the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Research Languages

Language requirements for PhD students

A reading knowledge of two research languages is required. Common language options for the School of Theology are German, Latin, French, and Spanish. Common language options for The Billy Graham School are Empirical Research, Analysis of Empirical Research, and or statistic courses. Graduate studies in empirical research methodologies, statistical analysis, and computer applications serve as the equivalent of language studies in the BGS Ministry concentrations. Philosophy students are allowed to take Advanced Logic as one of their languages.

The decision as to which languages are to be learned should be guided by the student’s particular research needs. The student’s supervisor should approve the languages chosen.

The language requirements must be demonstrated prior to the taking of the comprehensive examinations.

Satisfying the Language Requirements

Students may satisfy their language requirements in one of three ways:

  1. Complete theological language courses at SBTS – The seminary regularly offers theological language courses that doctoral students can take to fulfill their language requirements
  2. Pass a language proficiency exam – Students with prior knowledge of a research language may attempt to pass a language proficiency exam offered by the Doctoral Studies Office
  3. Receive permission to complete language courses at another institution – Students may take an introductory language course for reading knowledge (minimum of 2 hours each) at another regionally-accredited institution (seminary, university, or college) and transfer their credit to SBTS. If students complete their language requirements at another school, then they do not have to take the language proficiency exam at SBTS. Instead, submitting their official transcript to the Doctoral Studies Office is all that is required

The Language Proficiency Exam

The language proficiency exam usually consists of translating 1-2 pages of a theological article in a one hour time period. Students are allowed to use any aids that they choose, provided that they do not do the translation for them. For more information and to sign up for the next proficiency exam, fill out the language proficiency exam form.

Language Courses Through Other Institutions

The University of Arkansas offers language courses for reading knowledge online in French. This internet course fully satisfies the doctoral language requirement. Students can start a course at any time during the year, and the tuition cost is reasonable. You can learn more about these courses at the following link: http://globalcampus.uark.edu/Distance_Education/Correspondence_Courses.asp. The code for French is FREN3063.

Any additional questions should be directed to the University of Arkansas.

Language Learning Services

The library also subscribes to Mango Languages online to provide convenient language instruction to current students, faculty, staff, and their households. It offers a wide variety of languages and you can access Mango via an iPhone/iPad app or with an app for your Google Android Device. Follow the link to learn more: http://library.sbts.edu/language-learning-services/

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.