Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long is the program?
A: The minimum length of the program is 3 1/2 years. Most students take 4-6 years. The maximum length is 7 years.


Q: What majors are offered?
A: Biblical Exposition, Biblical Interpretation, Christian Apologetics, Christian Education, Christian Leadership, Church History, Counselor Education and Supervision, Evangelism, Great Commission Studies, Missions, New Testament, Old Testament, and Theology.


Q: What is the application deadline?
A: September 1 for January admission, February 1 for August admission, or the following Monday if the deadline falls on a weekend. All materials, including GRE score reports, must be postmarked by the deadline.


Q: Do I have to live on campus?
A: Though not required, students are encouraged to live on campus and be a part of a scholarly community of learning. However, courses are taught only on the main campus.

In June 2016 the ATS Board of Commissioners approved a three-year experiment allowing an exception to the Commission's PhD residency requirement that "courses, seminars, and colloquia for research doctoral degrees shall normally be completed on the main campus" (Degree Program Standard J, section J.3.1.1). This experiment is limited to offering those courses (roughly two-thirds of the PhD program's total credits) through synchronous interactive video, not through asynchronous means.

Approval of this exception means that students who are unable to take advantage of the campus scholarly environment can participate fully in seminars and colloquia through live Internet connections. Some workshop courses still will require travel to the main campus in January or summer breaks.

Interested? Read more about the NOBTS SYNC delivery system and the breakdown of delivery options by major.


Q: What is the cost of the program?

A: Southern Baptist students receive "scholarships" from the Southern Baptist Convention. The 2017-2018 tuition cap for Southern Baptist students in their first four years of the program is $2,800 per semester. The 2017-2018 tuition cap for non-Southern Baptist students is $3,600 per semester for students in their first four years.


Q: How many students are in the research doctoral programs?
A: Approximately 140.


Q: What is the gender diversity of the student body?
A: Approximately 79% male and 21% female.


Q: What is the nationality diversity of the student body?
A: Approximately 93% American and 7% international.


Q: What foreign language prerequisites are required?
A: Language requirements vary by major. See PhD Admission Requirements


Q: Is a GRE score required?
A: Applicants must submit GRE scores. GRE scores are part of a total package of items considered in reviewing an application. Official GRE score reports must be at the Office of Research Doctoral Studies by September 1 for January applications and February 1 for August applications, or the following Monday if the deadline falls on a weekend.


Q: Is an interview required?
A: Yes, an applicant is required to have an interview with the division faculty of the intended major.


Q: Is an entrance examination required?
A: An entrance examination is required for applicants for all majors.


Q: Where should I stay when I come for the interview and entrance examination?
A: The seminary-owned Providence House is located across the street from the main campus for the convenience of students and seminary-related guests.


Q: Are internationals required to take the TOEFL?
A: Yes, unless they hold a degree from an English-based master's program. For other requirements related to internationals, see the section "International Students" on page 181 of the Graduate Catalog.


Q: Who makes a decision on an application?
A: The Seminary has a Doctoral Admissions Committee that reviews an applicant's file and makes a final decision regarding admission.


Q: When are admissions decisions made?
A: Admissions decisions normally are made in late October for spring admission and early April for fall admission.


Q: When should I apply?
A: An applicant should begin the process early enough to have all application materials and official GRE score reports to the Office of Research Doctoral Programs by September 1/ February 1, or the following Monday if the deadline falls on a weekend.


Q: How do I get an application?
A: Application materials can be printed from the Seminary Web site.