Southern Seminary (SBTS): A Seminary in Kentucky

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
B.H. Carroll Memorial Building at SBTS

Southern Seminary, located in Louisville, KY, has been an innovator in theological education since its founding in 1859 as the first seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention.  At Southern Seminary (SBTS), truth is the foundation for learning, and the school’s legacy runs deep.  Each year, thousands of students see their vision come alive while fulfilling their ministry calling with Southern Seminary.  The leaders here believe these are serious times, and they are looking for students who are serious about impacting our world with the gospel of Christ.

A Seminary in Kentucky

At its campus in Louisville, Kentucky, Southern Seminary is centrally located.  (Boyce College, Southern’s undergraduate theology school, is also located on this campus).  People who live in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville, Chicago and St. Louis are only a few hours from the school.  Those who live in states further away can still easily come to Southern Seminary on a plane.  Louisville’s airport is within 20 minutes of the campus.

(Find more schools near Louisville).

A Seminary Online

When family, ministry and work commitments make it difficult to relocate to our main campus in Louisville, another option for ministry training is Southern Seminary’s online programs.  Nearly all of the core requirements for the M.Div. are offered through the online seminary, as well as a wide variety of electives.  Students cannot complete an entire M.Div. degree online, however.

The seminary’s accreditation standards and academic policies allow for up to two-thirds (59 hours) of online-credit to apply towards the M.Div. program.   Other students may earn up to half of other master’s degrees online.   Seminary academic policy and accreditation standards, to put it conversely, require students to complete one-third of the M.Div. degree and half of other master’s degrees in residence – on the SBTS main campus.  The seminary offers intensive courses in winter and summer terms, frequently referred to as “D-” or “J-terms”, to help students obtain their residency hours.

By requiring a portion of each degree program to be completed on the SBTS campus, Southern Seminary distinguishes themselves as one of the top online seminaries.  The best seminaries online have a physical campus, and the faculty at SBTS want to make sure every student experiences learning in person.  Through the D- and J-term courses, Southern Seminary makes it possible for most students to complete the necessary courses on campus.

(Find more online schools).

Theology Degrees by Extension Education

Even those who are unable to relocate to Louisville can still earn a theology degree. Southern Seminary has established a network of extension education centers across the South, Midwest and Northeast. Each week, the school’s faculty members travel to its extension centers, bringing the same caliber of theological instruction that on-campus students receive to extension students.

Extension Centers are located in:

  • Northwest Arkansas
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbia, MD
  • East Tennessee (Knoxville Area)
  • Jackson, TN
  • New York City, NY
  • Washington, D.C.

Southern Seminary’s History

Southern Seminary was founded in 1859.  It is the product of James P. Boyce’s vision and was the Southern Baptist Convention’s first seminary.  Some well-known alumni include Douglas Carver, the Chief Chaplain of the U.S. Army, Mark Dever and W.A. Criswell.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Mission

SBTS has a desire to train men and women who are passionate about the gospel.  They seek to prepare people to take the gospel throughout the world.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

SBTS is a Southern Baptist Seminary

Southern Seminary, which is formally known as The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, adheres to the Southern Baptist Conventions’ statements.  For more than 150 years, the seminary has been grounded by its confessional statements.

(Find more Southern Baptist Schools).

Southern Seminary’s Degree Programs

As one of the top seminaries in the country, Southern Seminary offers a wide array of degree programs.  Southern Seminary is structured like a university, and offers the degrees through schools within the seminary.

School of Theology

The School of Theology at Southern Seminary trains preachers and teachers, pastors and missionaries, theologians and apologists, counselors and evangelists – all to the end of advancing the kingdom, that Christ may be glorified in the nations. The School of Theology is the oldest and central school of Southern Seminary.  It is devoted to training pastors, counselors and leaders within the church.

The School of Theology faculty is devoted to help equip students to stand and walk in a manner worthy of Jesus’ name.  By commencement day, theology students know the intricacies of the 66 books that comprise the Word of God. They graduate with confidence to teach it, preach it, counsel from it, evangelize with it, and defend it.

The School of Theology at Southern Seminary offers several degrees:

  • A Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Degree
  • A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree
  • A Master’s of Theology (Th.M.) Degree
  • A Master’s of Divinity (M.Div.) Degree with a concentration in Pastoral Studies, Christian Ministry, Biblical and Theological Studies, Worldview and Apologetics or Biblical Counseling
  • A Master’s of Arts (M.A.) Degree with a concentration in either Theological Studies or Biblical Counseling
  • A Diploma

School of Church Ministries

The School of Church Ministries equips leaders for real-life ministry.  For those whom God has called to his ministry, this school provides theologically rich, vocationally tested training in biblical worship, family discipleship and pastoral leadership.  The School of Church Ministries at Southern Seminary is devoted to training those in the associate pastor positions within the local church – worship leaders, executive pastors, youth ministers, children’s ministers – all towards the goal of disciple making within the church.

In the School of Church Ministries, theology is combined with missiology, and specialized training for ministries specific to the local church is included in the curriculum.  Students in the School of Church Ministries learn theology, church history, discipleship and specialized skills, so they can reach the people of the local church.

At Southern Seminary’s School of Church Ministries, students can earn a(n):

  • Doctor of Educational Ministry (D.Ed.Min.)
  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Master’s of Theology (Th.M.)
  • Master’s of Divinity (M.Div.)
  • Master’s of Arts (M.A.)
  • Diploma

Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism

The Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism has a biblical sense of urgency for the Great Commission and trains men and women to give their lives to evangelism, missions and church planting.  Under the leadership of Dean Zane Pratt, the Billy Graham School is devoted to training up missionaries, church planters and those who are called to take the gospel missiologically to North America and around the world.

The Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary confers the following degrees:

  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Missiology (D.Miss.)
  • Master’s of Theology (Th.M.)
  • Master’s of Divinity (M.Div.)
  • Master’s of Arts (M.A.)
  • Diploma

(For undergraduate degrees, see Boyce College, the undergraduate program of Southern Seminary).

An Accredited Seminary

Southern Seminary is not only accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), which oversees many seminaries in the United States and Canada, but SBTS has been a leading academic institution for decades.

The seminary began offering Ph.D. degrees in 1895, and has one of the top seminary doctoral programs in the country today.  In the 1950s, Southern Seminary brought the gospel to social workers through the first-ever accredited Master’s of Social Work (M.S.W.) offered by a seminary or divinity college.  During the 1970s and 1980s, the Ph.D. program at Southern Seminary was the country’s most extensive Ph.D. program in religion.

In the 21st century, Southern Seminary is continuing to expand its doctoral programs and be among the top seminaries. In 2009, the first Spirituality Ph.D. degree program at Southern Seminary was formed.  It seeks to incorporated the rigorous academic work of a research degree with the Spiritual impact of the gospel.

SBTS is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits the best Bible colleges, seminaries and secular universities in the Southern U.S.

More Information About Southern Seminary

More information about each school of Southern Seminary is available at


Find Other Schools

Those interested in Southern Seminary may also want to check out other theology schools that:

Boyce College: A Bible College in Kentucky

Studying the Bible
Study the Bible at Boyce

Whether students are called to serve in North Carolina or North Africa, behind a pulpit or in a public school, Boyce College, located in Louisville, KY, has an undergraduate degree program to suit their needs.  Each of Boyce’s 14 undergraduate academic programs are designed to produce graduates who are serious about the gospel, competent to engage the culture and faithful to serve the church in various ways.

A Bible College in Kentucky

Boyce College is centrally located in Louisville, Kentucky on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  In Louisville, Boyce College is only a few hours from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Nashville, St. Louis and Chicago.  Even Atlanta, which is seven hours from this Bible college in Kentucky, is within a day’s drive.

(Find other Bible Colleges near Louisville).

A Bible College Online

In addition to its physical campus, Boyce College offers online educational opportunities for those who are not able to move to Louisville.  Students can obtain a fully accredited bachelor’s of arts in biblical and theological studies or an associate of arts degree from the Bible college.  The online program at Boyce College is one of the best online Bible college curriculums that adheres to the Southern Baptist Convention.

(Find other online Bible colleges).

Boyce College’s History

Boyce College is named after James P. Boyce, who was The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s first president.  In 1974, Boyce Bible School was founded.  It became Boyce College in 1998, when the school started offering six bachelor’s degrees.

Boyce College’s Mission

As a Bible college that adheres to the Southern Baptist Convention, Boyce College seeks to prepare young men and women with a gospel-centered worldview.  Most of the school’s degrees are directly related to ministry, and even the indirectly-related majors help students form a ministry within a secular career.

Boyce College from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

Boyce is a Southern Baptist Bible College

As an institution of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Boyce adheres to the seminary’s beliefs.  The college also agrees with all of the Southern Baptist Convention’s doctrinal statements.  In an age of uncertainty and vague commitments, Boyce clearly defines its beliefs.

(Find other Southern Baptist Bible Colleges).

Boyce College’s Degrees

Boyce offers several different degrees, as well as a certificate.  As an undergraduate educational institution, all of the degrees are at the bachelor’s level or below.  Regardless of the curriculum chosen, all students here become firmly grounded in Christianity.

Boyce’s Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) Degrees

Boyce’s B.S. in Biblical Studies

Boyce offers the highest level degree that Bible Colleges are accredited to confer.  The Bachelor’s of Science in Biblical Studies prepares students for seminary or future gospel ministry.  Students can choose from several areas of focus:

  • Church Ministry
  • Worship and Musical Studies
  • Worship and Pastoral Studies
  • Counseling
  • Missions
  • Youth Ministry

B.S. in Elementary Education

The Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education is ideal for students seeking an elementary education program built on a Christian worldview.  The Boyce College Teacher Education Program, or TEP, is a state-approved program leading to state certification as an elementary teacher for grades K-5.  When they graduate, students are grounded in a Christian worldview and also a fully qualified professional teacher for either a Christian or public school with full state certification.

B.S. in Humanities

Boyce also offers a general bachelor’s of science.  The flexible curriculum of this program allows students to pursue their interests, while preparing for life after college.

(Find other Bible colleges that offer B.S. degrees).

Boyce’s  Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) Degrees

The bachelor’s of arts program at Boyce College is large enough to offer several areas of concentration, yet small enough that students can get to know the faculty.  Students can earn a B.A. with a focus in Christian Worldview and Apologetics or Expository Preaching and Pastoral Leadership.  In addition to these, a Biblical and Theological Studies degree can be earned from Boyce’s online Bible College extension.

Starting in the 2012-13 academic year, Boyce College will launch a program ideal for students serious about gospel ministry: the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies, Seminary Track.  Of Boyce’s theology degrees, this program is the most accelerated.  Through it, students can potentially earn both an undergraduate degree from Boyce College and a master’s of divinity (M.Div.) from Southern Seminary in just five years.  An M.Div. has become the standard theology degree for pastors, and it alone usually takes three years to earn.

(Find other Bible colleges that offer B.A. degrees).

Boyce’s Associate of Arts Degree

Boyce College is one of the top online Bible colleges that offers an associate of arts.  The Associate of Arts in Biblical and Theological studies can be completed at the campus in Kentucky or online.  Bible College students, thanks to the e-campus, can save money and study while in vocational ministry.

(Find more Bible colleges that offer associate degrees).

Boyce’s Worldview Studies Certificate

The Boyce College Worldview Studies Certificate is an intensive one-year program designed to establish a biblical worldview in first-time collegiate students who desire to pursue additional studies in the university setting.  Students are challenged spiritually as they study under the direction of the college’s theology faculty, and they’ll grow personally as they take part in Boyce student life activities.

(Find more Bible Colleges that offer Certificates).

An Accredited Bible College

Boyce College is accredited under The Southern Baptist Seminary’s accreditation with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (COC).  As such, Boyce College is fully accredited to award baccalaureate and associate degrees.  It is also an accredited online Bible college and can offer these degrees through online education.

The Southwestern Baptist Seminary is also accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, which oversees the top seminaries in the United States and the best seminaries in Canada.

More Information About Boyce College

More information about Boyce College is available at the school’s website.


Find More Theology Schools

If Boyce College interests you, then you might also want to check out: