SEBTS offers IMB retirees advanced degree waiver

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced it will waive tuition and fees for the first two years of any doctoral degree or the first 12 hours of a master of theology degree for returning International Mission Board missionaries who opted last month to take the mission entity's voluntary retirement initiative.

"Everyone knows about the massive transition taking place at the IMB as missionaries submit a blank check to God and seek His will for their future," said Southeastern President Danny Akin. "For some this means returning to the States and a new chapter in ministry. It may also mean more training and education.

"Southeastern wants to assist those considering advanced graduate work with tuition scholarships," he said. "It is a small way of saying thank you for giving your lives for the fulfillment of the Great Commission."

This is a one-time offer to any IMB personnel who took the voluntary retirement incentive (VRI) in the first phase of IMB's new financial plan. The offer does not apply to anyone who retired prior to the VRI announcement or those who may have chosen to after the first VRI deadline of Dec. 11. IMB has not officially announced how many missionaries accepted the VRI. But they are projected to reduce staff and overseas personnel by at least 600 individuals by the end of the second phase early this year. See related story.

As part of Southeastern's offer, the seminary will waive tuition and fees for the first two years of doctoral study or the first 12 hours of study in the Th.M. program. This includes the one-time program fee and each semester's student enrollment fee. Southeastern will not cover room and board, books or any other cost not associated with tuition.

Those returning from the mission field as part of the VRI have two years to apply for this offer and be accepted into a program, subject to existing application schedules. There may be no application deferrals, and normal application procedures will apply for each program. Any internal or external scholarships will be applied before the waiver. After two years of doctoral study or 12 hours of Th.M. study, students will be charged regular tuition and fees for the remainder of their program.

Advanced degree programs eligible for this waiver include the doctor of ministry (D.Min.), doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), doctor of education (Ed.D.) and master of theology (Th.M.). Anyone who has taken the VRI will fill out a form with the program that he or she chooses in order to qualify for the waiver.

For more information on a specific program or to apply, contact the following:

--Doctor of Education: 919-761-2490 or edd@sebts.edu

--Doctor of Ministry: 919-761-2216 or dmin@sebts.edu

--Doctor of Philosophy: 919-761-2471 or dblaylock@sebts.edu

--Master of Theology: 919-761-2280 or admissions@sebts.edu

Harper McKay is a news and information specialist for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP).
Download Story