Southeastern Offers Students Accelerated Degree Options for Quick Reentry onto the Field

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) and The College at Southeastern offer several accelerated programs that enable students to quickly return to field ministry with rigorous biblical and theological training and ministry preparation to live on mission in a variety of contexts.

“Southeastern is committed to offering various pathways to help students prepare for the ministry God has called them to,” commented Provost Keith Whitfield. “Our five-year programs and Advanced MDiv offer accelerated plans to equip and mobilize students who serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission. These programs reflect our deep commitment to meet students where they are in their ministry preparation and help them develop into effective Great Commission pastors, missionaries, and church leaders. These programs are designed to offer Southeastern’s world-class biblical and theological training and ministry preparation in less time than our other traditional programs so that students can more quickly return to their churches, launch into new ministries, and go to the nations.”  

These programs reflect our deep commitment to meet students where they are in their ministry preparation and help them develop into effective Great Commission pastors, missionaries, and church leaders.

Offering four accelerated five-year bachelor’s to master’s tracks and one 61-hour Advanced Master of Divinity program, Southeastern provides students a quick return on their investment in theological education without compromising the rigor or practicality of their training. 

Pastoral Ministry (BA and MDiv)

Students called to pastoral ministry in a local church can complete their Pastoral Ministry (BA and MDiv) in five years through this rigorous program designed to maximize ministry preparation and biblical training during seminary. This immersive degree program weds classroom instruction, personal mentoring, ministry networking, and practical field experience to train pastors as biblical interpreters, theologians, and missionaries. 

“The goal of the five-year Pastoral Ministry (BA-MDiv) program is to equip students who have discerned a call to pastoral ministry in the local church,” shared Peter Rochelle, Coordinator of the five-year Pastoral Ministry (BA-MDiv) program. “We do this in the classroom, through mentorship and ministry connections by ensuring that students receive practical hands-on experience. The program is designed to be academically rigorous and ministerially relevant, as students are trained by Christian scholars and seasoned pastors. After completing the program, students are prepared for immediate ministry placement and a lifetime of fruitful service in the local church.” 

To learn more about this program, visit the Pastoral Ministry (BA to MDiv) page. 

Global Studies/Missiology (BA and MDiv)

Students who want to learn more about Great Commission ministry and get equipped for cross-cultural engagement and missional living can complete this Global Studies (BA) and Missiology (MDiv) program in five years. Students can receive biblical and theological instruction as well as practical and applied training as missionaries, senders, and Great Commission leaders in order to fruitfully engage with a variety of cultures and religions. 

“This five-year program is an excellent opportunity for the student who has a clear sense of God’s call to vocational missions either internationally or in North America,” noted Al James, Professor of Missions, Associate Dean of Ministry Studies, and EQUIP Network Coordinator. “This option enables the student to obtain a quality education that will reap practical benefits on the mission field. Before the student embarks upon the hard tasks of evangelism, discipling, and church planting among unreached and unengaged peoples, the student has already been given a biblical foundation for these essential ministries as well as insights into cultural understanding, contextualization, and cross-cultural communication. In addition, the student will have practical experience in missions as part of the field practicum requirement.” 

To learn more about this program, visit the Global Studies/Missiology (BA to MDiv) page 

Student Ministry (BA and MDiv)

Students who desire to teach youth or lead church and parachurch student ministries can complete this Student Ministry (BA-MDiv) program in five years, receiving biblical, theological, and ministerial training to disciple students and partner with families for ministry. This holistic student ministry program is designed to provide students with extensive preparation and experience, combining rigorous classroom instruction with personal mentorships, church-based internships, and missions practicums.  

“Our five-year Student Ministry (BA-MDiv) program is designed to equip leaders who will train students to love Jesus, live for him, and leverage their lives for his mission,” noted Scott Pace, Dean of The College at Southeastern and Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Preaching. “The courses in this program teach leaders how to partner with families to disciple teens, how to develop and lead ministries that are predicated on Scripture, and how to engage this generation with authentic relationships and cultural relevance. One of the aspects that makes this program unique is our partnerships with other student ministry agencies and leaders who provide additional insights and practical tools based on their extensive experience and youth ministry networks.” 

To learn more about this program, visit the Student Ministry (BA to MDiv) page. 

Christian Counseling/CMFIC (BA and MA)

Students who have a heart for counseling or desire rigorous counseling preparation for their current ministries can complete this Christian Counseling (BA) and Christian Marriage, Family, and Individual Counseling (MA) program in five years. This accelerated program combines the best of psychological training and clinical practice with strong biblical and theological foundations for counseling. Students in this program are fully equipped to pursue their licensure credentials (LMFT) in North Carolina or apply this coursework to licensure in other states.  

“The five-year Christian Counseling/CMFIC (BA-MA) program is designed to equip students for licensed clinical counseling practice from a Christian perspective but to do so in an accelerated format,” shared Kristin Kellen, Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling and Assistant Director of EdD Studies. “Cutting out the duplication in coursework, this program allows students to become practicing therapists up to two years sooner than they would in traditional BA to MA programs. Additionally, by incorporating undergraduate psychology coursework alongside graduate clinical practice courses, students are even better prepared to be licensed therapists than students only doing a graduate program in counseling.” 

To learn more about this program, visit the Christian Counseling/CMFIC (BA to MA) page. 

61-Hour MDiv (Advanced MDiv Program)

The Advanced Master of Divinity is designed to prepare pastors, missionaries, and other Christian workers for a life of effective kingdom service. This program is for students who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree and have significant undergraduate training in biblical or religious studies from an accredited institution with a similar theological background as SEBTS. This program allows for accelerated ministry preparation so students can quickly reenter their fields of ministry. In this program, students will learn from professors who have ministered in a variety of contexts and will be equipped to serve in the local church or continue in an advanced degree program.

“The goal of the Advanced MDiv program is to provide an accelerated pathway for those who have obtained an undergraduate degree in biblical or religious studies,” noted Julia Higgins, Assistant Professor of Ministry to Women and Associate Dean of Graduate Program Administration. “This program allows students who have theological education at the undergraduate level to pursue a MDiv at a faster pace, only requiring 61 credit hours. The rigorous program offers upper-level electives, challenging students beyond the basics learned in their undergraduate program while forming them for service in the Church, on mission, or in the academy.” 

To learn more about this program, visit the Advanced MDiv page. 

“Southeastern is a Great Commission seminary,” commented Danny Akin, President of SEBTS and The College. “This means that Jesus’s final marching orders motivate everything we do. We desire to see every student who comes to us for training sent back out to serve King Jesus on the mission field. That is why we offer several accelerated degree options so that students can more quickly go to the peoples and places where God has called them. Our five-year bachelor’s to master’s programs and Advanced MDiv enable Christian leaders and workers to be thoroughly prepared for ministry while also reducing the length of their program. These are strategic and rigorous degree options — designed to biblically train, spiritually form, and ultimately mobilize our students in a much shorter period of time. No shortcuts, but rather intensive training so they can go!”  

We desire to see every student who comes to us for training sent back out to serve King Jesus on the mission field.

As an institution committed to the Great Commission, SEBTS approaches theological education as a partnership with churches to equip and send students for Great Commission ministry all around the world. These five accelerated programs embody this heartbeat by training students to be faithful to God’s word and to his church while also ensuring that students return quickly to the field to fulfill the Great Commission in a variety of contexts. For more information, visit the five-year program page or Advanced MDiv page. 

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