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Improved NOBTS North Georgia center now offers on-campus credit


Gary Myers/NOBTS

Michael Sharp, professor of worship studies, will be one of the additional faculty members serving at the North Georgia campus of New Orleans Seminary this fall. The school was recently approved to offer graduate extension students all but 12 hours toward their degree.

NEW ORLEANS — Seminary students in North Georgia just got more education options.

The Association of Theological Schools in United States and Canada, the main accrediting agency for seminary education in North America, approved New Orleans Seminary’s plan to enhance the school’s North Georgia extension center in Marietta. The center will be called the North Georgia Regional Hub.

The enhanced regional hub, which meets at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, will allow graduate extension students to earn more of their seminary degree closer to home. And North Georgia students will have an additional degree option – the master of arts degree in worship studies.

“The ATS approval was an extremely important affirmation for NOBTS in North Georgia,” said Steve Echols, NOBTS regional associate dean for Alabama and Georgia extension centers. “In conceiving and implementing the hub concept, [New Orleans Seminary President] Dr. [Chuck] Kelley and the administrative leadership of NOBTS have made a bold step in making theological education as available as possible.

“We are thankful for the additional resources that are coming to North Georgia, and we are expecting a great response to the expanding opportunities,” he said.

In the past students had to earn 30 hours of on-campus credit at the main campus in New Orleans. This can be a costly endeavor for Georgia students. Starting this fall, any NOBTS extension student, regardless of the extension center he or she primarily attends, can take up to 18 hours of on-campus credit in Marietta. The student will only have to earn 12 hours of credit in New Orleans.

Extension center students still have the option of earning all or most of their on-campus credit on the main campus in New Orleans. According to NOBTS Provost Steve Lemke, some extension students may find that earning credit in New Orleans remains the most cost effective option. For others, the hub will offer significant travel savings.

Due to the seminary’s commitment to New Orleans and the city’s on-going recovery efforts, the plan calls for students to complete at least one three-hour mission or disaster relief course in New Orleans. This New Orleans-based mission component will continue after the recovery is complete.

Along with being named as a regional hub, the North Georgia center will have an increased faculty presence and workshop courses will be added during the summer.

The North Georgia campus of New Orleans Seminary is located at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta.

The North Georgia hub has offered New Orleans Seminary’s basic master of divinity degree, the master of divinity degree with specialization in Christian education, the master of divinity degree church ministry track, and the basic master of arts in Christian education degree. As a part of the seminary’s efforts to enhance the center, the master of arts degree in worship studies will be added this fall.

The master of arts degree in worship studies is a 53-hour degree designed to train students for service in the local church. Foundational courses offering a broad theological understanding complement in-depth courses in worship planning and worship leadership.

Returning students can register for classes at the North Georgia Hub through Aug. 17. For more information about courses or applying to seminary, call New Orleans Seminary’s North Georgia Regional Hub at (770) 321-1606 or visit