BA Equivalency

It has become apparent over the past couple decades that there are considerable numbers of pastors leading churches in the Bay Area without formal training. In an effort to meet this need the American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW) had created a three tiered program that begins with a 6 course Certificate Program that can earn units toward a 20 course BA Equivalency program that can earn units towards a Master of Divinity degree.

The details follow:

1-year certificate program
3-year B.A. Equivalency program
6-year B.A. Equivalency and MDiv program


Certificate in Ministerial Studies
Is three years too long? Then take 6 courses from the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Equivalency
Curriculum for a 1-year certificate, for example:

Old Testament                     Preaching/worship
New Testament                   Leadership
Theology                               Pastoral Care

B.A. Equivalency in Ministerial Studies

  • 20 courses offered over 3 years
  • B.A. equivalency to be approved by;
    American Baptist Seminary of the West upon approval from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

Dual Track: B.A. Equivalency and Master of Divinity (MDiv)

  • 46 courses offered over 6 years
  • All course work recognized and accredited by ATS
  • Courses geared toward the working student: nights, weekends, and intensives (or in)
  • Daytime cohorts
  • B.A. Equivalency courses offered at a significantly reduced rate
  • Dual track the equivalent of 1 full year of shared course work


 B.A. Equivalency Program
20 courses offered over 3 years

Old TestamentChristian Education
New TestamentSocial Justice Ministries
Theological WritingBaptist or Denominational Polity
Church Administration and AccountingTheology I (Philosophy)
Social EthicsTheology II (and the Sciences)
Church and CultureHistory of Religion
Theology and the SciencesAnthropology/Sociology (statistics)
Preaching and WorshipSpiritual and Personal Formation
LeadershipAmerican History
Pastoral Care Introduction to Psychology
Total Course Requirements 60 Units

Master of Divinity Program
26 courses offered over 3 years

Total Course Requirements – 78 Units

Total Dual Track Course Requirements – 138 units

Interested in this program? Apply now!
(You should receive one email for verification and another email to open your application.)

For questions, please contact the Admissions Office at or (510) 841-1905 ext 229.