Publication Date


Degree Granted


Institution Granting Degree

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


Core values, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ministries, Values


This dissertation examined how the more recent graduates of The Southern Baptist Seminary (SBTS) are incorporating the twenty-one core values of the institution into their present ministries. The data garnered from this present research will enlighten interested parties to the world of assessment in higher education and the role that core values play in that process. Future graduates of SBTS will be impacted in their education due to the findings of this dissertation.

A researcher-designed survey was placed before the recent graduates of SBTS under the direction of the Office of Institutional Advancement of the seminary. The raw data received through this research was tabulated and put into visual formats to aid the reader in seeing what these findings mean. Graduates from across the spectrum of theological education are in no way to be generalized by this research. Only those graduates across the spectrum of the four graduate school of SBTS are represented in the research population for this study.

The findings have shown that while the high majority of those graduates that were surveyed had no prior knowledge of the existence of the core values the core values nonetheless existed in their ministries. The graduates reflected a trace of each of the core values throughout their ministries with the core values that focused on the glory of God, surrender to the Lordship of Christ, and a trust in the fidelity in the Bible to be the values that emerge over all others. Core values that collect the least amount of prevalence in the ministry of recent graduates were those that focused on new technologies and denominational affiliation.

The overall picture of an average SBTS graduate is one of a studious student who carries a love of continued learning throughout his or her ministry. The recent graduate of SBTS does not lay claim to a vast knowledge of the historical setting of the seminary. With that understood, the history of the core values can be seen in his or her life due to the fact that such a large number of the graduates had no prior knowledge of the existence of the values, yet many of the values appear in their ministries. Across the spectrum of the four graduate schools, the number of respondents and the type of core values they responded to remain the same. The top three core values in positive or negative responses remained true from The School of Theology, The School of Music, The School of Leadership, and Church Ministry or The Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth.

Further research is needed to reveal the thoughts on and impression of the core values of the seminary on the ministries of future graduates. Further research is also called for to examine if the present day core values add or detract from the past seminary training of older alumni. Any future research will add to the literature base for this area of study while at the same time keep the accreditation protocols and practices of training fresh among those tied to SBTS and the mission of the institution.