SWBTS enrollment slides…Dallas Seminary up…

In case you’re wondering where all the SWBTS students are going, Baptist Blogger has just discovered that while the Fort Worth seminary’s enrollment has fallen to 2700, Dallas Seminary’s is climbing higher and higher.

In related news, SWBTS will graduate 247 students, including five undergraduate and ten doctoral candidates, and toward the lowest number of Spring graduates in at least twenty seven years.

Dallas Seminary, on the other hand, will graduate 379 students, 278 men and 101 women.

We also notice that Dallas Seminary doesn’t have the chapel capacity for their graduates, so they use Prestonwood Baptist Church in far north Dallas. Southwestern, on the other hand, is working overtime to raise money for a 3500 2700 seat chapel auditorium to hold their falling number of graduates. More later on the SWBTS chapel snafus that have required major architectural revisions….

But for perspective, note the following comparison of graduates since Patterson took the helm:

2007 SWBTS Grads — 247

2006 SWBTS Grads — 260

2005 SWBTS Grads –255

2004 SWBTS Grads — 299

Hemphill’s Presidency, last four years:

2003 SWBTS Grads — 288 (Hemphill resigns)

2002 SWBTS Grads — 423

2001 SWBTS Grads — 319

2000 SWBTS Grads — 372

6 thoughts on “SWBTS enrollment slides…Dallas Seminary up…

  1. Interesting numbers. Did you have any figures on the trend of graduates at Dallas? I was not aware that the College At Southwestern was that small.

  2. The story of Southwestern over the last 15 years is sad story indeed. The debacle of Russel Dilday’s dismissal and the tragic undermining of Ken Hemphill’s presidency by the fundamentalist hardliners in Texas has greatly weakened this once great school of theological education. Deceit to gain power has been the motivating force behind the continual downward spiral of this broken seminary. i.e.: One of the trustee who led the charge to fire Dilday was involved in gross immorality in his church while pushing for the “head” of this good man. It breaks my heart to say this but I cannot recommend this school to any young man or woman called to vocational ministry. I have 3 degrees from SWBTS and have been in ministry in the SBC orbit for 37 years. I love our convention but I would recommend Dallas Seminary wholeheartedly over Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to any person seriously considering theological education in following God’s call. I would even recommend Truett Seminary over Southwestern in its present condition. I supported the conservative resurgence to some degree in the early days but what has happened at Southwestern Seminary has convinced me of what some moderates have been telling us for a long time: it is all about power, not theology. In my opinion the resurgency is faltering and possibly failing because of a lack character in leadership, proving once again that power is intoxicating. But God is in control – maybe the next generation can bring some balance as parameters are broaden for cooperation’s sake to do missions and evangelism effectively and in unity to reach a world in need of the Gospel.

  3. Not only are numbers at SWBTS down, the number of Americans who will pastor American churches is REALLY down. Were it not for Korean students, SWBTS would be graduating about 2/3 of the current numbers. Thank God for the Korean pipeline but they will likely return to Korea or go on to non-Southern Baptist ministry. Besides that, most of the new students seem to be 17 year olds. SWBTS is a very different place than it was when I walked on the campus in 1997.

  4. Praisegodbarebones, I agree. And yes, BC, the numbers at SWBTS have gone down. Why? I think it’s because many people training for future ministry do not have the desire for doctrinal integrity that we as Baptists have been historically known for. I for one am grateful for men like Yarnell, Patterson, and others mentioned in these blogs who have taken a stand for the importance of doctrinal integrity. The word of God is our guiding light and true Christian faith cannot be parted. Let us pray then that God would spur our men and women going into ministry to a love and desire of doctrinal integrity.

  5. I attended both seminaries and would like to comment. Several true things could be said about the situation:
    1) Numbers can be an indicator, but are not the guiding light
    2) DTS does indeed have alot of Southern Baptists, I think it is the second largest denominationl group in the student body
    3) It is no secret that for years the 2 seminaries had different strengths: DTS was famous for languages, exegesis & exposition, theology, and being a factory for producing the best Bible scholars in the US, while SWBTS was best known for preaching, missions, and religious education
    4) In the last 15 years or so DTS has made a conscious effort to shore up its Christian education and preaching programs, in the last 7 or so years SWBTS has been making efforts to shore up their theology, exegesis classes, etc.
    5) I would like to limit my negative comments to just one: the new chapel at SWBTS does not seem like the best ‘investment’ to me. But this is a management issue, not theological, and should not be a source of division
    6) Conclusion, both seminaries are considered top-notch institutions, both will probably continue to have different strengths/weaknesses in the future,

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