Distance Education FAQs


For more information about our correspondence programs, specifically our Master of Biblical Studies program, please read the FAQs below!

Who is BTS?

Birmingham Theological Seminary was founded in 1972 in Birmingham, AL as the Birmingham Extension for Theological Education. In 1978 it became BTS and has been training people for ministry ever since then.

You can read more about our history on the Our Story page.   

Is your school accredited?

We are a school with over 40 faculty members. Professors teach students live in-person and via video conference technology in Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. We're designed specifically to accommodate part-time students with full-time jobs (but can easily work with full-time students as well.)

BTS is accredited by ARTS (Association of Reformed Theological Seminaries.)

What does "Distance Based Education" mean?

The Distance Based Master of Biblical Studies is a 40 hour program in which all 20 classes (2 hours per class) are delivered via "correspondence." This means the classes are self-paced and self-directed. You unlock the class when you register and then have 3 months to finish the class work. Then you can move on the next class at your preferred place.

How much does it cost?

BTS is the least expensive seminary in America at $100 per credit hour. The whole program costs $4,000 in tuition, with annual student services fee of just $75. That's it! No hidden costs.

Are there scholarships?

Yes! Scholarships are awarded with application through the Barker/Hay endowed fund. Students can receive a minimum of 25% off tuition and up to 50%, dpending on the number of classes taken per semester.

What's in the program?

The distance education program starts with our Intro to Research and Writing class, and then a progression of specific classes. Next is Bible Interpretation, then Old or New Testament theology, then the Westminster Confession of Faith class, and after that you can start taking classes in whatever order you wish. The program has biblical theology, systematic theology, historical theology, and several introductory classes to other fields of study. You can get a copy of the degree checklist on the website under the academic tab.

What can I use this degree for?

The MBS program is designed to give students an overview of theological studies at the graduate level, specifically focusing on the Biblical Theology. We refer to this as a lay-oriented degree, because it is useful for non-professional leaders int he local church in teaching Bible studies, Sunday school, or just for personal growth and spiritual health. However, this is also a non-terminal degree. That means if you're interested in going further, these courses can rull up into a higher MA or MDiv program at BTS.

I don't have a college degree. What can I do?

We absolutely have opportunities in which we can work with non-traditional students. When you speak with the admissions counselor, please tell them you have not completed a college degree, and she will work with you through the options.

How long does it take?

All BTS classes are built on a 2 hour system. Since this program is 40 hours, it has 20 classes. If a student were to take five classes a year, they could finish the program in four years. some students go faster than that and go slower. But there is no formal time limit on how long you have to complete the program. We have disciplined and dedicated students who complete the program in about two years regularly, but the average completion time is about 4 years for most part-time students.  

Wow! That's amazing. How do I sign up for classes?

Click the "Start Your Journey" button below! An admissions counselor will be in touch within 48 hours. If you are interested in the program, there is a short application process and after that you can start the first class on either the 1st or 15th of the next month.

Interested in Taking a Course?

As part of a diverse community of learners, you will be taught courses by pastor/professors that are academically excellent, biblically faithful, and ministry-oriented, equipping you for a life of ministry and humble leadership in Christ.