It is described as “The Baptist Seminary of South Carolina” and serves as the graduate division of the College of Christian Studies at Anderson University. Officially known as Clamp Divinity School, it is named for David T. Clamp, whose estate presented AU its largest single gift in school history — $8 million — in 2008.
Clamp Divinity School was launched in 2014 and now has approximately 45 students in master of divinity and master of ministry programs, with another 35 students enrolled in the doctor of ministry degree program.
Dean Michael Duduit said, “Recognizing Clamp Divinity School as ‘The Baptist Seminary of South Carolina’ is not only an accurate description of our program, but a helpful tool in helping church leaders and prospective students in recognizing the value to study here.”
The graduate school is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and has now become the official theological education partner of the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina, which encompasses 1,100 primarily African-American churches and 230,000 members across the state, Duduit said.
One of the unique advantages of AU’s “seminary” is a fast-track program in which a junior or senior in the Christian studies undergraduate program can take up to 30 hours of M.Div. courses and apply the coursework to their undergraduate degree and to the 75-credit-hour M.Div. degree. “So, instead of the typical path of four years of college plus three years of seminary, a student can complete college and seminary in as little as five years,” Duduit said.
AU president Evans Whitaker observed, “Since its inception, the Clamp Divinity School has strived to produce gospel-centered men and women who advance the cause of Christ at home and abroad. Our emphasis on a biblically focused, Christ-centered and rigorously academic course of study is truly unique, and we are overjoyed by what the Lord is doing through our students and graduates in their chosen field of ministry.”
What about the six Southern Baptist seminaries? Duduit does not see the seminary at Anderson as being in competition with the SBC seminaries, which have undergraduate colleges.
“We all share a common goal in equipping God-called men and women for ministry,” Duduit said. “We do it in different places with different emphases, but we are all kingdom partners. While many South Carolina students will continue to leave the state to go to SBC seminaries and other seminaries, an increasing number still see the value in staying in the state and taking advantage of the unique program here.”
“My vision for Clamp Divinity School is that it will become a respected resource for Southern Baptists that attracts students eager for theologically conservative and strongly practical preparation for ministry,” he added.
“The Baptist Seminary of South Carolina” also features a first-class faculty that is both academically qualified and experienced in the practical applications of ministry. “Unlike many seminary programs, students here learn with a faculty that has been in the trenches of ministry and can teach out of a depth of real-life experience,” Duduit said. “That is why we describe our program as being solidly biblical and intensely practical.”
Anderson University now owns Preaching magazine, which goes out to 10,000 pastors, and produces Preaching Now, a weekly email newsletter for more than 15,000 church leaders. The university also sponsors the National Conference on Preaching each year in different locations. In addition, the annual Broadus Lectures feature an outstanding leader brought to the campus to speak and teach on issues focused on ministry.
For additional information on the variety of opportunities offered through Clamp Divinity School, go to www.auministry.com.