Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and the Institute for Nouthetic Studies Announce New Biblical Counseling Program

Biblical CounselingTwo institutions with a strong history of teaching the sufficiency of Scripture are combining forces to create one of the nation’s most comprehensive educational programs for biblical counseling.

Dr. Michael R. Spradlin, President of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, along with Dr. Jay E. Adams, Founder of the Institute for Nouthetic Studies, and Donn Arms, Executive Director of the Institute for Nouthetic Studies, have announced that the Institute for Nouthetic Studies will become a ministry of Mid-America Seminary. The agreement becomes effective on July 1, 2015.

The agreement combines the strengths of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) and the Institute for Nouthetic Studies (INS) in training men and women to serve Christ through the sufficiency of the Word of God.

MABTS, a SACSCOC-accredited institution, is currently a leading force in providing undergraduate and graduate training for effective service in church-related and missions vocations through its main campus in Memphis, Tennessee, and branch campus in Schenectady, New York. The Seminary guides students into a thorough understanding of the Bible and its relevance for today, preparing those, called of God, to preach and teach the Word of God.

MABTS President, Dr. Spradlin comments, “I am blessed and thrilled that MABTS and INS can minister together to strengthen the Lord’s call to train ministers of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God is sufficient; our ministries will continue to stand on the Word and Its power.”

Likewise, Dr. Jay E. Adams, Donn Arms, and the ministry of INS is at the forefront of a movement calling pastors and other Christian workers back to the Scriptures in their counseling ministry. Beginning with the publication of his book Competent to Counsel in 1970, Dr. Adams has been demonstrating the importance of understanding the sufficiency of the Word to bring about the kind of change that pleases God and genuinely helps the counselee. Both institutions, therefore, are enthusiastic about the agreement for continuing the stand upon the sufficiency of God’s Word in ministry and in giving Christ the preeminence in all things.

INS Founder, Dr. Adams explains, “I am delighted that MABTS has asked us to contribute to their furtherance of biblical counseling in the preparation of ministers. I can think of nothing better than such an alliance to bring the joint resources of our two institutions together to effect such an unexpected but joyous opportunity. I have found the administration and faculty of MABTS not only friendly but also deeply committed to biblical ministry to people in need. I look forward with large anticipation to the days ahead in the spreading of biblical ministries throughout the land.”

Combining the strengths of each institution in training men and women to counsel from God’s Word, the agreement now allows students the opportunity to earn an accredited MDIV degree in biblical (nouthetic) counseling residentially through MABTS or via their Connected Campus, the MABTS online degree program. If students do not desire to seek an accredited degree, however, they can take the present INS courses that are available online at www.nouthetic.org and earn a certificate of nouthetic counseling from MABTS. In addition, plans are in the works for students who have already taken courses through INS to receive credit for those courses toward a degree in nouthetic counseling from MABTS beginning in 2016.

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

indexFor the past three weeks it was a joy for Dr. Adams and me to teach a group of faculty members, PhD, and DMin. students at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. I traveled to Memphis to teach in person and Dr. Adams joined us via the internet. We will be teaching at MABTS again in June. Dr. Tim Seal (Academic Dean), Dr. Matt Akers (Dean, DMin Program), and Dr. Jere Phillips were gracious hosts and are enthusiastic supporters of nouthetic counseling.

MABTS is in the early stages of launching new degree programs in nouthetic counseling which will include PhD, DMin, and MA degrees. They are committed to the sufficiency of the Scriptures, sound theology, careful exegesis, and solid academics. You will not find stuffy academia here, however. These folk have a heart for evangelism and engaging preaching. Practical theology is no afterthought.

The Institute for Nouthetic Studies is excited about the opportunity we have been given to help establish and develop this new emphasis at MABTS. If you are seeking a place to pursue further training in biblical counseling or pastoral ministry we urge you to check out MABTS.

Plan now to come to Memphis for MABTS’ first conference on biblical counseling April 7 – 9, 2014. Lord willing, Dr. Adams will be traveling to Memphis to speak at the conference as will Lou Priolo, Martha Peace, and myself. We will publish complete information including the conference schedule shortly.