Southern Evangelical Seminary

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Southern Evangelical Seminary
Type Private
Established 1992
Affiliation Non-denominational
President Richard Land
Location Matthews, North Carolina

Southern Evangelical Seminary is a Christian college in Matthews, North Carolina near Charlotte. The seminary was established in 1992 by Norman Geisler and Ross Rhoads. The college, Southern Evangelical Bible College (SEBC) was established in 2004. SES has also been a member organization of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability since 1999.[1]


Southern Evangelical Seminary was founded in 1992 by Ross Rhoads, former evangelist and then Pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte and Norman Geisler, theologian and Christian apologist. Rhoads’ burden for evangelism and Geisler's concern to defend the Faith combined in the two-fold vision of the seminary to evangelize the world and to defend the historic Christian Faith. It was officially incorporated in the State of North Carolina on January 6, 1992. Ross Rhoads was appointed as the first President of the Seminary. Norman Geisler would assume the presidency and remain in that position until 2006.

By May 4, 1992 SES had obtained permission from the State of North Carolina to offer a Seminary program with degrees, as provided for under North Carolina General Statutes Section (G.S.) 116-15 (d). Preparation began to develop a faculty, catalog, and library. The first classes began in September 1992. The Seminary grew rapidly, attracting students from all over the United States and several other countries.

The first graduate received his degree in 1995.

In late summer of 1997 the Seminary moved to 4298 McKee Road, Charlotte, NC to property provided by McKee Road Baptist Church.

On February 27, 1998 Southern Evangelical Seminary was granted Candidate Status by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a national accrediting association recognized by the United States government. It is accredited by TRACS.[2]

In March 1999 Southern Evangelical Seminary was accepted as a member organization of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) certifying that it has met all standards of financial integrity and Christian ethics.

On March 2, 2001 Southern Evangelical Seminary was granted accreditation by TRACS and started the Doctor of Ministry Program.[citation needed]

In the late summer of 2003 Southern Evangelical Seminary completed the building of its own 23,000-square-foot (2,100 m2) facility on a ten and one-half acre lot located at 3000 Tilley Morris Road, Matthews, NC.

In the Fall of 2004 Southern Evangelical Bible College was established to offer students the opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree.

On April 7, 2006 it was announced that evangelist-apologist Alex McFarland would become its new president. A graduate of Liberty University, Alex McFarland earned a B.S. and M.A. in Christian Thought / Apologetics, and was awarded an honorary D.Div. from SES in May 2006.

In Spring of 2007 the Veritas Graduate School of Apologetics at SES was approved to offer the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.

In the Spring of 2008, a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) facility was added, which doubled the library, tripled the bookstore, and provided more classroom space for students in the growing residency program.

In July 2013, Richard Land, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, was installed as SES' president.


SES (& SEBC) faculty includes Barry Leventhal, Thomas Howe, Richard Howe, Daniel Janosik, William Dembski, J. T. Bridges, Ted Wright, Brian Huffling, Doug Potter, and Christina Woodside.[citation needed]

SES Adjunct faculty includes Gary Habermas, Dave Beck, Wayne Detzler, Elliot Johnson, Gary Phillips, Kenneth Baker, Michael Brown, David Russ, Frank Turek, and others.


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Coordinates: 35°03′27″N 80°44′03″W / 35.0575°N 80.7341°W / 35.0575; -80.7341