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What is the most rigorous/academic evangelical seminary in the US?


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Out of the evangelical seminaries in the US, which ones are known as the most rigorous or academic? I'm aware that often the conservatives seminaries are not considered rigorous compared to the mainline divinity schools. However, which school(s) would offer an education the nearest to the rigor of a non-evangelical seminary? Is there a spectrum you could provide of rankings?

I am particularly interested in Old Testament programs on the Master's level, but general comments of academic rigor on any level (including PhD) would be helpful.

I've heard that possibly Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, at one point was known to be more rigorous; possibly Wheaton? What about Southeastern Baptist Seminary or Denver? Are Fuller or Gordon-Conwell considered more rigorous, or even Dallas Theological Seminary?

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I'll first answer your question without giving my own advice.

SBTS, Wheaton, Fuller, DTS, TEDS, GCTS is probably your list.

Also look into Canadian schools. 


Now, before you consider them, think of these following questions.
1. What do you want to do with this degree? Are you looking for pastoral work? Do you want to go Academia?

2. Is money your problem?

3. Wherever you are placed with denomination affiliations, make sure to consider if your employers are ok with those schools.

4. Are you aiming to do any kind of interdisciplinary studies? If you want to do any kind of interdisciplinary studies, then Seminaries can't help with you that much

5. Are you ok with the political, social, and religious direction of those Evangelical Seminaries?

6. Are you wiling to sign a confession agreement from those schools? 


Also in my opinion, Southern Baptist Schools and other Evangelical schools are treated entirely different.

I've seen graduates from TEDS, GCTS, DTS, FTS go into Top Tier PhDs, but not that much from SBC schools to Top Tier PhDs.

Consider your options wisely.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would mostly agree with @kor_to_nola's list and also add Beeson Divinity School. I will say however that based on my own interpretation of the opinions I have seen on here, SEBTS, DS, SBTS and DTS should be avoided if you are interested in an R1 or even R2 doctoral program.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi I am from GCTS - Charlotte. I am not sure if GCTS is the most rigorous one, but it should be enough for your use. MA students from here have a good chance to go to good PhD schools. If you are considering mainstream PhD schools, avoid the denominational seminaries for your MA.

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