Frequently Asked Questions

Is SES accredited?
Yes! Southern Evangelical Seminary is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) [15935 Forest Road, Forest, VA 24551; Telephone: 434.525.9539; e–mail:] having been awarded Reaffirmation status as a Category IV institution by TRACS’ Accreditation Commission on November 7, 2006. This status is effective for a period of ten years. TRACS is recognized by both the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (IHQAAHE).

Is there financial aid available?
Yes! Limited scholarship funds are available for the financial aid to degree students. Students desiring financial assistance may request a Scholarship Aid application in the Business Manager’s office and submit the completed form to the Business Manager. When available, scholarship funds are distributed by the Scholarship Committee, within the terms of the scholarships, to qualifying students on the basis of need, ministry, student status, grades, and character.

How much is tuition?
Tuition for the resident undergraduate degree (or diploma) program is $238.33 per class hour. Tuition for the resident graduate degree (or certificate) programs is $333.33 per class hour. Tuition for the online education undergraduate degree (or diploma) program is $715.00 per course. Tuition for the online education graduate degree (or certificate) program is $1000.00 per three hour course. Tuition for the Doctor of Ministry is $1250.00 per three hour class in residency or online education. Tuition for the Doctor of Philosophy is $1250.00 per three hour class in residency.

Does SES offer ministry experience?
Yes! Southern Evangelical Seminary recognizes that students will minister in a complex and changing world, and as such endeavors to relate classroom instruction to contemporary society. The Student Services Department has a supporting role in this endeavor by keeping students informed of opportunities for ministry, both short–term and long–term. Opportunities for ministry and community service are posted on the bulletin board, and communicated to students in weekly e–mails. Alumni ministry job listings are also sent out by email. As well, TEAM is SES’s non-profit ministry, designed to address today’s intellectual and spiritual skepticism with regards to the claims of Christ. TEAM supports churches in many ways including single speaking engagements, weekend seminars and conferences, long term teaching, youth support, evangelism training and helping establish apologetics ministries. Each student at SES is encouraged to get plugged into TEAM and become a part of what God is doing.

Does SES offer veteran’s benefits?
Yes! The programs of education at SES are approved by the North Carolina State Approving Agency for the enrollment of persons eligible for education assistance benefits from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.). Entitled veterans, participants in the G.I. Bill contribution programs, active duty military in voluntary education programs, drilling National Guard, drilling Reservists, and eligible spouses and offspring who have applied, met all admissions criteria, been fully accepted, and matriculated may be certified to the V.A. Regional office as enrolled and in pursuit of an approved program of education. For information about monetary benefits, contact your local U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office. For information about the available programs at SES, contact the Registrar.

How much time do I have to complete my degree at SES?
The B.A. degree must be completed within six (6) calendar years from initial enrollment. The M.A.R.  degree is a one year program that must be completed within four (4) years from the date of first enrollment. The M.A. degrees are two year programs that must be completed within six (6) years from the date of first enrollment. The M.Div. degrees are three year programs that must be completed within nine (9) calendar years from initial enrollment. The Th.M. degree is a four year program that must be completed within twelve (12) years from initial enrollment.

Does SES offer accommodations?
Southern Evangelical Seminary does not provide on–campus housing, but does assist students with finding local housing. All Housing information is posted on the student services bulletin board as well as online. Students are encouraged to check this listing regularly for updates. Because of the commuter nature of the institution, SES does not offer health care. Excellent health care facilities are available within a few miles of the Seminary.

Can I study at SES without a Bachelor’s Degree?
Yes! For those who don’t meet the academic qualification for the Bible College, may still be admitted to the Diploma in Religious Studies (D.R.S.).

How do I get into the Masters Program?
In order to be admitted to a Masters degree program, a student should have a bachelors degree from an institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, the United States Department of Education, or the equivalent (as assessed by SES). He or she must have maintained at least a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for their college program.  If one does not meet the undergraduate GPA requirement, he may be granted a Provisional Admis¬sion. This requires that the student maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA on the first semester of work at SES (or on the first course in the case of an Online Education student) in order to be granted full admission into the Seminary.

What’s the difference between classes for credit and classes for audit?
Audit status may be granted to:
1. Students who do not meet the academic requirements for regular admission into a degree program. Or
2. Students who are qualified for a degree program, but do not desire to enter a degree program or attend courses for credit.

When attending classes for audit, students do not submit assignments for grading, may attend class lectures, but are not permitted to participate in class discussions, ask questions, or submit assignments for grading, except under special circumstances and at the Profes¬sor’s discretion. Unless the Professor stipulates that Audit participation is allowed in his class, it is understood that the restriction for Audit students on class discussions, questions, or assignments will prevail

A resident or non–resident (online education) student requesting Audit Student status must submit an Audit Student Application. The Audit Student Application does not require references or tran¬scripts. An Audit Student may attend any resident (online education course are not available for audit, except for degree students) course for which he is registered as an auditor upon the payment of the audit fee for each course.

How does Online Education work?
The Online Education program consists of courses that are taken by way of online lectures that correspond to the same courses taken in the resident program. The program mirrors the resident schedule of courses. That is, distance students are treated and have the same access to courses as a resident student. The only exception is that the "core" classes for the M.A. programs are available each semester for a distance student, but not necessarily a resident student.
The Online Education Program employs online audio, video, and DVD video media formats for its lectures.  The student will need hardware and software that meets the minimum system requirements for the following areas: Internet Access (High Speed strongly suggested -- with Populi it is recommended to use either: the latest edition of Safari or Firefox; Email Access; Common audio files (e.g., MP3, WAV); Standard DVD player for video DOC, WPD, or PDF files.

For International Students

When do the Fall and Spring semesters begin?
The Spring semester in 2013 begins January 21, 2013. The Fall Semester for 2013-2014 begins August 21, 2013.

What is Optional Practical Training?
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.
An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT after he or she has been enrolled for one full academic year. The pre-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s major area of study. Students authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT must work part-time while school is in session. They may work full time when school is not in session.
An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in post-completion OPT upon completion of studies. The post-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s major area of study.
For complete information, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services online, at

As an International Student, can I work in the United States?
A student is considered a full-time student at the graduate level when they are taking 9 credit hours in a semester. Bible College students are considered to be full-time when they are taking 12 credit hours in a semester.

F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. There are various programs available for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment, after the first academic year. SES recommends that students enrolled in 9 credit hours or more per semester should not work more than 20 hours per week, students working 40 hours or more per week should not take more than 6 credit hours per semester.

F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment, after they have been studying for one academic year. These three types of employment are:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

M-1 students may engage in practical training only after they have completed their studies. For both F-1 and M-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.

What happens after I graduate from Southern Evangelical Seminary?
International students desiring to remain in the United States after the completion of their studies may apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training, which is a benefit of the F-1 student visa. For complete information, please visit USCIS directly.

How do I know if my school at home is recognized by Southern Evangelical Seminary?
Southern Evangelical Seminary is approved to admit qualified international students under an F–1 visa. Students must first apply to a degree program and be admitted. Students with a previous degree(s) granted by an institution(s) that is not accredited by an approved U.S. accrediting agency must have their transcript evaluated by an approved company that specializes in the evaluation of foreign transcripts. A list of acceptable companies is available from the Registrar’s Office.