A seminary is a specialised university-like institution for the purpose of training candidates for positions within a religious context. This usually, though not always, applies to Christian education. Roman Catholic seminaries usually have their degrees conferred by a Pontifical University.
Although the primary purpose of a seminary is to prepare and equip candidates for religious service in the church, nowadays many people not intending to become involved in church leadership may study in seminaries. Qualifications may be obtained majoring in pastoral work and similar fields, as well as in the more academic disciplines. Many monks, nuns and church workers attend a seminary to enhance their qualifications. It is also quite common for lay people to study in a seminary to enhance their spiritual life, or purely to pursue an interest.
The word seminary also applies to a school of religious education for children that accompanies normal secular education. A prominent example of this is the seminary education system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which provides extended study of theology and religious text throughout the school week, in addition to normal Sunday classes. These types of seminaries schedule classes before or after regular school time, or negotiate agreed "release time" permits with the nearest public school districts to allow students to voluntarily leave school grounds for an allotted amount of time (usually one class period) to receive seminary education. In predominantly LDS communities, LDS seminary facilities are commonly built on Church-owned properties that immediately neighbor the grounds of state-owned public schools, allowing individual students to simply walk between school and seminary during their scheduled release time. These arrangements work to ease the integration of secular and religious study into a child's school day without inappropriately (or illegally) violating the separation of church and state in secular society.
Seminary Extension is a ministry of the six theologicalseminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention - Golden Gate, Midwestern, New Orleans, Southeastern, Southern and Southwestern.
Seminary Extension has entered into articulation agreements with Judson College and with Apex School of Theology for the purposes of Seminary Extension students transferring some or all of their Seminary Extension credits to a school which will allow them to complete their baccalaureate degree via the Internet.
Seminary Extension is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
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