BSK & Flexible Theological Education in Virginia
Grateful for the Invitation
Last year, a group of Virginia pastors and state CBF leaders began meeting to discuss theological education in Virginia, BSK was excited and honored to be invited into that conversation.
These pastors and CBF leaders worked to craft a solution that offers both a traditional on-campus, full-time student approach (Union Presbyterian Seminary) and also a learn-where-you-live approach that supports rural ministers and those who need to work full-time while in seminary (BSK).
Even though we have Kentucky in our name, the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky (BSK) is a national seminary, with students across multiple states pursuing degrees and certificates. We are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and part of the consortium of CBF theological schools.
Partnerships reveal the character of BSK’s ministry. We not only are a full partner with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, but we are also the official seminary of the National Baptist Convention of America International (NBCA). This predominantly Black church denomination selected BSK because of our presence at an HBCU (Simmons College of Kentucky) and the racial inclusiveness of our curriculum. BSK also collaborates with the Berry Center, which embodies the values of author and farmer Wendell Berry, around rural ministry.
Flexible Theological Education
The profile of a seminary student continues to change. Across the last 25 years, a growing percentage of seminary students find moving to a new city and studying full-time difficult or impossible. With family responsibilities and a need to work full-time, these students cannot access traditional on-campus programs. Yet they feel a strong call and want to pursue theological education.
BSK offers a fully accredited Master of Divinity degree that is shaped for flexibility. Students can set their pace, choosing to take the number of courses per semester that fits their need. They can work full-time and pursue their degree part-time. Engaging our innovative distance education approach, students can live wherever they wish and still build deep relationships with faculty and other students.
We enjoy an increasingly diverse student body, with half being African American, half women, and many second or third career students over age 40. We believe this diversity increases the quality of class discussions and the richness of our community.
CBF Virginia is forming an Advisory Team to assist BSK in shaping our work to better fit the needs of Virginia. We will also be inviting a Virginian to be part of our Board of Trustees. Your voice matters in how this partnership develops.
We are honored to be invited to participate in the important work of forming CBF ministers in Virginia.
Contact BSK today (bsk.edu/virginia) to discuss the ways you can begin your journey of theological education.
David Cassady is the President and Professor of Christian Education and Media Studies at BSK: Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.