What is a Hub?

By Paul F. South

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary will officially open its new learning “hub” in Marietta in September.

The expanded campus will open Sept. 10 at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. The new hub has been approved by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, an accreditation agency for theological seminaries.

The expanded campus will mean a larger faculty, more course offerings for students and the ability to complete more credit toward a graduate degree close to home.

A dedication ceremony will take place in conjunction with the opening. NOBTS President Chuck Kelley and Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Director J. Robert White will speak at the 11:15 a.m. ceremony.

 The initiative, which marks a significant change in the way the seminary delivers quality theological education, will allow students like Dustin Wright to earn more of their degree away from the main campus in New Orleans.

 “I chose the North Georgia campus of New Orleans Seminary because of its location, though now I would travel a thousand miles to attend,” Wright said. “The reason is simple. God is at work in the lives of the faculty and students as His Word is proclaimed and experienced in the hearts of all who attend. “

 Wright added, “The desire of the seminary is not only academic training but displaying the glory of God. It is that, which drives its students not only to an education but to a life permeated with the presence of God.”

 Location was also a key for North Georgia extension student Theresa Edens. She has been a student at the extension center since 1997, and says there is special bond between faculty and students at the center.

 “We have laughed and cried together, shared and prayed together and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful campus,” Edens said. “The faculty and students of the North Georgia campus will always hold a special place in my heart.”

 NOBTS President Chuck Kelley said the expanded hubs herald “a new type of campus.”

 “We’re very excited,” Kelley said. “We’ve beefed up our faculty and beefed up our offerings,” he said. “This will allow us to better serve our students.”

In the past, students had to earn more than 30 hours of on campus credit in New Orleans. The new “hub” initiative means that students served by the Atlanta extension will be able to take 18 of the 30-hour requirement at the hub, resulting in a major financial saving for extension students in the area.

 Students will still be required to take 12 hours at the main campus. As part of its commitment to the Crescent City, students will be required to complete at least one three-hour mission or disaster relief course in New Orleans.

 Students at the seminary’s other extension campuses will still be able to meet the entire 30-hour requirement on the main campus in New Orleans. However, a student at the seminary’s other extension campuses can work toward meeting the on-campus requirement at the hubs, Kelley said.

The Atlanta center will offer the basic master of divinity degree, the master of divinity church ministry track and the basic Master of Arts in Christian education, as well as a Master of Arts in worship studies.

The M.A. in worship studies in a 53-hour degree that prepares individuals to serve as worship ministers in the local church. The curriculum offers a broad theological understanding component, as well as in-depth courses in worship planning and worship leadership.

As for the future, Kelley believes the hubs, as well as the extension campuses will continue to make quality theological education accessible to everyone. He believes enrollment will get a boost from this groundbreaking initiative.

“As Southern Baptists, we believe that the only requirements for the ministry are that the person be saved and be called of God,” Kelley said. “But if someone desires to get a seminary education, we don’t want them to be able to say they can’t go to a seminary, because it’s too far away.”


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.


Biblical Studies
Christian Education
Church and Community Ministries
Church Music Ministries
Pastoral Ministries
Theological and Historical Studies
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