Southern Seminary expands its non-residential doctoral studies program, adds two modular concentrations

Communications Staff — December 4, 2019

In an effort to make its doctoral studies program available to pastor-theologians everywhere, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is installing new doctor of philosophy modular concentrations in Biblical Studies and Historical and Theological Studies, the school announced today.

The two modular formats will bring Southern Seminary’s high standard of excellence in biblical and theological studies to students previously unable to study them remotely. The concentrations also underscore the school’s commitment to excellence in biblical and theological scholarship in service to the church, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary.

“Southern Seminary’s Ph.D. program has been the leader for over a century,” Mohler said. “We believe these two new programs are incredibly strong. They will serve the church, give us flexibility we have never had in the past, and put us in good stead as we look to the future for this premier doctoral program.”

The new programs will extend Southern Seminary’s longstanding commitment to the highest standards of Christian theological scholarship, said Matthew J. Hall, senior vice president of academic administration and provost of Southern Seminary.

“Since 1892, Southern Seminary has offered one of the premier doctoral programs in North American theological education,” Hall said. “Marked by the highest level of scholarship, a commitment to biblical authority, and a passion for the church, this stewardship continues in this generation. By offering the Ph.D. in these classical theological disciplines, we are now able to make this level of study accessible to even more, all the while complementing our traditional residential programs.”

These programs will not only make traditional theological disciplines more available to students who cannot physically be on campus, they will also expose students to a broader range of disciplines and equip them to be better scholars and teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Students in the biblical studies program will take courses in both Old Testament and New Testament directly from faculty in those departments. Likewise, historical and theological studies students will take courses from Southern Seminary’s church history and systematic theology faculty members.

The modular Ph.D. program is already excellent, said Jonathan T. Pennington, director of the research doctoral studies program, but these new courses will give modular students the opportunity to study under Southern Seminary’s accomplished evangelical faculty.

“For over 125 years the goal of Southern’s research doctoral studies program has been to provide rigorous scholarly training in a confessional environment, channeled into service for the Church and the Kingdom of God,” Pennington said. “These new Ph.D. concentrations help us expand the heritage of our programs into the future and reach more people than ever.”

These two modular concentrations will officially open in the Fall 2020 semester. Find out more about the program here:


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