The estimated 45,000 autonomous churches that cooperate with the Southern Baptist Convention pool their resources to support the work of the six theological seminaries. The Convention operates these seminaries to train its ministers and Christian workers.
The six are:
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY (1859)
- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX (1908)
- New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans, LA (1917)
- Gateway Seminary, Ontario, CA (1944)
- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC (1951)
- Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO (1957)
Collectively the six seminaries have been given a challenging mission: “to prepare God-called men and women for vocational service in Baptist churches and in other Christian ministries throughout the world through programs of spiritual development, theological studies, and practical preparation in ministry.”
Seminary-trained students are trained to go and evangelize, baptize, disciple, and teach individuals across the nation and around the world (Matthew 28:18-20). The Convention has committed itself to provide seminary education and training at the lowest cost possible so graduates are not burdened with debt as they embark on this noble quest.
The six seminaries are funded in part by the Convention’s Cooperative Program. The Cooperative Program helps fund ministries and missions through cooperating state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention. About 22 percent of all Cooperative Program contributions received by the Southern Baptist Convention are directed to the six theological seminaries and the SBC Historical Library and Archives. In addition, the seminaries are supported by endowments, donations, tuition, and fees.