Southeastern Focuses on Worship Leadership

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Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) is dedicated to its commitment to a biblically sound worship ministry. In an effort to continue to best serve the 21st century church, SEBTS is phasing in some Bible and theology-based worship degrees and phasing out certain music-based degrees.

Earlier this fall, the SEBTS Board of Trustees voted to approve new Theology and Worship programs in the College and in the Seminary. Starting in the spring of 2014, SEBTS and The College at Southeastern will begin implementing these new programs into the curriculum.

Pending approval from the Board of Trustees during the spring 2014 meeting, SEBTS and The College at Southeastern will keep the music minor for students interested in this education. However, due to financial losses in this area, SEBTS will begin phasing out the Master of Church Music and the B.A. with a major in music beginning in the fall of 2014.
“We are committed to helping all students finish the degree programs that they have already started,” Provost Ashford said.

Students who are currently declared in the Master of Church Music or the B.A. with a major in Music and who desire to complete a degree at SEBTS and The College at Southeastern will have options for completing their degrees.

“We are also confident that this change will not hinder any students who want to complete their degree from doing so,” Ashford said. “We are currently developing a teach-out plan that will allow students to finish the degrees they have started.”

As a part of this emphasis, SEBTS is also excited to announce the upcoming opportunity for students to earn a Ph.D. in Theology and Worship. The focus of the degree program will be to train worship pastors in theology of worship.

A Ph.D. in Theology and Worship will be offered from Southeastern to serve music ministers and worship leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention. This Ph.D. track will complement a worship leader’s already-existing musical proficiency by providing them an opportunity to deepen and extend their understanding of personal and corporate worship.

Rather than being a music-based degree, it integrates multiple theological and ministerial disciplines such as Bible, theology, pastoral ministry, and worship. This will prepare students for future roles in local church worship leadership, academic research, scholarship and higher educational classroom instruction.
Students will study the history of worship in the Christian church. They will learn to build a biblical theology of personal worship and of corporate local church worship. They will wrestle with questions of cultural context and will learn to craft worship services that are appropriate for particular local church contexts.
Students will study under a total of nine professors in this degree track.

“We are excited about the new programs and direction they take us for training students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission,” Ashford said.

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