SBTS – More Precious Than Silver?

More evidence that Southern Seminary is the best value among major seminaries.

OK – a 90 credit hour Master’s Degree is going to cramp your budget. But Southern Seminary has remained true to its Founder’s Vision of open access to theological training. Compare these statistics Timmy posted. As you write your check for your J-Term stop and praise God for the Cooperative Program. (And the Institutional Advancement people)

Comparison of Seminary Costs

From the 2005-2006 ATS Report. Here’s how the SBTS lines up in yearly student costs compared to other seminaries.

Fuller Theological Seminary – $13,146.00
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School – $12,207.00
Reformed Theological Seminary – $10,907.00
Denver Seminary – $10,650.00
Bethel Seminary – $9,210.00
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary $3,750.00

What do you think? Who loves the Cooperative Program now?

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7 Responses to SBTS – More Precious Than Silver?

  1. Tony Kummer says:

    No takers on topic?

  2. Tony Kummer says:

    I wish I did – maybe Timmy has them? I was a little surprised to see the difference was so big on the cost. I know they were saying SBTS with 4,000 is the largest evangelical seminary.

  3. Damon says:

    I would love to go to Southern. The problem, of course, is the huge residency requirements. Those involved with full time Ministry, that are supporting wives and kids, etc., are still required to take the bulk of their courses on campus. I think this is grave error on the part of SBTS. It actually stifles the ministry, because it encourages missionaries, pastors, etc., to put the work of God on hold, to attend classes on campus. This in spite of the fact that distance education classes have again and again shown themselves to be equally effective in training up students.
    And because of this, you have people going to, say, Liberty, where they are able to complete their degree online.

  4. Currently at SBTS you only have to have 24 hours of “on-campus” classes. This amounts to only 8 classes and can be done as J-terms. In other words, it would, at the mot, require you to be on campus for 8 weeks during your entire education. I don’t think that is too bad considering the alternatives available for a specialized degree (M. Div’s are specialized degrees–I don’t care what anyone says!).

    Terry Delaneys last blog post..Eating Buffalo

  5. Damon says:

    Until you consider that the eight weeks you are speaking of, counting travel expenses for out of state students, back and forth, and the cost of housing for the eight weeks while also losing money at your paying job, amounts to as much as ten thousand dollars. Then it puts things back in perspective. For example, it would cost me approximately 600 to 700 dollars per round trip. Then, you figure in the average weekly cost of housing, probably in the area of at least 150 dollars per week. Then add in, say 500 bucks a week in lost earnings.
    Then compare this to Liberty, which has a 2,000 dollar per semester cap, placing the highest possible cost for a year of studies at 4,000 dollars, and NO additional residence costs. Liberty will also accept transfer credits from all CHEA recognized accrediting bodies, whereas SBTS is picky, and biased against some (without good reason, in most circumstances).
    I believe the “old timers” (no offense> I am after all an Al Mohler fan) at SBTS need to get with the modern age. You do not need to be in the same room with someone, to interact with them.

  6. Damon,
    I did not count the cost the way you did in your first paragraph. After reading what you wrote, I realized that I had some basic assumptions such as proximity (I only lived 4 hours from SBTS before we moved) and lodging (I knew people I could stay with for free) as well as job (vacation and two-income families). Your talking even more if you add in food expense.

    As I think of those, I am very empathetic to your point. However, and this does not take away from the empathy, let us say you manage to finish your degree in five years. Then, according to this chart from a year ago and your estimate travel expenses, you are still coming out $15,000 ahead overall compared to the next cheapest (Fuller) seminary. This is assuming you are SBC.

    I guess it all comes down to perspective and how much your seminary training matters to you. I had the chance to go to Covenant back home in St. Louis, but desired more to attend SBTS if I had the opportunity even though that has meant a huge change in finances (check out my diary!) and family affairs. Still, I think you make some valid points that should be considered. Obviously, I was making assumptions that were not fair to what you were saying.

    Terry Delaneys last blog post..The Gospel Message

  7. Damon says:


    I think it all comes down to your situation. You can get an excellent distance ed. degree, if you are simply unable financially to attend on campus, that will serve you well in the Ministry. An M. Div from a school like Liberty, still carries a lot of weight, even in most SBC churches. (After all, Liberty is listed as a SBC “university”).

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