Is There Support for Husbands Whose Wives are in Seminary at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?

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Are women even allowed in the seminary at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?

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Special thanks to blogger, Tim Fall, whose tweet showed up in my Twitter news feed and prompted this post. Tim asks the person behind The Southern Baptist Theological School’s (SBTS) Twitter account about women in the seminary. @ItsJuzztMe got the first audible laugh from me this morning. Have a read:

Sothern Baptist Theological Seminary

tim***

So what about those wives who have considered seminary?

I wanted to see if I could send my daughter to SBTS as a seminary student and snooped around the site a bit.  I found this:

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sbts2

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Ok, the first sentence is a dead giveaway:  “Wondering if Southern has a place for you?”  hmmmmm

and then:

 “. . .  to address women’s needs and equip them for whatever calling God has place on their lives.”

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What if, as Tim Fall asked, a woman feels God is calling her to ministry? Will SBTS support her calling to ministry? Are there classes or any type of classes for men to support wives in seminary?  I first had to see if this was even an option at SBTS. From what I can see, SBTS offers quite a few programs for both men and women, but they sure do support wives of seminary students: Seminary Wives Institute. However, there’s no Seminary Husbands Institute that I could find. Keep in mind, when husbands are at seminary school, this is one time that the complementarian guys say it’s okay for their wives to work outside the home for a season.

Reading through some of this stuff reminded me of when I was a Navy officer’s wife and was given a lengthy handbook for proper etiquette as a Navy wife. Even at the time (1988), I noted that it said Navy wives, not spouses. In my husband’s graduating class at officer candidate school, there were women who graduated as officers, so this book was already out of date. Regardless, at our first training site (yes, it was training for me as an officer’s wife as well as training for my newly commissioned officer husband), I hung out with the captain’s wife and other new officer’s wives and she modeled to us how to be a proper officer’s wife. It was actually quite fun at CECOS in Port Hueneme, CA, spending time with the officer’s wives. But I was expected to schmooze with the higher ranking officers respectfully, I had to make sure I placed my calling card appropriately in the dish upon leaving an official event (do you even know what a calling card is and how it is used?). Yup, even though I wasn’t in the military, my husband was, and I was expected to follow Navy wives rules. Anyway . . . back to seminary wives . . .

Here is a sampling of what SBTS has to offer for women in their upcoming spring of 2015 Seminary Wives Institute course descriptions:

LEADERSHIP SKILLS I: Women and Evangelism

BAPTIST BELIEFS:  This class is taught by Drs. Albert Mohler, Dan DeWitt, Adam Greenway, Randy Stinson and Greg Wills

We predict you will use what you learn in this course for years to come. You will also gain a greater appreciation and understanding of what your husbands spend years studying.

MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY:  This class is taught by Mrs. Mary Mohler

Some of the many topics include serving your own family, recipe and menu organization, event planning at home and at church, etiquette, hospitality in writing, evangelistic hospitality and overcoming challenges. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate hospitality and plan a creative event as part of this course. Practical assignments correspond to the weekly topics.

MORE BIBLICAL COUNSELING: TYPICAL PROBLEMS IN COUNSELING

PLAYING HYMNS taught by Bethany Strachan (Is this Owen Strachan’s wife?)

Description: Have you ever wanted to learn to play the piano OR have you wish that you had kept it up as a child? This course will teach how to read the notes for the right and left hand and will teach basic chord patterns so that you could play worship songs or hymns with the right hand melody and various chord patterns with the left hand. Access to a keyboard or piano is required as well as regular practice times for about 20-30 minutes five days a week.

The only thing I could find regarding women in leadership is this:

Ministry Leaders Internship for Women is designed to invest in female students who are called to minister to women in a church or educational setting. Ladies are challenged to invest strategically in the spiritual lives of other women while personally growing in leadership, discipline, and godliness. Please go here for more information.

I called SBTS to find out for sure and was told that women can take all classes at SBTS except for pastoral degree classes (JA bolded):

The Pastoral Studies concentration is primarily designed to prepare men who are called to serve in the office of pastor in local congregations. A balance of biblical, theological, and ministry courses makes this a broad program of pastoral training, allowing for exposure to a range of knowledge and skills needed for effective ministry in the local church.

So, Tim, unfortunately I don’t think there’s much for you at SBTS on how to support your wife if she feels God’s calling to go to seminary.  I’m so sorry.

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171 comments on “Is There Support for Husbands Whose Wives are in Seminary at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?

  1. “But I would prefer to take it up with God and his Word over time and not others interpretation”

    But it is was revealed clearly. Those reading the letter knew Junia was a woman. You won’t find it clearly revealed to convince you that Junia was a woman in other parts of scripture. She was mentioned in a letter written in the context of that time.

    So basically you ARE believing others interpretation without realizing it. And I would be careful about claiming God has told you she was really a man.

    If it helps at all, Chrysostom, who was basically a misogynist, referred to the female Junia in his commenting on Romans 16. He lived from 347-407 BC. He wrote:

    ” Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.”

    Other early church fathers who confirmed Junia as female:
    Origen of Alexander (185-253) and Jerome (340-419)

    Source: Liver Interpretationis Hebraicorum Nominum 72,15.), Hatto of Vercelli (924-961, Theophylack (1050-1108), and Peter Abelar (1079-1142).19

    Other research shows that Junia was a common female name in those days. Too much to cite here.

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  2. Lydia, I am alright with agreeing to disagree. If you are so educated that you know all that is fine, but I am not and don’t have a problem saying so. I mean no disrespect. I believe that the Bible is the Living Word of our Lord. It is just as valuable today as it was centuries ago and that people do twist it. That is why I prefer to do my own research. Thank you. I wouldn’t listen to anything Piper had to say if he were the last person left on earth.

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  3. Brenda, I am simply giving you some information/research I spent years digging into that you can find helpful or not. Some of it because I saw that the caste system pecking order taught by many pastors was simply not of Christ. It was never a law of God, either, in the OT. it is the evil tradition of man.

    I think you already are believing wrong interpretations. The issue of women’s “roles”in ministering in the Body is from tradition, not God. I don’t think God is going to force you to believe anything different reading scriptures through the same filters. I don’t think He operates like that. And read up on how ancient cultures thought of women which the Jews mingled with constantly. Read the code of Hammurabi. Quite an eye opener for how our Great God approached these stiff necked people that were supposed to be the light of the world. He met them where they were. He is gracious, and long suffering.

    I used to refer to scripture as the Living Word of God, too. So I get it. If we look at the instances of how scripture is referred to in the Bible and how Jesus is referred to, it becomes obvious that Jesus Christ is the “living Word”. If Bibles were confiscated, could He still speak to you?

    Brenda, we choose to “educate” ourselves or not. I find it all fascinating. Some people garden or watch tv. I find this stuff riveting and know the more I dig into the historical context I see how much more there is to learn. And how ignorant I am.

    As far as women functioning in the body, there had be some catalyst and for me it was believing a God who only allowed those with penis’ to do certain things for Him. After all, Adam not only blamed Eve but God, too! So why would having a penis mean special rights? I just could not buy it so I studied and researched. And it really all boils down to: there is no male/female, Greek/Jew, Slave/Free when it comes to Yahweh. There is no pink or blue Christianity.

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  4. Keith said:

    “Many would say your interpretation is wrong”

    And that is fine. It is good to discuss, research, and wrestle with it. Why more won’t go down that road, I don’t know. It is very important and speaks to God’s character.

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  5. Lydia,
    How do you know that you can trust the men that you listed and their accounts any more than the ones we have today?

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  6. “Lydia,
    How do you know that you can trust the men that you listed and their accounts any more than the ones we have today?”

    Great question! I think the answer lies in the fact that God makes sense. He is reasonable and even logical. I realize that tradition holds mostly to mystery and we are to believe that only certain men were given the capacity to understand those mysteries and either seek to explain them to us or to refer to them so that God becomes unknowable to peasants seeking Him.

    I have analyzed the Genesis account in Hebrew and find the traditional understanding inexplicable. patriarchy or men’s roles as they are often defined is a result of sin. Free will choice sin. not Gods intentions for his creation. and what is worse the Trinity was redefined to map to a pecking order for adult humans. Think of Popes, Kings, etc

    I think the problem we have in most of our understanding is that we believe God almost always forcibly changed things that were not his intention for his creation. that is the difference between reading a descriptive account and a prescriptive account of Scriptures. we miss not only the larger narrative but the character of God when we read a prescriptive account that is actually descriptive

    when the reality is that God, throughout the narrative, met people where they were in ways they could understand that fit their culture. if I took your prescriptive way of interpreting Scripture, then I would have to conclude that polygamy is of God. we know that is not true. Why do we know that? because we have looked at the larger cultural narrative and applied reason.

    the Mosaic Law is instructive on this issue. Leviticus reads so draconian! but when we research ancient pagan laws we find that the Mosaic law fit right into that culture as some of that is eerily similar. they had just been living in bondage with the pagan Egyptians! The difference is Yahweh is the one true God. we tend to forget the very pagan backdrop of the Old Testament ancient culture. I believe that once we understand that it really comes alive. And the seemingly brutal mean God (that so many preach) of the Old Testament makes much more sense.

    He is saying: Turn to Me! Not mere men!

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  7. Lydia, You said: He is saying: Turn to Me! Not mere men! Were not these scholars from 1600 to 1900 years ago, not mere men? God is a lion and a lamb. He is gentle and loving, but I certainly don’t want to push his limits. I know what happened in the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah etc. etc. etc.

    In Isaiah 55: 8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Even the most logical of people do not think like God. We don’t have his righteousness. We are fallible He is infallible.

    Patriarchy was always mans way, but in some respects in those days seeing that a woman would have great difficulty surviving on her own, it was good for some at that time. I have no idea what the stats were then, but last I heard there are 4 women born for every man.

    This still doesn’t tell me how these particular men have the credentials to tell me what I should take away from Biblical accounts.

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  8. “Brenda R on December 9, 2014 at 10:33 AM
    Lydia, You said: He is saying: Turn to Me! Not mere men! Were not these scholars from 1600 to 1900 years ago, not mere men?”

    Of course. What makes you think I took their word for it? That is one reason I am not creedal and never will be. As far as Junia is concerned, someone like Origin was very close to the same time. I also look at history to see about the time Junia was referenced as male. Interesting.

    “God is a lion and a lamb. He is gentle and loving, but I certainly don’t want to push his limits. I know what happened in the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah etc. etc. etc.”

    I have no idea what this means.

    “In Isaiah 55: 8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Even the most logical of people do not think like God. We don’t have his righteousness. We are fallible He is infallible.”

    We ARE to have his righteousness. why can’t we be like Jesus as He was God in the flesh.

    what is the context for the Isaiah passage? A rule of translation: who is speaking, who is the speaker speaking to and what is the occasion/context.

    “Patriarchy was always mans way, but in some respects in those days seeing that a woman would have great difficulty surviving on her own, it was good for some at that time. I have no idea what the stats were then, but last I heard there are 4 women born for every man.”

    I agree with this but the question is why would a woman have trouble surviving on her own if her husband died or something like that in that culture? the answer is because of sin. why did a woman need protection from other men? Sin.

    “This still doesn’t tell me how these particular men have the credentials to tell me what I should take away from Biblical accounts.”

    I don’t really understand where you are coming from on this because you already believe a traditional interpretation of Scripture that comes from man. a “biblical” case can be made that you are wrong and so are they. but you don’t seem to want go there because you are waiting for God to make it into a magic book that tells you something different than the cultural context you are reading. I don’t see God changing the cultural context. although a few translators have done just that to fit their personal narrative.

    The New Testament tells men to greet each other with a holy kiss, too. where did that go in our culture?

    A great tool in understanding the cultural context of the New Testament are the Greco Roman household codes for a start. it gives us an idea of just how radical Jesus Christ was when it came to women.

    there is a case to be made for us to understand the historical Jesus Christ. every generation or so tends to remake Him in their image. a recent example would be the German Lutheran Church of the 1930’s.

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  9. “God is a lion and a lamb.” He allowed the floods, He allowed the Israelites to be in bondage for 400 years, He allowed the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. All because of sin–he can be a lion. Even though we are now under grace He still has expectations of us.

    Yes, we are righteous through Jesus Christ, but only to a point. We will not have his perfect righteousness until we stand before Him.

    In their culture if a woman was a widow the next of kin would either marry her or her son would take care of her. If there was no one, then there is a problem.

    Now you are telling me what I believe!!! I am not waiting for God to make any magic. I do believe the Bible is to be our first resource. I think a holy kiss has turned into a handshake.

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  10. Lydia,
    “Why can’t we be like Jesus as He was God in the flesh.”

    Because we are human beings, and even when we are glorified we still will not be like God. Are you getting this from N.T.Wright?

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  11. “Yes, we are righteous through Jesus Christ, but only to a point. We will not have his perfect righteousness until we stand before Him.”

    I agree with that to a point but we are also told to be perfect like Our Heavenly Father is perfect. Within that context I believe that means for us to be fully matured,wise and developed in Christ. However I also believe we live in corrupted bodies on a corrupted earth and deal in that daily. But I do believe we choose to sin or not. When I say that I am not speaking in the Augustinian sense that we cannot help but sin. It breaks my heart when I hear Christian teach that we cannot help but sin. Of course that hinges on what we believe is sin. Many Christians take the Platonic view of all material world is sin and only the spiritual is good. I disagree with that view but it causes a lot of problems in discussions.

    “In their culture if a woman was a widow the next of kin would either marry her or her son would take care of her. If there was no one, then there is a problem.”

    I am not sure where you are going with this. Why would a woman need for that to be the case except for sin?

    “Now you are telling me what I believe!!! I am not waiting for God to make any magic. I do believe the Bible is to be our first resource. I think a holy kiss has turned into a handshake.”

    I was not aware I was telling you what you believe. I thought you had already told me that and I was responding to it.

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  12. Hi Carmen

    I think I covered the first part of your comment above so I won’t go into it again.

    As to NT Wright, I have no idea if he would agree with me on these issues are not. I sort of doubt it as he leans more Platonic than I do from what I know of him. We would also disagree on Sacraments and what that means. No big deal.

    About 12 years ago I had come to the conclusion there was a real breakdown in Christianity and it’s practice. I determined to set on a course to figure this out. Throughout my research and study and lots of prayer I first came across JC Ryle’s book “holiness”. I was astonished that this Bishop of Liverpool was discussing the very things I was searching. Years later I came across NT Wright because John piper was basically positioning him as a heretic.

    I was cheered to read and listen to a new testament historian/scholar who was also concerned with Christians practicing what they claim they believe. I think he would agree with me that sanctification is synergistic.

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  13. “God is a lion and a lamb.” He allowed the floods, He allowed the Israelites to be in bondage for 400 years, He allowed the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. All because of sin–he can be a lion. Even though we are now under grace He still has expectations of us.”

    Opps, I missed this. I agree about sin and Gods expectations. Where I think we disagree is what the expectations are. Am I understanding you correctly that discussing the Bible as we have been is somehow wrong in God’s eyes? When you first quoted the above to me in a comment it seemed like you were using it in that context. I don’t think you weren’t specific enough about the expectations in that context so I am still confused as to what you really mean.

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  14. I don’t believe what Gods expectations/plans for me are what He wants/plans for you. We may be in completely different seasons of our lives. Our life’s experiences are different and can be used for entirely different purposes.

    No, I do not believe that having discussions are wrong as long as they don’t become heated. I don’t think that has happened. Sometimes I write and you don’t seem to understand what I am trying to say. I am at work during the day and perhaps should not be responding at all. I don’t really have time when I am not distracted with no matter day or night. I still ultimately believe that the Bible is our first resource. The Holy Spirit and prayer help us to discern and guide us through it. We will be learning our entire lives.

    I have had heart changes in certain teachings over time. I have been accused of making those changes because they benefit me, when in reality I believe they are more like Christ than those I had been taught. We are only made righteous through Jesus Christ. He is the only one who never sins. We may sin in thought without even realizing it. I find that praying for these things to be brought to the surface is helpful. I will never be too old to need change.

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  15. you are Right, Brenda. I don’t really understand where you are coming from. when you mention Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood and God’s expectations of us in the context of our previous conversation concerning our differing interpretations without telling me why and how it applies- to anything I have said, all I could do was assume it had something to do with our discussion and I found that disconcerting.

    I do think God has some expectations for all of us as in doing justice and having mercy. I think he loves it when we test everything, hold to what is good and are Bereans.

    Get some sleep! :o)

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  16. I mentioned those things because you had mentioned a “mean God”. I don’t think he is mean, I believe he has a limit and righteous anger.

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  19. “mentioned those things because you had mentioned a “mean God”. I don’t think he is mean, I believe he has a limit and righteous anger.”

    ok it was confusing because I mentioned the “mean” God in the context of how some pastors and teachers present Yahweh from the Old Testament as mean and some even delight in it. they tend to ignore the very pagan backdrop of the Old Testament and the basics of justice in an evil pagan ancient culture.

    I believe that Jesus Christ is a the full representation of God as stated in the book of Hebrews.

    I fear my communication skills are lacking in our conversation.

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  20. Lydia, So were mine. No harm done. Short term memory issues (MS) for me are also an issue as I am trying to do too many things at once. I’m just really getting too old for this multi-tasking stuff and health issues do not help. I have a book on customs in Biblical times, but just haven’t had the time to read it and most often at night I am unable to see anything but a blur. There need to be more books on CD or perhaps someone to read to me. That might be nice. I know Julie Anne–this is not a dating site!

    Yes, I agree, Jesus showed us who God is. He is gentle as a lamb and the lion certainly came out when He turned over tables. I haven’t met up with those preachers who delight in the “mean God” theory and glad of it. I have heard a couple in years past who liked the Hell fire, scare you to death of the sentence for unbelief. I never found that a compelling reason to seek God either. I believe it’s the love of Christ and his willingness to sacrifice for us that compels people to seek for Him.

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