Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary pt 2

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DanSSwing

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello. I wanted to follow up on the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary thread from 7 years ago to see if anything has changed there. I'm looking to start an MDiv at a Reformed-leaning, non-woke seminary preferably about a day's drive from both Dallas and St. Louis. Currently on my list are RTS-Jackson and IRBS. I also want to be able to take most classes in-person and during regular working hours (which sadly rules out GBTS). I had SBTS on the list but am close to scratching it because of a disturbing increase in wokeness there. Does anyone know where Midwestern currently stands on those two issues? Thanks.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
I would not recommend attending any of the SBC seminaries with the better options that are available. I would say IRBS is the best choice given your parameters.
 

RSKirk

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Dan, I took five courses through MBTS online from 2020-2021. I did not encounter any wokeness head-on in those courses. The professors are essentially just proctors as they have full-time jobs with other colleges and seminaries. Most of my interactions with them were brief and via discussion boards. The students all had broad perspectives on things, but again, no wokeness reared its ugly head. I know President Jason Allen took some criticism for his perceived lack of strength regarding Southern Baptist doctrinal rot, but from what I experienced directly through his correspondences with the students, he was a perfectly decent and honest man.

I am not sure how things have changed in the year since I suspended my studies there. I would say that MBTS is not overwhelmingly Reformed, if at all really. I would encourage you to pursue another school simply because I think the academics at MBTS were lacking. I hope this was helpful in some way. God bless you in your endeavors.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
preferably about a day's drive from both Dallas and St. Louis.
RTS Dallas should meet that criteria. Although Jackson does have more to offer.

Speaking of RTS Jackson - just note that it is moving to Jackson from Clinton.
 

psycheives

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello. I wanted to follow up on the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary thread from 7 years ago to see if anything has changed there. I'm looking to start an MDiv at a Reformed-leaning, non-woke seminary preferably about a day's drive from both Dallas and St. Louis. Currently on my list are RTS-Jackson and IRBS. I also want to be able to take most classes in-person and during regular working hours (which sadly rules out GBTS). I had SBTS on the list but am close to scratching it because of a disturbing increase in wokeness there. Does anyone know where Midwestern currently stands on those two issues? Thanks.

I also recommend IRBS (Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies) for the learning of their teachers, who have been studying the original works of the earliest historical Calvinist Baptists (Benjamin Keach, etc) (many people read erroneous summaries, not the original works). I would bet these guys know the history and theology better than almost anyone. Plus, they are STRICT Confessionalists, so that means they will tend to be extra well-educated on the historical Baptist beliefs and not misled by modern misinterpretations introduced over the last few centuries. I believe it is super important to know the historical beliefs and not to just fed modern answers which don't actually provide real answers. IRBS is also a small seminary, so you will be probably be able to get a lot of time with the teachers, asking questions. They have at least 3 published authors, so check out their books.

Richard Barcellos has written books on:

- The Trinity & Impassibility of God - Very important! Barcellos makes a Biblical case for the Confessional belief in the Impassibility of God (while many moderns have unbiblically done away with this belief). I think Barcellos is probably one of best teachers on this subject. https://smile.amazon.com/Confessing...7430852&sprefix=richard+barce,aps,872&sr=8-10
- "Reformed Baptist" Covenant Theology - confusing subject with a lot of different historical views and new ideas infiltrated by Dispensationalism and modern evangelicalism, but Barcellos will be among the few who can give you a real HISTORICALLY-based education with original writings and which views are and are not in line with the Confessions.​

I've taken a class or two from Jim Renihan and found him to be very well-educated on Baptist theology, Confessions and history (I find most Baptist historians to be erroneous and surprisingly unaware of all the sources/materials out there). Also, he seemed such a nice calm easy-to-talk-to guy. You'll have a blast just chatting with him about the importance of Confessions and keeping promises.

https://irbsseminary.org/faculty/
https://irbsseminary.org/resources/ (Watch videos)
irbs.JPG
 

DanSSwing

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks, all. The problem (for me) with both IRBS and RTS-Dallas is that very few classes appear to be in-person during regular hours. Looks like IRBS has mostly Zoom classes during regular hours and RTS-Dallas has mostly in-person classes but they're all nights and weekends. I'm going to visit IRBS next month just to be sure, but definitely leaning RTS-Jackson. Will also consider RTS-Charlotte/Orlando (the two other locations with in-person regular hours classes) and maybe GPTS and PRTS even though those four are far outside of the area I was hoping for.

Newsflash: Apparently Al Mohler has recently said something to upset Dwight McKissic, so maybe I'll have to put SBTS back on the list again! :)
 

DanSSwing

Puritan Board Freshman
Well he's got a year to fire him (and there's at least one other major wokie there) before I actually start seminary...
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Jackson has become one giant "bad neighborhood." It is very sad.
I expect that's why they were able to get an office complex in that location at an affordable price. I don't really see that location as a long term improvement. They should have gone across the river (probably east of the airport) or north of the county line. Although I haven't been there in about 10 years, so I don't know how far out one would need to go these days.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I expect that's why they were able to get an office complex in that location at an affordable price. I don't really see that location as a long term improvement. They should have gone across the river (probably east of the airport) or north of the county line. Although I haven't been there in about 10 years, so I don't know how far out one would need to go these days.
Actually the Jackson campus is not moving to Clinton, but to north Jackson. New site is 1400 Meadowbrook Road. They announced this during PCA GA.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Actually the Jackson campus is not moving to Clinton, but to north Jackson. New site is 1400 Meadowbrook Road. They announced this during PCA GA.
Have I said anything contrary to that? I got an email from them some time back.

What I did say is that they should have moved across the river or north of the county line instead of where they are moving.

And unless it was a gift or a very good deal, they should have held off for a bit longer. Commercial Real Estate is going to get cheaper before it gets better. Particularly for Class B.
 

Caleb Eissler

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello. I wanted to follow up on the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary thread from 7 years ago to see if anything has changed there. I'm looking to start an MDiv at a Reformed-leaning, non-woke seminary preferably about a day's drive from both Dallas and St. Louis. Currently on my list are RTS-Jackson and IRBS. I also want to be able to take most classes in-person and during regular working hours (which sadly rules out GBTS). I had SBTS on the list but am close to scratching it because of a disturbing increase in wokeness there. Does anyone know where Midwestern currently stands on those two issues? Thanks.
Dan,

I graduated with my M.Div from Midwestern in December of 2020 and am planning to do a PhD under Matthew Barrett on the beatific vision with a special focus on its role within the theology of the Post-Reformation Reformed Scholastics. I live and pastor in Kansas City, MO so I was able to do in-person classes (except during the COVID quarantine, of course). My experience with the school was really positive. The school is not confessionally Reformed, but there are several Reformed professors there who I would argue are generally the most prominent and vocal on staff. Plus, Jason Allen is broadly Reformed (with the obvious caveat for those who don’t consider baptists Reformed ). As a Reformed Baptist with a deep love for the Puritans, I felt at home at Midwestern. There are of course professors there who aren’t Reformed, but I still enjoyed them. If you’re looking for a school that is strictly confessional, then Midwestern is not what you’re seeking. But you can absolutely get a solid, broadly Reformed education there. I really appreciated the pastoral emphasis and heart from many of the professors there. It’s not a perfect school by any means, but I really enjoyed my time there.

One bit of advice I would have: you will get out the the online classes what you put into them. They can be good, but I always preferred in-person classes if I could swing them. Matthew Barrett’s class on systematic theology and Jason Duesing’s Baptist History class were my favorites.

I’m happy to answer any more questions you might have about the school!
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Have I said anything contrary to that? I got an email from them some time back.

What I did say is that they should have moved across the river or north of the county line instead of where they are moving.

And unless it was a gift or a very good deal, they should have held off for a bit longer. Commercial Real Estate is going to get cheaper before it gets better. Particularly for Class B.
Sorry, I misread your post as moving to Clinton.
 

DanSSwing

Puritan Board Freshman
Dan,

I graduated with my M.Div from Midwestern in December of 2020 and am planning to do a PhD under Matthew Barrett on the beatific vision with a special focus on its role within the theology of the Post-Reformation Reformed Scholastics. I live and pastor in Kansas City, MO so I was able to do in-person classes (except during the COVID quarantine, of course). My experience with the school was really positive. The school is not confessionally Reformed, but there are several Reformed professors there who I would argue are generally the most prominent and vocal on staff. Plus, Jason Allen is broadly Reformed (with the obvious caveat for those who don’t consider baptists Reformed ). As a Reformed Baptist with a deep love for the Puritans, I felt at home at Midwestern. There are of course professors there who aren’t Reformed, but I still enjoyed them. If you’re looking for a school that is strictly confessional, then Midwestern is not what you’re seeking. But you can absolutely get a solid, broadly Reformed education there. I really appreciated the pastoral emphasis and heart from many of the professors there. It’s not a perfect school by any means, but I really enjoyed my time there.

One bit of advice I would have: you will get out the the online classes what you put into them. They can be good, but I always preferred in-person classes if I could swing them. Matthew Barrett’s class on systematic theology and Jason Duesing’s Baptist History class were my favorites.

I’m happy to answer any more questions you might have about the school!
Thanks, Caleb. I'll keep that all in mind. Do you know if it's mostly Reformed professors who are teaching the OT/NT survey classes and hermeneutics? The issue in my case is that I'm nearly 50, was essentially a 3.5-point Calvinist for the vast majority of my life and have read the Bible nearly a dozen times through that lens. Even though I'm Reformed now, I'm sure I still have some residual interpretations from the old lens and need to re-learn what has been ingrained.

It's also difficult to compare MBTS with other seminaries looking at the online course list. MBTS appears to be light in both church history and systematic theology. I only see three and two courses, respectively, in those two areas out of 72 core hours (compared to other MDiv programs that require 90-100 hours and have four-to-six courses in each. I was looking for additional electives to provide more emphasis in those areas, but I don't see any among the concentrations. I found it odd that a school that offers a PhD in Theology wouldn't have more theology courses at the MDiv level.
 
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