Army chaplain preaching

From Seminary to Service: SBTS Adds Chaplaincy Course, Continues Legacy of Equipping Chaplains

Travis Hearne — August 15, 2023

In a world where compassion and guidance are needed more than ever, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s commitment to training Chaplains is paving the way for individuals to make a lasting impact in the lives of others.

This fall, Ken Lovett (PhD, SBTS) is teaching a brand-new chaplaincy course (35660) designed to equip leaders to serve in hospitals, firehouses, the military, and wherever else they are called.

“Jesus demonstrated loving and caring for people, especially among those outside the church. That is where a chaplain operates.” Lovett said. “Chaplains have an opportunity to be there, in the actual hospital room, firehouse, or foxhole, when something terrible happens. And they get to be the face of God’s loving-kindness to people who need him but might not ever enter the doors of a church. There are a lot of “foxholes” in places all over the world and in every town in America. The chaplaincy is an ideal way to serve, especially in a bi-vocational situation while serving as a student or pastor.”

Lovett earned his PhD (2019) from Southern Seminary and is currently a Chaplain in the Indiana National Guard. He believes Southern Seminary is the ideal place for chaplaincy training because of the numerous opportunities to serve around Louisville, the dedication of the faculty, and the fruitful ministry of Southern Seminary graduates serving as Chaplains.

“When it comes to choosing a seminary to train as a Chaplain, you can’t beat the location of Southern Seminary, which is close to both Indiana and Kentucky National Guards, Ft. Knox, and Ft. Campbell,” Lovett said. “Add to that the vast opportunities with the police, hospitals, a huge VA hospital, and corporate situations like Humana, UPS, and Churchill Downs. Southern Seminary also has excellent faculty and leadership in biblical counseling, which is immensely helpful for the training of Chaplains.”

Southern Seminary graduates are reaching the highest ranks as Chaplains worldwide, such as the Air Force Chief of Chaplains, Randy Kitchens (MDiv, 1989), and most recently, Chaplain Scott Wells (2008), who was named the new State Chaplain for the Indiana National Guard earlier this year.

As global tensions rise, so will the need for biblically grounded and theologically trained Chaplains in all areas of life.

“The growing threats of secularism, social unrest, and international conflict will only increase the need for Chaplains,” Lovett said. “But with tensions high around the globe, we need to be equipping Chaplains for future situations that haven’t yet broken the horizon.”

For more information about Southern Seminary degree programs and chaplaincy, visit Current students can register for the new chaplaincy course (35660) at

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