SBT Seminary to offer undergraduate program

( [email protected] ) Oct 21, 2004 05:10 PM EDT

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees have approved plans to open an undergraduate college named "The College at Southwestern" in the fall of 2005.

The school will offer a baccalaureate degree which requires a double major, said seminary President Paige Patterson.

Patterson said that the college would do what secular universities are often failing to do.

"Many of our students are coming here from the great secular universities and they have never read Plato, Thucydides, or even Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." You are not prepared, you are not educated, if you have failed to accomplish these things in your undergraduate education," Patterson said.

He added that the undergraduate programs will require intense reading and writing because many students now entering graduate seminary studies "have trouble writing a paper or standing on their feet and defending it."

Biblical studies will be a mandatory portion of the degree. The second portion of the double major will be an optional area of study such as the history of Western ideas or intercultural studies, Patterson said.

Southwestern trustees pledged to recruit 50 students for the initial class. Rudy Gonzalez, vice president of student services, said a task force has begun formulating the school's curriculum and has already designed application materials.

Greg Tomlin, spokesman for the seminary, said that The College at Southwestern would provide "unique preparation for students who wish to engage culture and advance the gospel." Tomlin also indicated that the cost of attending the college would be much less than the average university or private Christian school.