As we celebrate 150 years of ministry training at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary we also celebrate a brand new school on the seminary campus this fall. The seminary trustees voted last spring to merge the School of Christian Leadership with the School of Church Music and Worship making one new school: The School of Church Ministries. The new school will be housed in the School of Church Music building (Cooke Hall) with Dr. Randy Stinson as the Dean.
The merging of the schools was partially motivated by the economics of our time and the need to be as fiscally trim as possible in these days of downturn in the economy. Along with the merging of the schools comes a number of new or revised ministry training degrees.
The School of Church Ministries will oversee all of the associate pastor type degrees such as youth and family ministry, children’s ministry, womens ministry, leadership and administration and church music and worship leadership. There are several degrees that will allow students to do minors in a second area of interest. Since many associate minister positions are focused on more than one area of ministry like music and youth or childrens and youth, students can now focus in more than one area.
For students planning to study church music and worship, we have fine tuned the degree offerings to better address current trends in our Southern Baptist churches. The Master of Arts in Worship Leadership and Master of Church Music degrees now include more biblical and theological courses which helps our students to have a stronger theological foundation for ministry in the church.
I recently saw a mass email letter that was sent out to a large number of Southern Seminary music alumni that lamented the closing of “our beloved music school.” The word on the street is that we are no longer doing music ministry training at Southern. I would like to say that this is not true – in fact we are striving to better equip ministers of the Gospel for music and worship leadership.
Here is a link to more information on our current church music and worship degrees: http://www.biblicalworship.com/?page_id=524.
Worship Leadership training is alive and well at Southern Seminary. We want to prepare the next generation of ministers to meet the needs of our Southern Baptist churches. Pastors, if you know of students called to worship leadership/music ministry, we would very much like to point them to our new School of Church Ministries (http://www.sbts.edu/church-ministries/) and new ministry training degrees at Southern Seminary.
Associate Dean for Music and Worship Leadership