Seminary Comparison Matrix

by on April 3, 2008

I got an message via the contact form this morning that is certainly worth sharing. A web developer, John, from Dallas Theological Seminary sent me a link to a cool little program they wrote that will compare a number of seminaries across various criteria. While it doesn’t have every seminary or every category of information you might want, it is a really cool tool for those in the process of trying to select a seminary.

Also, I really appreciated that John said,

Of course, one can never choose a seminary based on these factors alone, but we thought it would helpfully summarize a lot of data that future seminarians are trying to wade through.

Remember, choosing a seminary isn’t as simple as clicking some checkboxes and waiting for a computer to tell you where to go to school. However, a tool like this can certainly help provide some good information, and better yet, let you see that information compared to other schools.

About

The author of this post is noted above. GoingtoSeminary.com and Best-Seminary.com were created by Ryan Burns. He is currently on staff at Redemption Hill Church in Richmond, VA, and recently launched a site to help people find Seminary Scholarships and anther site to help people find Church Jobs. He also writes about his experiences doing GORUCK events on his hobby blog.

Comments

I wonder why Reformed Theological Seminary is not included in Dallas’ cool little application? Maybe it’s because they have so many campuses. I’d love to see the comparison with Orlando.

@David, thanks for mentioning Reformed. I’m not sure how we missed a great school like RTS! I just added them today.

The catch is that we’ve only been including data for the main campus of each school. Most schools have satellite campuses these days, but the reason we don’t include them is that students who take classes at satellite campuses usually already live near the satellite campus. In other words, people don’t move to take classes at the satellite campus. They only move when they are going to the main campus. So the cost of living data is most helpful for the main campuses.

FYI: the other caveat to the tool is that we only include census data for the city of the main campus’ physical address . In the case of Dallas Seminary, there is a huge metroplex surrounding it which also includes our friends at Southwestern in Ft. Worth. Taking this into account will affect the population and cost of living depending on how far away from the campus you choose to live. We’ve looked at using county data in certain cases, but we’re trying to use the same criteria for every school to be as fair as possible. It’s not perfect, but we hope it helps!

Thanks for adding RTS Jackson to your comparison application – awesome. However, I want to follow with a pitch for including RTS Orlando (even given your explanation): RTS Jackson is not the main campus (neither is Orlando)! There are three, equally “main” campuses for RTS: Jackson, Orlando and Charlotte. None are “feeder” schools at all but resident campuses in their own right – something no other seminary is really doing right now, so I understand the confusion. I hope this clarifies the RTS scenario, and maybe even encourages you to include RTS Orlando as well – if not, I’ll survive. Peace to you.

For those interested, the Fall 2007 stats just became available on ATS’s website, so we’ve updated the site. It also has a wider layout so you can see more data, and a “auto detect” features which figures out which seminary websites you’ve visited and checks them off for you. Hope it’s helpful!

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