Southern Seminary offers D.Min. and D.Ed.Min. in Applied Apologetics

Communications Staff — February 25, 2015

Ted Cabal, professor of philosophy and apologetics at Southern Seminary
Ted Cabal, professor of philosophy and apologetics at Southern Seminary

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will now offer both D.Min. and D.Ed.Min. degrees in Applied Apologetics to ministry leaders for equipping their churches to confront current issues and reach people with the gospel, school officials recently announced.

“Apologetics remains indispensable for biblical ministry, therefore, the study of apologetics should be regarded as fundamental in ministry preparation,” said Ted Cabal, professor of philosophy and apologetics. “No one obeys our Lord’s Great Commission to evangelize without apologetics.”

The D.Min. degree is a 32-hour program and the D.Ed.Min. a 46-hour program, both designed to be completed in 36 months. The doctoral programs include modular courses offered in the winter and summer terms.

The degrees encourage cohort learning, an environment program leaders say promotes spiritual comradery and the building of relationships that will last a lifetime. Program leaders Cabal and Timothy Paul Jones, C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Family Ministry, will teach the seminars, in addition to guest lectures from apologetics experts. There will also be a ministry research project or thesis designed to bring the classroom studies of applied apologetics into the practice of ministry.

Timothy Paul Jones, C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Family Ministry
Timothy Paul Jones, C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Family Ministry

“The Southern Seminary D.Min. in Applied Apologetics is uniquely designed to shape a new generation of apologists by bringing together academic studies of history and cultural issues with real-life engagement in apologetics,” Jones said. “I am convinced this program is a perfect fit for ministers who are seeking to make a generational impact with the gospel.”

The Applied Apologetics program unites a team of professors from the School of Theology and the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, whose varying ranges of experiences and expertise provide the student with the best possible context for studying apologetics.

“The result of this synergy of two schools, two professors, and renowned guest lecturers is an apologetic degree that is practical and academic, historical and philosophical, evangelistic and culturally engaged,” Jones said.

Cabal says he believes the study of apologetics is essential and correlates to the gospel in everyday interactions. Every belief has a reason behind it, including those of unbelievers, he said, and every conversation is influenced by these beliefs. In each interaction, if evangelism is done without care for the reasons behind the beliefs, “the powerfully subversive Good News” is mishandled. Studying applied apologetics must lead to careful prayer for the Spirit to tear down non-Christian worldviews and lay a foundation to build up a belief system founded on the gospel, he said.

“While apologetics saves no one, its truth is the necessary corollary to the gospel,” Jones said. “And this is why the study of apologetics is critical for adequate ministry preparation. The new D.Min. in Applied Apologetics provides thorough understanding of contemporary apologetic resources but yet is tailored for practical application in daily ministry. I am thrilled to be part of such a cutting-edge program.”

Sean McDowell, a recent Southern Seminary graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in apologetics, is “thrilled” about the new Doctor of Ministry in Applied Apologetics, believing it will help “pastors and other ministry leaders to put apologetics into action.” An assistant professor of Christian apologetics at Biola University, he added, “Apologetics are desperately needed in the church — especially for young people. I look forward to seeing the impact this program will have on the next generation.”

More information about the D.Min. and D.Ed.Min. in Applied Apologetics is available at sbts.edu/dmin.

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