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SBC DIGEST: SEBTS offers online ThM; Florida DR catalyst Beall retires

SEBTS offers Master of Theology fully online

By SEBTS Staff

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) is seeking to make theological education more accessible to church leaders around the world by introducing an online format for the Master of Theology (ThM) program.

“One of our goals at SEBTS is to train the nations,” said Chuck Lawless, dean of doctoral studies. “By offering a fully online, strong ThM program, we can strengthen Gospel workers in North America and around the world.”

The online option will apply to all ThM concentrations. Students enrolled in the ThM program are required to take four elective seminars, two of which must come from the student’s area of concentration. Students enrolled online will be able to take four upper-level graduate electives fully online.

For ThM students looking to take PhD seminars as part of their elective requirements, the majority of these courses will be offered as week-long intensives on Southeastern’s campus. In addition to these changes, the ThM program’s bibliographic research course will be updated to better account for electronic methods for advanced research.

“In many places, there are limited opportunities for advanced research degrees, like a ThM,” said Christy Thornton, director of Southeastern’s ThM program. “We hope that the fully online ThM can provide the opportunity for aspiring scholars and church leaders to continue their growth and development and give additional support to developing theological academies.”

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Click here for more information about the ThM program at SEBTS.

Florida DR catalyst Delton Beall retires

By Barbara Denman/Florida Baptist Convention

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP) – For the past eight years, Delton Beall has led an army of dedicated volunteers who are ready at a moment’s notice to be the hands and feet of Jesus in times of disaster.

As Florida Baptists’ catalyst for disaster relief and recovery ministries since December 2012, Beall directed Florida Baptist Disaster Relief’s 5,500 volunteers to respond to 16 storm events, including Florida-based hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, Irma, Michael and Sally.

The 67-year-old Jackson, Miss., native retired from his role Feb. 26.

“Delton has led by example how to have a heart of a servant and a passion to share the Gospel of his Lord Jesus,” said Myles Dowdy, lead catalyst for Florida Baptists’ Missions and Ministries.

“His greatest accomplishment has been the ability to keep everyone focused on the main task during a crisis, while working with countless volunteers through ministry. A crisis can be a time of disorientation and confusion as your world has turned upside down. However, Delton has always emphasized that a crisis is a time for the church to rise up to love, minister and declare the rock-solid faithfulness of Jesus Christ to those impacted by the crisis.”

Dowdy commended Beall’s ability to build partnerships with volunteers, churches, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, the state of Florida and other Southern Baptist disaster relief efforts.

“He is highly respected by all of these organizations,” Dowdy said, adding that Beall’s “seat at the table” has presented Florida Baptists with many opportunities to minister in the state.

After the pandemic hit in 2020 and life came to a standstill, the state of Florida contacted Beall to ask if Florida Baptist churches could distribute meals to the needy and hungry across the state. Beall marshaled the effort through the state’s volunteer network. The effort grew, adding food from corporate sources to provide more than $33 million in food distributed by 672 churches across the state. More than a thousand people made professions of faith because of this ministry.

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