Ministry to Women program continues to expand, offering degrees from M.A. to D.Min.
Lauren Pratt | May 02, 2019
Throughout the process of reformatting the Master of Arts in ministry to women (MAMW), three more opportunities have been provided for women at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) to be equipped to lead, teach and serve in a variety of ministry contexts. These opportunities include the MAMW and biblical counseling, Master of Theology in women’s studies and the Doctor of Ministry in ministry to women.
The MAMW and biblical counseling degree, approved by the Board of Trustees (BOT) in its April 9 meeting, is a 64-hour degree that will be offered as a layered hybrid starting Fall 2019. Layered hybrids allow students to take two classes simultaneously by completing a total of 12 weeks online and five days on campus. This degree includes nine hours of biblical counseling selectives and six hours of biblical counseling core classes.
“In the midst of revamping the MAMW, we began to see the need to offer a degree that equips ministry to women students with a greater grasp of biblical counseling,” said Julia Higgins, assistant professor of ministry to women and associate dean of graduate program administration at SEBTS. “Students who desire to lead and serve women through counseling will be better equipped through the combination of ministry to women and biblical counseling courses.”
Through the M.A. in ministry to women, Bible exposition and biblical theology of womanhood will be offered in the Fall 2019 semester. Taught by Julia Higgins, the in-class portion will also include guest speakers Jen Wilkin, Nancy Guthrie and Kelly King. Wilkin, author and teacher from The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, will be teaching Bible exposition on Oct. 3. Guthrie, author and Bible teacher, will lead a biblical theology workshop on Oct. 5. King, women’s ministry specialist for Lifeway Christian Resources, and Higgins will be co-teaching biblical theology of womanhood. Students will also have the opportunity to network with other key leaders within the Southern Baptist Convention during the hybrid week.
Along with the developments of the MAMW’s structure, SEBTS desires for women to be fully equipped to serve the local church through doctoral and Ph.D. studies, including the D.Min in ministry to women and the Th.M. in women’s studies.
Through the implementation of a Th.M. program, SEBTS can better provide a stepping stone for women who desire to further their theological study in the Ph.D. program.
“My desire is to also identify women who are particularly gifted in the area of scholarship and who aspire to pursue PhD studies, said Higgins. “This degree will equip women with a greater knowledge of women’s studies issues related to biblical gender roles, women’s history, and current trends in ministry to women, culminating in a major research project.”
Higgins explained that the development of the D.Min. in ministry to women, which was approved by the BOT April 9, came as a result of her desire to see women in the local church, who may already have a Master of Divinity, continue to be further trained for ministry.
“We have developed the Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women to develop and cultivate female leaders at the doctoral level to be applied practically for the benefit of our churches,” said Higgins.
SEBTS also seeks to provide women financial aid as they pursue their degrees through The Southeastern Women’s Auxiliary Scholarship provided by the Southeastern’s Women’s Fellowship. The goal of the Southeastern Women’s Fellowship serves as the primary fundraising arm supporting Southeastern women, working in collaboration with other women’s entities on Southeastern’s campus by funding, serving and mobilizing Southeastern students. Recipients for the 2019-2020 scholarships were honored at a lunch on April 8, 2019.