherents to Islam. There are currently 1.8 billion people worldwide who adhere to Islam, so this degree is especially vital for missions and evangelism. This program includes two classes in Arabic. Most classes in this program are taught by Ayman Ibrahim, a world class scholar in Islamic studies.
- BIBLICAL COUNSELING. This program includes the practicum, which is done through distance learning and not on campus as in the past.
These three degrees are available both as a master of divinity, which entails 88-plus hours of credit, or as a master of arts, which is 54 hours. The new degrees now mean SBTS has seven MDiv degrees that are fully online.The other four online MDiv degrees include biblical and theological studies, Christian ministry, Great Commission studies, and apologetics. Akin said, “We are increasingly finding people who have already found their dream job in a local church, and they don’t want to leave to go to seminary. They al- ready have the job they would want after seminary, realize they need more training or equipping, but can’t pack up and move their family. These are the online degrees for that person. “For full information or to apply for any of these seven degrees, please visit www.sbts.edu/online/mdiv/.