In case you were wondering
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to speak with you.
Who is our namesake?
Benajah Harvey Carroll was a Waco pastor who found a need for a seminary to train ministers who would serve the churches in the vast expanses of Texas. He started in the 1890s by meeting with students in his office, assigning readings from his books in his own extensive library. Carroll later founded a seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He exemplified fidelity to Scripture and Baptist principles and believed the local church played a key role in theological education. That is why we bear his name.
When did B. H. Carroll Theological Institute begin?
The Institute began in 2004 with a small group of Baptist educators who believed in B. H. Carroll’s vision for seminary education, believing it should be affordable, accessible, and practical for the local church.
Who makes up the faculty of B. H. Carroll?
Carroll’s faculty is composed of Senior Fellows, Distinguished Fellows, Carroll Fellows, and nearly 80 Resident Fellows. Many serve local churches in the Carroll Teaching Network and some are professors and retired professors from other seminaries. Many are well-known authors and all are gifted teachers.
What is the confessional position of B. H. Carroll?
The sole authority for faith, practice, and teaching in the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute is Jesus Christ, whose will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The confessional position of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute is the consensus of opinion concerning those articles of the Christian faith and practice which have been most surely held and expressed in historic Baptist principles and practices.
Why another Baptist seminary?
B. H. Carroll Theological Institute was formed in January 2004 by a group of Baptists who observed three key problems confronting Christian churches, particularly in Baptist life, as they try to meet the challenges of a radically changing world:
- a decrease in the proportion of ministers trained to serve in the churches
- a decline in the effectiveness and relevance of ministerial training
- a diminishing commitment by church members to prepare and mobilize for Christian ministry.
Recognizing at the same time that ample technological and human resources are available to meet the challenges, these Baptists decided to reinvent theological education in an innovative and creative way that makes it more relevant, practical, affordable, accessible, and effective.
How is B. H. Carroll Theological Institute related to Baptist groups?
B. H. Carroll Theological Institute seeks to build collaborative and collegial relationships with all Baptists, with all conventions in the worldwide Baptist family, with state and regional groups, and with local churches in order to provide trained leaders for any Baptist church, convention, or other agencies within Baptist life. The Institute is free standing and independently funded by all Baptists and other like-minded Christians who have a common vision for Christ and His church.
Do I have to be a Baptist to attend B. H. Carroll?
No. B. H. Carroll’s student body is made up of Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists and others. We all, however, share a common commitment to the Lordship of Christ, the sufficiency and infallibility of God’s Word, and certain key doctrines (including the virgin birth, substitutionary atonement of Christ, his bodily resurrection, and his visible return). We also advocate tirelessly for the Baptist principle of religious liberty.
Do I pay more as a non-Baptist student?
Emphatically, no. All students pay the same tuition, as designated by their respective academic programs (see Tuition & Fees).
How is B. H. Carroll Theological Institute related to other Evangelical groups?
The Institute works collegially with other evangelical Christians in the diverse and global ministries of the church. The Institute is a response to a pressing and growing need for a more effective, efficient, and appropriate way of providing theological education in a radically changing world. The focus of the Institute is to recruit students who have a commitment to the gospel and a desire to continue ministering in their own local congregations while pursuing theological education. We respond to and consider for admission all qualified prospective students.
Who can enroll?
Students who are active members of Christian churches, persons of genuine Christian character, attitude, and behavior, and who have sufficient academic qualifications and exhibit a call to serve Christ in the diverse and global ministries of His church, or who are committed to preparing and mobilizing as disciples for more effective ministry through His church, may enroll. Students will also include lay persons seeking academic and spiritual enrichment. B. H. Carroll Theological Institute’s student body reflects the diversity of the kingdom of God made up of different races, ethnicities, nationalities and genders from any Great Commission church.
How much does it cost?
Affordability is one of our core values. The cost of theological education at the Institute is around one-third that of a traditional seminary. See our full tuition schedule here.
Does B. H. Carroll accept GI Bill benefits?
You bet your boots, we do.
How is the curriculum at B. H. Carroll structured?
There are four learning clusters in the curriculum design:
- Scripture and Witness
- Faith and Heritage
- Ministry and Formation
- Worship and Mission
The traditional, classical theological disciplines are offered within this new configuration.
What degrees does B. H. Carroll offer?
The Institute offers a variety of degrees, but only at the graduate level (master’s and doctoral degrees). The degrees are tailored for individual ministries within the church, parachurch organizations, the academy, and collegiate and counseling settings.
The Institute also offers graduate certificates and ministry certificates. Both are composed of graduate-level courses which are transcriptable. Those without an undergraduate degree may enroll in the ministry certificate program.
For a full list of degree offerings, click here.
Are there different types of doctoral degrees?
The PhD is a rigorous, research-focused degree designed to equip persons for vocations of research and teaching in theological schools, colleges, universities, and teaching churches, or for scholarly enhancement of ministerial practice. It also enables students to develop a sense of and a commitment to the vocation of theological scholarship in teaching, learning, and research. Admission to this program is extended only to persons who have demonstrated the intellectual ability, preparation, and motivation for a scholarly vocation. Successful completion of this course of study requires the student to demonstrate: a comprehensive knowledge of a selected discipline of religious study; the capacity for critical thinking and evaluation; competence to engage in original research and writing that advances theological understanding for the sake of church, academy, and society; and a breadth of knowledge in associated theological and religious studies and in other related academic disciplines.
The DMin degree is a professional program intended for persons who are in full-time vocational Christian ministry, such as pastors, associate pastors, Christian educators, ministers of worship, missionaries, workers in denominational or parachurch organizations, evangelists, etc., both domestic and international.
Does the Institute have a library?
Yes, we do, but not one that collects a lot of dust. The Carroll Library is a graduate academic library which exists in several forms. The Electronic Library is accessed through the The Carroll Learning Center system (CLC), and includes periodical databases (such as ATLA’s ATLAS via Ebsco, OCLC’s ERIC, ProQuest Psychology Database), e-book databases (such as ProQuest Ebook Central and Books.Logos.com), reference databases (from Oxford and Cambridge), and handpicked websites (such as our Google Book and Online Resources collections). The Library also participates in OCLC Resource Sharing for InterLibrary Loan. You can learn more about the Library by visiting the Carroll Webpage of the Director of Library and Information Resources or by contacting him directly.
Where is B. H. Carroll located?
The administrative hub of the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute is located at 6500 North Belt Line Road, Irving TX 75063. Our classrooms are online—as near as your computer screen and keyboard.
What is the Carroll Learning Center?
The Carroll Learning Center is Carroll Institute’s online learning system. It is a Moodle-based learning environment used to distribute class materials and to facilitate a variety of course activities for both online and face-to-face courses.
What about accreditation?
Carroll Institute was accredited by Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in February 2012 and received reaffirmation of accreditation in February 2017. ABHE is an officially recognized “national accrediting association” by both the Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation. These are the two oversight organizations which accredit all of the regional accreditation councils (SACS, NAS, etc.). ABHE is the oldest accreditation council for higher education in the United States, celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017. ABHE is also part of a global network which relates to regional or continental higher educational agencies through the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education. Carroll Institute has also earned accreditation for its masters and doctoral programs with The Association of Theological Schools (ATS), an association of more than 270 theological schools in the United States and Canada. B.H. Carroll is approved to offer a three-year educational experiment, Doctor of Philosophy degree where at least half of the coursework is delivered online, as an exception to Standard 5.15. ATS exists to “promote the improvement and enhancement of theological schools to the benefit of communities of faith and the broader public.”
What about all the legal stuff?
B. H. Carroll Theological Institute was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the State of Texas on May 1, 2003 and is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3).
Carroll Institute was certified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) on February 1, 2007. The Institute then received exemption from THECB as a religious degree-granting institution in December 2008. Subsequently, the Master of Arts in Counseling was added to Carroll Institute’s degree program offerings. Since students who complete the licensure track of the MA in Counseling program and then go on to complete other requirements set forth by the state may apply for professional licensure, Carroll Institute applied for and was granted authorization from the THECB to offer the MA in Counseling degree.
Does B. H. Carroll Theological Institute issue 1098-T statements (a.k.a. Education Tax Credit)?
Carroll Institute does not issue 1098-T statements given that it does not meet the stated eligibility requirements as defined by the IRS and consequently does not have a “school number” issued by the DoE (Department of Education):
An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. (information from IRS Publication 970)
On first reading the definition appears to include any accredited postsecondary institution. The key phrase however is “institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.”
Although accreditation is a requirement for Title IV eligibility, accreditation status in and of itself does not automatically certify a school as an eligible institution for handling Title IV funds. Carroll Institute’s stated policy of non-participation in Title IV funding serves to exclude it from being certified as an “eligible institution” as it relates to DoE programs. Accreditation and Title IV certification are two separate processes.
How is B. H. Carroll Theological Institute governed?
The B. H. Carroll Theological Institute is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Governors—up to fifteen in number, which seeks to display diversity in age, race, and gender. One-third of the Board are patrons or donors to B. H. Carroll Theological Institute; one-third of the Board have educational or corporate experience; and one-third of the Board are from church constituency or cooperative groups.
Where does the Institute get its funding?
B. H. Carroll Theological Institute is funded by donations from individuals, gifts and offerings from local congregations, grants from foundations, tuition from students, and income from endowments.
What are the funding priorities of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute?
B. H. Carroll Theological Institute invests minimal funds in capital development. Funding priority is given to four areas:
- intellectual capital
- technology–electronic delivery systems
- library resources
- curricula–development of content that is competency-based and compatible with electronic delivery
I readily benefitted at Carroll from the steadfast commitment to the Word of God, professors who love the Lord, and classmates walking this road into ministry alongside me.
Carroll Theological Institute is not only a superb theological education (and it is that)—but it is also an immersion into Christian ministry. Jesus said, “As you go, become disciple-makers” (Matt. 28: 19-20). Carroll is about developing the best “disciple-makers” possible.