“If you are in any way considering Southwestern, I would definitely encourage you today to go ahead and start that application,” said Enrollment Specialist Kayla Frazier to prospective students during a Virtual Preview session, March 24. “The sooner that you get accepted, the sooner you can go ahead and start applying for things like financial aid and student housing, and the sooner you can become a part of our Southwestern family.”

The live video-conference via Zoom allowed individuals interested in attending The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Scarborough College to interact with several admissions staff regarding the application process, scholarship opportunities, and more. The first in a series of Virtual Previews, the session was an innovative way for prospective students to learn about the institution in the midst of COVID-19, in lieu of the seminary’s canceled Preview Days. 

“We are in unprecedented times, and we want you to know that we are praying for each and every one of you,” said Director of Admissions Trevor Head, who hosted the preview session. “… We’re here to serve you and help you during this time.” 

Future sessions will include three opportunities to interact with President Adam W. Greenway on March 27, April 1, and April 8, as well as other faculty concerning such topics as the Master of Divinity program, women’s programs, and the School of Church Music and Worship.

The first session featured admissions staff Kayla Frazier, Grant Sellers, and Director of International Student Services Daniel Jung. Together, they shared a “bird’s-eye view” of the admissions process. 

Participants in the session submitted questions through Zoom’s “chat” feature. One question pertained to when applications must be submitted. Sellers answered that while students are encouraged to apply early, they can submit an application any time up until the day classes start. 

“I was accepted into the college 13 days before classes started, and I had 13 days to get registered for classes, apply for scholarships, get everything sorted out,” shared Sellers, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Scarborough College. “And it still worked out pretty well for me. It was actually a very smooth process—the admissions team was incredibly helpful.” 

He clarified that “earliest is best, but we try to remain flexible.”

Another participant asked whether women may apply to the Master of Divinity program. Frazier, herself an M.Div. student, answered that women are “absolutely encouraged” to enroll, adding that Southwestern has the largest women’s program of any Southern Baptist seminary. 

Jung was asked whether there was a large international population on campus. He answered that Southwestern is among the most diverse of any Southern Baptist seminary. 

“At any given time, we have 30-35 percent of our on-campus population who are international,” he said. “And we have currently more than 49 countries represented on campus.” 

He continued, “Your experience here at Southwestern will be very international, and we make sure we have events and various ministry opportunities for you to get involved.”

Other topics covered included the Cooperative Program scholarship available to all members of Southern Baptist churches, which covers 50 percent of tuition; the seminary’s English Language Institute, which helps international students improve their written and oral English language competency; and President Greenway’s “big-tent” vision, consisting of a high view of Scripture, confessional fidelity to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the Great Commission, and cooperation. 

Jung concluded by saying that Southwestern Seminary staff members are “here to do everything we can to help you pursue your God-given calling in these challenging times. Lord willing, we hope and pray that that is here at Southwestern or Scarborough College.”

To view a schedule of future Virtual Preview sessions, and to register, visit swbts.edu/virtualpreview