CORE VALUES OF ACADEMICS AT BTSR
The curriculum at BTSR includes three basic areas of emphasis that are integral to the preparation of every student, regardless of his or her specific ministry interest.
Academic preparation for ministry is a central reason for the existence of a theological seminary. Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond stresses that academic preparation must be accompanied by attention to spiritual formation. Theological education is not only to be addressed to the mind, it should also address matters of the heart. To this end all entering students are required to take courses that introduce them to spirituality and the spiritual disciplines, especially prayer, and which aid them in cultivating both private and corporate means for spiritual development. Subsequently, they must also take a course that helps them develop skills for helping those to whom they minister by strengthening their own spiritual lives. In addition to providing courses in spirituality the seminary community worships and prays together weekly during regular academic terms.
Opportunities are also available for special workshops and periodic retreats to help students in their spiritual formation and to facilitate their developing spiritual resources necessary for effective practice of ministry.
Global Mission Immersion
Recognizing that the church has become global in its composition, the seminary seeks to help students broaden their vision to attain a global perspective. Students are required to complete at least one course involving work in a cross-cultural mission setting where they are immersed in a culture different from their own. Courses designed to immerse students in the global issues confronting the church are planned for the second year of the M.Div. and M.C.M. curriculum.
Read more about our Mission Immersion Experience program here.
Congregationally-focused Theological Education
BTSR emphasizes theological education that is focused on ministry within a congregation or other community of faith. The curriculum is designed to bring students into close contact with congregations and faith-based ministries throughout their academic careers. For most students this will mean a local congregation. For those preparing for other ministries, such as chaplaincy or social ministry, a different form of community of faith will be their “congregation.” In all that it does, BTSR equips ministers to lead the congregations and ministries of the church in the twenty-first century. Giving ministers a thorough acquaintance with church life and knowledge of the skills of congregational leadership are central to the seminary’s task.