Pursuing your theological education with BSK welcomes you into a community that cares about excellence and is passionate about key issues. Our curriculum and partners reflect these areas of emphasis and allows BSK to be a place to make a difference as you study and grow.

BSK gives special emphasis to these areas

Areas of Emphasis

Racial Justice

BSK is committed to working for racial justice. This spiritual issue affects not only what is taught, but how and where BSK serves.

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BSK’s presence on the campus of Simmons College of Kentucky is a central part of our work toward racial justice. Students can earn a full M.Div. in the context of an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) as well as benefit from the vibrant community of West Louisville. 

Simmons President Dr. Kevin Cosby welcomed BSK to campus in 2017, “In most instances, racial integration has always been a unilateral process where blacks move into white space. BSK has reversed this model and decided to move into black space. This is a reversal of the white flight of former generations. This is perhaps the first time in history that an accredited seminary has moved onto the campus of an HBCU. And we say, ‘Welcome BSK.’”

In 2020, BSK became the official seminary of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. Serving with this 7 million member denomination brings resources and significant networking opportunities for our students.

BSK is part of a community committed to the support and growth of the black church and racial justice for American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS). Half of our student body is black, and the other half white, providing space for real listening and growth in race relations among churches.

Beginning in fall 2020, the M.Div. curriculum requires a course in Black Church Studies and Womanist Theology.


Women in Ministry

God calls women to ministry, including the pastoral ministry. BSK approaches curriculum and formation in ways that assume and support this fact.

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We are intentional about women in leadership, from textbook authors, to chapel speakers and event leaders. Our regular Journey for Justice events often focus on issues relevant to women in ministry. For three of the last four years, a BSK student has been the recipient of the Addie Davis Award for Outstanding Leadership in Pastoral Ministry from Baptist Women in Ministry. BSK views the opportunity for women to express their calling as a justice issue.

Pastoral Care & Counseling

Chaplains and pastoral counselors provide critical ministry to persons through hospitals, prisons, churches, the military and counseling centers. Ministers also find expertise in pastoral care to benefit the quality of their ministry.

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BSK has designed a program that provides training in pastoral care and counseling within the context of Master of Divinity studies.  This emphasis enables students to take strong steps toward licensure or certification.  Our program is offered under the direction of Dr. Wade Rowatt, Professor of Pastoral Care, and Dr. Rick Landon, Adjunct Professor of Spirituality and Pastoral Care.

BSK offers opportunities at key medical facilities for C.P.E. (clinical pastoral education) in both Louisville and Lexington.

BSK offers an M.Div. with a Concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling, as well as a for-credit certificate in Pastoral Care.

Rural Ministry

The Rural Ministry Program provides advanced theological and ministry studies for men and women who are preparing for life and ministry in rural congregations and communities. 

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The Rural Ministry Program provides advanced theological and ministry studies for men and women who are preparing for life and ministry in rural congregations and communities. 

Rural congregations can play significant roles in their settings, contributing to the strength of families, the development of leaders, and the wider vibrancy of rural communities. In collaboration with the Berry Center, BSK offers an M.Div. with a concentration in Rural Ministry, as well as a for-credit BSK certificate in Rural Ministry. Students benefit from unique courses around issues of rural ministry, as well as opportunities to grow through interactions with the Berry Center.

“BSK’s rural program is a dream come true.”
— Wendell Berry


BSK offers opportunities for theological education supporting the many ways people pursue ministry, from volunteer ministers, to bi-vocational, part-time and full-time ministers and non-profit leaders. Formation for ministry is lifelong, and BSK provides options across that journey. All options are available online.

Our curriculum offers:

Flourish Workshops

Short-term, highly practical courses, offered online. These do not carry graduate credit.

BSK Certificates

9 hours of graduate-level coursework around a theme. Our initial certificates include Pastoral Care and Rural Ministry. This certificate offers graduate credit that may be rolled into a graduate degree program. BSK certificates may be continuing education for those who have already earned a graduate degree, or a starting place for those considering an M.Div..

Master of Arts in Ministry Studies

This 36 hour degree program is designed for people who want to grow in their calling while remaining in their full-time ministry or professional positions.

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

This 75 hour degree (90 hours for Concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling) is a professional graduate degree for congregational and non-profit leaders.

BSK’s options and programs are…


Rather than treating theology, biblical studies, church history, etc. as separate fields, courses work to integrate learning across thematic areas. This means students practice use of these disciplines across their coursework.


Several threads weave through the M.Div. program, including biblical interpretation, black church studies, communications (including modern forms of media), and learning to think theologically. Across the M.Div. program, students are able to practice these skill areas to develop competency and develop habits.


Within the degree program, several options are available that allow students to shape their experience to better support particular interests and callings.


BSK is proud to collaborate with organizations that share our commitments to racial justice, women in ministry, rural ministry and pastoral care / counseling.

The National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.

The National Baptist Convention of America, Incorporated (NBCA), is a fellowship of voluntary churches approximating three and half million African-American Baptists whose initial roots stemmed from the organization of the Foreign Mission Baptist Convention of the United States. BSK is the official seminary of the NBCA.

Simmons College of Kentucky

Historic Simmons College is an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in Louisville Kentucky. As one of BSK’s two sites, students can pursue the M.Div. and attend key events on Simmons’ campus. Working with city and civic leaders, as well as the ministerial alliance known as “Empower West,” Simmons College offers a energizing and diverse setting in which to study and do ministry.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a Christian network of individuals and churches working together to spread the hope of Christ. Its diverse community includes partners all over the globe, and CBF’s fellowship supports a wide range of missions and ministries that give people meaningful opportunities to put their faith into action.  The CBF (national) and CBF of Kentucky form a supportive community for BSK and our students.

The Berry Center

Formed by agrarian author and philosopher Wendell Berry, the Berry Center advocates for farmers, land-conserving communities, and healthy regional economies. The Berry Center collaborates with BSK around our rural ministry program, believing that healthy congregations are an important aspect of healthy rural communities.

Georgetown College

The mission of Georgetown College is to prepare students to engage in their life’s pursuits with thoughtfulness and skill by providing an exceptional educational experience in a vibrant Christian community. Since 2010, Georgetown College has been a primary site for BSK’s main offices and classrooms.