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Program Snapshot

78 Credit Hours 26 Classes
3 Years to Complete
$310 Per Credit Hour Learn more
On Campus
Online Learn more
Next Start Date August 5

A call to ministry is a call to prepare. Diploma programs offer the same preparation that master’s-level students enjoy to those who have not earned a bachelor’s degree.

The Diploma program allows students over 30 years of age who do not have a bachelor's degree to immediately begin their master's program. Diploma students may transfer into the M.Div. after 24 hours of courses as long as they have maintained a 3.0 GPA.

3 Reasons to Start the Diploma Program at Southern Seminary


A Promised Pathway

Students who begin in the Diploma program can immediately take the same courses a M.Div. student would take and after 24 credit hours, can qualify to transfer into the M.Div. This allows you the opportunity to graduate with a master’s from Southern Seminary no matter your academic background.


Our Trusted Faculty

Diploma students study with Southern’s world-renowned faculty who are experienced pastors, and seasoned theologians with hundreds of years of experience teaching and preparing ministers of the gospel. Among all the considerations for selecting ministry training, one stands above the rest: choose a faculty.


Flexible and Practical Ministry Training

Our Diploma program provides maximum flexibility for students to study online or on-campus in a part-time or full-time capacity. Whether you are a seasoned pastor or just recognizing your call to ministry, be assured that Southern Seminary will equip you for more faithful service.

Ministry training for all of life.

Biblical Studies
Course Number Description Credit Hours
22100 Biblical Hermeneutics 3
20200 Introduction to the Old Testament I 3
20220 Introduction to the Old Testament II 3
22200 Introduction to the New Testament I 3
22220 Introduction to the New Testament II 3
Total 15
Theological Studies
Course Number Description Credit Hours
27060 Systematic Theology I: Theological Prolegomena, and the Nature and Works of God 3
27070 Systematic Theology II: Christ, Salvation, and the Holy Spirit 3
27080 Systematic Theology III: Baptist Theology of Scripture and the Church, and Eschatology 3
25100 Introduction to Church History I 3
25120 Introduction to Church History II 3
29250 Survey of Christian Ethics 3
28700 Christian Apologetics 3
Total 21
Practical Studies
Course Number Description Credit Hours
30000 Christian Preaching1 or 3
45400 Christian Teaching
30020 Preaching Practicum1 or 3
40200 Introduction to Biblical Worship
40080 Christian Leadership 3
34300 Biblical Counseling & Personal Ministry of the Word 3
40301 Pastoral Ministry1 or 3
45260 Discipleship Ministry
32100 Personal Evangelism & Devotion 3
32960 Introduction to Missiology 3
Total 21
Course Number Description Credit Hours
Electives Across All Disciplines 21
Total 21

Total Diploma: 78

  1. 30000, 30020, and 40301 are reserved for men.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Our dedicated team of admissions counselors is here to help every step of the way. Here are some answers to common questions.

Student wearing cap and gown on graduation day

Students admitted into the Diploma will immedately take the same masters courses as M.Div. students and will follow the same curriculum (with the exception of Greek & Hebrew courses).

After completing 24 credit hours, Diploma students may apply for transfer into the M.Div. program if they have a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Diploma students who move into the M.Div. will have all their coursework transfer into the new degree and be able to ultimately graduate with a Masters of Divinity.

Students may still graduate with a Diploma. They will simply complete the requirements the Master of Divinity (with the exception of Hebrew & Greek).

Diploma students take the same courses alongside M.A. and M.Div. students. There is no difference.

Diploma students will pay standard masters tuition rates and fees. Click here to learn more about tuition rates.

Diploma students have the same application requirements as other masters applicants, with the exception of transcripts:

Diploma applicants must submit an official copy of their high school transcripts (showing a graduation date) or GED, unless the applicant has completed a minimum of 24 hours of college credit (in which case the applicant may only submit their college transcript).

Click here to see the full list of admissions requirements.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate a growing, Christ-like character and a sense of God’s calling to ministry.
  • Students will be able to understand the Christian worldview and have a global vision for fulfilling the Great Commission.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate significant knowledge of the Bible, interpret Scripture’s original meaning, and apply Scripture to contemporary situations.
  • Students will be able to integrate systematic and historical theology into a larger biblical framework.
  • Students will be able to display a biblical vision for ministry and lead with humble authority.
  • Students will be able to preach/teach Scripture clearly and passionately so as to engage the mind and move the heart.

Resources as a Southern Seminary student

Academic Support

Access academic advising, writing assistance, language tutoring and more as a Southern Seminary online or on-campus student.

Flexible Course Options

With multiple course delivery options you’ll find classes that fit around your schedule.

  • 100% online degrees
  • Main campus courses
  • Hybrid campus intensive options

Financial Aid

We are committed to making your education affordable. Our Financial Aid office can connect you with institutional & outside sources of aid.

Ready to Apply?

Students apply for the Diploma program via our online application. When prompted, select “Degree Type > Diploma.”

Start Your Application
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Contact Admissions

Phone: (502) 897-4200

Text: (502) 305-3554

Email: admissions@sbts.edu

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

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