When Dr. Adams and I formed the Institute for Nouthetic Studies we decided early on that we would not participate in the games of academia. We could have offered “degrees” but they would have been unaccredited or we would have had to charge students up to four times the tuition to pay for accreditation. No, our educational niche’ would be students who simply want to learn to minister effectively the Word in the counseling room, usually in a local church context, without a need for an academic degree. I often tell students that studying under Dr. Adams would be a greater asset than most degrees anyway.
Still, seldom does a week go by when we are not asked to recommend a college, seminary, or university where an academic degree in biblical counseling can be earned. While we have been glad to recommend several over the years we have not been able to do so without at least some reservation. While there are many good men teaching in these academic programs around the country we know of no program that we can recommend without some kind of caveat. These reservations often include the participation of integrationists in some aspect of the program, a lack of academic rigor, or the omission of such key elements as hermeneutics, exegesis, or solid theology. In several cases our reservations include the exorbitant cost of the program.
We recognize, however, that there are good reasons for some to seek an accredited academic degree. Many churches these days require that their pastoral staff members have a minimum of a master’s degree, even if that degree is from an integrationist or secular school. For several years we have been praying for the opportunity to partner with a school that can offer a respected degree and this past year God has answered that prayer!
We are pleased to announce that the Institute for Nouthetic Studies is working with Mid-America Baptist Seminary to build a Ph.D. and a D. Min. program in Practical Theology with an Emphasis in Biblical Counseling. It is an informal relationship in which Dr. Adams and I will be teaching their inaugural seminars in counseling in January and June of 2014. As part of the curriculum students will be studying much of our curriculum online.
These seminars can also be included in their M.Div. program and there will be an M.A. program offered in the future. We don’t know how much Dr. Adams will be able to participate personally in this program after these initial seminars so this may well be a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from Dr. Adams himself!
Mid-America Baptist Seminary is an exciting place. During my visits there I found there to be a warm and fervent spirit on campus and a heart for the ministry of the Word. They have a beautiful campus that is located in suburban Memphis just across the street from the historic Bellevue Baptist Church just off I-40.
Be warned. These degree programs are rigorous and there are the usual prerequisites for admission. But if you want to pursue a fully accredited degree that will stretch and challenge you to think biblically in your counseling and your teaching, and if studying under the founder and leader of the biblical counseling movement is an exciting a prospect for you we urge you to check it out.
For complete information, please contact the Seminary directly. The Seminary will help you with the details of the program and provide information about admission. You must talk to them directly. The deadline for application is October 31, 2013.
- You can find more about the program on the Seminary website here.
- An interview with Dr. Adams
- Course Schedule
- Academic requirements for the DMin program
- Academic requirements for the PhD program
- For more information and to start the application process, contact the MABTS Admissions Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-751-3060.