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Southeastern announces changes to Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has made significant changes to its Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees. Beginning fall 2016, the total hours required to complete an M.Div. will be reduced from 90 to 81-84 hours, and the core hours for the vocational M.A. programs will increase from 30 to 36 hours. 

“Our faculty and administration spent months asking ourselves, our graduates and our constituents this question: ‘What curriculum best prepares our students to take the gospel to our neighbors and the nations today?’” said Chuck Lawless, dean of graduate studies and professor of evangelism and missions. “We believe these changes help us prepare our students biblically, theologically and practically for the future.”

As part of the curriculum changes for the M.Div., the core requirements have been increased to 69 hours; however, the total number of hours required have decreased. The M.Div. with Christian Ministry can now be completed in a total of 81 hours, and other M.Div. programs may go as long as 84 hours depending on the student’s desired track.

The vocational M.A. programs will now require 36 hours in the core curriculum. Additionally, core requirements for both M.Div. and M.A. tracks have been modified. Theology III will now be covered in Theology I and II, while Church History II is now a part of Church History Survey. Hermeneutics will now be taught in three courses: Biblical Exposition, Old Testament and New Testament. 

"These changes reflect the work of a cross-disciplinary team,” said John Ewart, associate vice president for global theological initiatives, and chairman, curriculum review committee. “We worked closely together to create a stronger and better core curriculum to equip our students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission." 

A handful of programs have also undergone a name change. The M.A. in Philosophy of Religion will now be called the M.A. in Apologetics and Christian Philosophy. For the M.Div. programs, the M.Div. with Student Ministry and the M.Div. with Collegiate Ministry will now be the M.Div. with Next Generation Ministry. Southeastern will also now offer the M.Div. with Preaching and Pastoral Ministry, which was formerly the M.Div. with Pastoral Ministry and the M.Div. with Expository Preaching. 

These changes are scheduled to go into effect for the fall 2016 semester. The new M.Div. and M.A. hour changes will not affect students who began their studies prior to fall 2016.

Any student wishing to change to the new degree requirements should contact the registrar’s office for more information at or 919.761.2215.

*Announcement: Southeastern will waive the application fee for any M.Div. program until 6:00 p.m. on Monday, February 22. Start the application soon to recieve the waiver. Apply online here. 

SEBTS Contact:
Amy Whitfield, Director of Communications

About Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Post Office Box 1889
  • Wake Forest, NC 27588
  • Phone: (919) 761 - 2100
Our Mission
  • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.
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