The Bible Seminary (TBS), 2655 South Mason Rd, Katy, welcomed twelve inaugural students into its new Master of Divinity program this fall. The seminary began as a Bible Institute in 2008, and has enrolled more than 800 students in Bible Certificate classes over the last five years.
Rev. Dr. K. Lynn Lewis, Executive Vice-President/Provost of The Bible Seminary says TBS is quite distinctive.
“We are not affiliated with any major denomination, and we are not a satellite campus for another seminary,” says Lewis. “We envision an independent, non-denominational residential seminary based in Katy/West Houston that teaches all 66 books of the Bible and offers practical ministry training, tools, and experiences.”
Lewis notes the seminary’s “apprenticeship model” is different than the traditional “classroom in a box model”, where you meet and someone talks to you about how to use what you learn after you graduate, but you don’t actually do anything yet.
In addition to classroom work, each Master of Divinity student is required to spend at least five hours a week in ministry.
“We talk about their ministry, how to accomplish what they are trying to do. Then the students go out and use what they learned during the week. Afterwards they might come back and say ‘that really went well, or ‘maybe that didn’t go so well’. We then study and work together to see how maybe there might be a better way of ministering.”
The 12 Master of Divinity students currently serve in 10 different organizations, including seven different churches, located in four different cities – Houston, Katy, Prairie View, and Sugar Land.
Matt Larsen, a recent graduate of Baylor University, and a Cinco Ranch High School alumnus, is one of the original 12 Master of Divinity students. He and his wife, Abbey, also work for the Seminary. He serves as Communications Director and Abbey serves as the seminary’s Administrative Coordinator.
Lewis notes that the Larsen’s are part of the seminary’s Work/Study program. “Matt and Abbey are skilled in things we needed, so we are helping them and they are helping us at the same time.” Matt is employing his education in communications to gain practical experience in ministry marketing and advertising.
The seminary integrates teaching all 66 books of the Bible into subject areas that include theology, preaching, leadership, worship, prayer, and other practical areas of ministry.
“A Master of Divinity typically incorporates certain degree elements, and we have designed our curriculum to incorporate a book or multiple books of the Bible as a part of every course. For example, when we teach Church History, we also walk through the entire Book of Acts.”
“Also unique to The Bible Seminary’s Master of Divinity program is a trip to the Holy Land. Many schools offer the opportunity, but don’t require it. In our case, we provide it,” says Lewis. “We are actually raising the money to take each student, and if they are married, his or her spouse.”
Students also receive ministry tools such as Logos Bible Software. “Many theological schools require their students to use this software, but they don’t buy it for them,” adds Lewis. “We do. We buy it for them, teach them how to use it and when they leave, it is all theirs. All the digital resources they have at seminary, they take with them when they leave wherever they go in ministry.”
For more information about The Bible Seminary or its programs, call 281-646-1109 or visit www.TheBibleSeminary.org.