Southern Seminary to offer professional doctoral degrees in Christian Ethics in partnership with ERLC

Michelle Smith — December 1, 2015

SBTS-ERLCLOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is partnering with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention to offer Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry degrees in Christian Ethics. The programs, which begin in Winter 2016 and are accepting applications for Summer 2016, prepare Christian ministers to lead their church in engaging the public square.

“In recent years, Southern Baptists have proven themselves well-equipped to apply God’s truth to a changing cultural climate,” said Randy Stinson, senior vice president for academic administration and provost at Southern Seminary. “With this partnership between Southern Seminary and the ERLC, we can ensure a greater number of pastors and ministry leaders get the training they need to shepherd and equip their congregations to live faithfully and winsomely in a world of increasing ethical challenges.”

“I am thrilled to partner with Southern Seminary to offer this D.Min. concentration as one of several new opportunities for the ERLC to help equip pastors and leaders to engage the culture with the gospel,” said ERLC President Russell Moore. “My hope is that this degree program will be a service to the church in raising up a corps of future leaders trained to be a gospel-focused voice in their ministry contexts on the pressing issues of the day.”

Classes will be held on the campus of Southern Seminary as well as the two ERLC locations in Nashville, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. ERLC leaders Moore and Barrett Duke, vice president of public policy and research, will join Southern’s ethics department as program instructors. The new D.Min. and D.Ed.Min., which are 32 and 46-hour programs respectively, add to the Ph.D. program that the ERLC and Southern established the spring of 2015.

“We are living in an age when church leaders must stand firm, rooted in deep biblical convictions, while equipping the church to do the same,” said Michael S. Wilder, J. M. Frost Associate Professor of Leadership and Discipleship and associate vice president for doctoral studies at Southern Seminary. “I am excited about these new Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry degrees in Christian ethics as they will help church leaders refine their convictions and apply them in a post-Christian culture.”

Program leaders say the curriculum is designed to prepare leaders to affirm the truth of the Word of God and apply ethics in the ministry context.

“Pastors and Christian leaders are doing ethics every day as they carry out their ministry,” said Phillip Bethancourt, executive vice president of the ERLC. “It is exciting for the ERLC to partner with Southern Seminary to launch this new Christian ethics D.Min. as we seek to equip a new generation of ministers to train their people to apply the gospel to all of life.”

Moore, who was formerly Southern’s dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration, and Bethancourt also hold faculty positions at the seminary.

More information on the new programs is available online at

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