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Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

In order to train ministers to the standards of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, the Southern Baptist Alliance conducted studies to review the need for this level of theological education and participated in interviews with universities to establish the possibility for a divinity school and housing. After these deliberations, it was decided developing a Baptist school was the best option. The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) was founded in 1989. The seminary’s first classes began in September 1991 with 32 students. Currently around 300 applicants are accepted annually. Students are quite diverse, with the majority of enrolled students between 22 and 54. There are 15 full-time faculty. The Baptist Theological Seminary fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. The seminary is affiliated with the Union Theological Seminary, which also includes the Union Presbyterian School of Christian Education.

Baptist Theological Seminary offers two degree paths, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. Master of Divinity has options for a concentration in Social Work and Pastoral Care, Christian Education, or Church Music. The Doctor of Ministry is an advanced professional degree program that accepts twelve students a year to engage in advanced electives, directed studies and field-based learning. Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Christian Ministry also offers non-credit continuing education designed for practicing ministers at any point in their calling. Offers include Advanced the Congregational Leadership Certificate Program, designed for those early in their theological education; Starting Right, created for new graduates transitioning into ministry; and the Life-long Theological Education, for experienced clergy. Further, the Online Connection Program allows congregations the ability to expand their educational and training needs. The Pastoral Leadership Program expands ministers’ congregational leadership skills, and the Sabbatical Leave Program supports experienced clergy who are looking for renewed vigor in their ministry. Online classes are offered for the Master of Divinity degree and some continuing education courses.

The seminary also offers student housing; access to the William Smith Morton Library, bookstore, and cafeteria at Union Presbyterian School of Christian Education adjacent to the Baptist Theological Seminary; optional participation in extracurricular activities; job placement services; child care services; and worship. Upon admission, students automatically become members of the Student Government Association (SGA), which represents them in matters concerning the seminary community.

A program unique to Baptist Theological Seminary is its Mission Immersion Experience. Students enrolled in this program gain practical missionary experience internationally. Activities in the experience are developed specifically by region and adapted to incorporate the needs of the host institution and personnel. Trips occur twice a year, during the January and May terms. Previous travel destinations have included Brazil, Kenya, Cuba, Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Cuba and the former Yugoslavia.

Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
3400 Brook Road
Richmond, VA 23227
(804) 355-8135

Sources:
www.btsr.edu

Profile prepared by Whitney Shank
January, 2007

 

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