- Our Mission Statement
- Our Seminary Target
- Our Core Values
- Our Denominational Affiliation
- Our Accreditation
- Our Heritage
- Our Doctrinal Commitments
- Our Locations
- Our Faculty
- Our Enrollment
- Our Funding And Endowment
- Educational Effectiveness
- How to Contact Us
The mission of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is to equip leaders to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandments through the local church and its ministries.
Our target as a Seminary is healthy churches. We measure the effectiveness of our Seminary by the health of the churches that our graduates lead.
Doctrinal Integrity -- Believing that the Bible is the Word of God, we believe it, teach it, proclaim it, and submit our lives to it. Our confessional commitments are outlined in the Articles of Religious Belief and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
Spiritual Vitality -- We are a worshiping community emphasizing both personal spirituality and gathering together as a Seminary family for the praise and adoration of God and instruction in His Word.
Mission Focus -- Our Seminary does not exist merely to get an education or to give an education. We are here to change the world by fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandments through the local church and its ministries.
Characteristic Excellence -- We want everything we do to be characterized by offering the utmost of our abilities and resources as a testimony to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Servant Leadership -- We follow the model of Jesus to exert leadership through nurturing and encouraging those around us.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Seminary would not be financially viable apart from significant funding by the SBC Cooperative Program. The Charter of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary assigns ownership of the Seminary assets to the Southern Baptist Convention, requires that all NOBTS Trustees be elected by the Southern Baptist Convention, and declares that the Charter "may not be altered, amended, or repealed without the expressed prior consent of the Southern Baptist Convention."
New Orleans Seminary is accredited by several accrediting agencies to offer certificate, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, with approval for the following degree programs:
MDiv, MA in Christian Education, MA in Worship Ministries, MA in Missiology, MA in Marriage and Family Counseling, Master of Music in Church Music, MA (Biblical Studies), MA (Theology), DMin, DEdMin, DMA, ThM, PhD
The following extension sites are approved as specified:
Approved Degrees: MDiv, MA in Christian Education, MA in Worship Studies
Approved Degrees: MDiv, MA in Christian Education
The following extension sites are approved for more than 50 percent of a degree program but not complete degrees:
Miami (Hialeah), FL
Blue Mountain, MS
Clinton (Jackson), MS
Approval has been requested and is pending for the move of the Pineville, LA extension center to a nearby location in Alexandria, LA, and of the move of the Albany, GA extension center to a nearby location in Warner-Robins, GA.
The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has authorization to operate in the state of Florida under Florida statute 246.083.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is a member of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary was founded in 1917 by an act of the Southern Baptist Convention at their annual meeting that year in New Orleans. Originally named "Baptist Bible Institute," New Orleans Seminary was the first theological institution to be created by direct action of the Southern Baptist Convention. It was originally created as an undergraduate institution modeled after Moody Bible Institute. Gradually, the school began to move toward graduate level training, and in 1946 the Convention renamed the institution "New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary."
The school was the fulfillment of a century-old dream of Baptists to establish a missionary training school in New Orleans as a gateway to Latin America, and as a mission center in the ungodly city of New Orleans. In 1914, P. I. Lipsey, editor of the Mississippi Baptist Record, wrote an impassioned editorial favoring the creation of a theological school in New Orleans: "A seminary (in New Orleans) would plant the Baptist cause in this city in a way that would immediately command the attention and the respect of all. It would be planting the siege guns at the enemies’ gates.”
Baptist Bible Institute opened its first session in October 1918 under the leadership of Byron H. DeMent, who served as president of the BBI from 1917 to 1928. “The Baptist Bible Institute is preeminently a child of providence and prayer,” DeMent said at his inauguration. Since that day, New Orleans Seminary has been known as “The School of Providence and Prayer.”
Others who have served as president of the school are William W. Hamilton Sr. (1928-42); Duke K. McCall (1943-46); Roland Q. Leavell (1946-58); H. Leo Eddleman (1959-70); Grady C. Cothen (1970-74); and Landrum P. Leavell II, nephew of Roland Leavell, (1974-95). On February 23, 1996, Dr. Charles S. “Chuck” Kelley, Jr., of Beaumont, Texas, was elected unanimously as the seminary’s eighth president. Prior to his election he had served at the seminary for 13 years as the Roland Q. Leavell Professor of Evangelism and most recently as the director of the Seminary’s Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Health.
From its beginning until 1953, the school was located at 1220 Washington Avenue, in the heart of the Garden District of residential New Orleans. The current campus, at 3939 Gentilly Boulevard was purchased in 1947. The landmark entrance gates and fence from the Garden District mansion now are located on the front block of the Gentilly campus. The current property, once a 75-acre pecan orchard, has been transformed into a beautiful campus with more than 100 buildings. More than 20,000 men and women have prepared for ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
All the faculty members of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary subscribe to the school's historic confession, the Articles of Religious Belief, and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Our President has signed on behalf of the Seminary a pledge to doctrinal faithfulness entitled "One Faith, One Task, One Sacred Trust: A Covenant Between Our Churches and Seminaries." And the faculty also recently joined the other Southern Baptist seminary faculties in endorsing "What God Has Joined Together: A Resolution in Defense of Marriage."
The main campus in New Orleans is on a beautiful 70 acre tree-covered site in suburban New Orleans. However, the Seminary also is committed to making quality theological education as accessible and affordable as possible to as many ministers as possible. Therefore, New Orleans Seminary operates many extension center campuses across the Southeast.
Graduate extension centers are located in:
- Pineville, Louisiana
- Shreveport, Louisiana
- Blue Mountain, Mississippi
- Clinton, Mississippi
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Atlanta (Marietta), Georgia
- Albany, Georgia
- Graceville, Florida
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
- Pensacola, Florida
- Miami, Florida
Undergraduate extension centers are located in:
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Lafayette, Louisiana
- Shreveport, Louisiana
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Albany, Georgia
- Atlanta (Marietta), Georgia
- Miami, Florida
- Tampa, Florida
NOBTS makes theological education accessible by a number of innovative delivery systems as well. On campus classes are offered in a wide variety of scheduling options throughout the week, as well as night class and weekend options. Many extension center classes are taught by Compressed Interactive Video (CIV) by faculty from the main campus. Internet classes are offered at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Short-term one week courses (academic workshops) are offered throughout the year.
The Seminary faculty consists of approximately 70 faculty members. Their academic excellence is exemplified in the fact that they have earned a total of over 75 master's degrees from 7 different seminaries and 15 universities, and over 55 doctoral degrees from 6 seminaries and 6 universities. Their ongoing research is reflected in the Seminary's research centers and institutes, as well as numerous publications and presentations. The full-time faculty is supplemented by over 100 adjuctive faculty.
The NOBTS faculty also has unusual experience in ministry. The faculty averages over 15 years each in ministry experience in local churches and mission settings, including a number of pastors, education ministers, and music ministers; nine former international missionaries; two former directors of missions; and a state convention executive director. Others have served in counseling ministries and social work mission centers. Almost all of them are currently involved in some expression of ministry. That's why we call NOBTS "The Church Place."
Our Seminary faculty is committed to doctrinal integrity. Each faculty member subscribes to our doctrinal statements, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and NOBTS's own historic confession, the Articles of Religious Belief.
Total student enrollment has exceeded 3,000 students for the last seven years, making NOBTS among the largest seminaries in the world. Approximately 1,900 of these students are located primarily on the New Orleans campus; the others are at extension centers (though part of their work is normally completed on campus). The student body comes from 39 states and 39 different nations of the world. The three home states represented by the most students are Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. For more information about how to enroll in the Seminary, contact the Student Enlistment Office.
About half of the approximately $16 million annual Seminary budget is provided by the SBC Cooperative Program. The support of the Cooperative Program is an annual allocation equal to the income of over $100 million of endowment. The Cooperative Program is the financial lifeline of the seminary.
Total Seminary endowment is about $40 million, including about $20 million in the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary endowment and about $20 million in the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Foundation endowment. For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement .
In keeping with federal requirements, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary regularly evaluates and assesses student success within our various programs. This success is measured in a variety of ways including evaluation of student retention rates, evaluation of student graduation rates, and examination of job placement results. The following link provides data from recent evaluations of some of these measures.