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In 1946, the Highland Park Baptist Church voted to establish Tennessee Temple college in an effort to address the lack of Biblical training in many of the local seminaries. In 1948, the church established the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as well. Five years later, after the Southern Baptist Convention established a seminary with that same name, Highland Park’s seminary was renamed Temple Baptist Theological Seminary. The name was changed again in 1985 to Temple Baptist Seminary.
In 1993, both the university and the seminary were restructured so that they were supervised by a separate Board of Trustees and administrative leadership, although both continued to be owned by the Highland Baptist Church. This continued until 2005 when the two schools were restructured again, this time combining the seminary and college under a single Board of Trustees. During this restructure, the seminary was positioned as the premier graduate division as envisioned by the founder, Dr. Lee Roberson.
From its inception, the school has been committed to upholding the biblical faith historically held by Baptists. There is a strong emphasis on Biblical teaching, Christian education, evangelism and ministry endeavor. Both the college and the seminary continues to equip both church leaders and laypersons for leadership positions rooted in Christian faith.
In 2012, Highland Baptist Church relocated to Harrison, Tennessee and changed its name to Church of the Highlands. During this transition, new bylaws were created for Tennessee Temple University, ending the formal relationship between the church and the school. However, the heritage of Highland Baptist Church is still strongly represented throughout the university.
Today, the mission of Tennessee Temple University is to provide a Christ-centered higher education that transforms the lives of students both academically and spiritually after a merger with Piedmont International University in 2015. Tennessee Temple University moved to the Piedmont campus in North Carolina and the two universities now share names. Temple Baptist seminary became a school under Piedmont University.
Tennessee Temple University Accreditation Details
Tennessee Temple University is accredited by the American Association of Bible Colleges and he Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Accreditation provides public recognition to institutions that meet rigorous and demanding standards of excellence in education. Tennessee Temple University has demonstrated a sound financial basis, approved programs of study, the employment of highly-qualified instructors and provides education to a diverse student population.
The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools is recognized by the Higher Education Accreditation and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education, both accrediting agencies recognized by the Department of Education.
In addition, the Teacher Education degree is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International.
Tennessee Temple University Application Requirements
Students who wish to attend Tennessee Temple University must submit an online application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide a salvation testimony and complete a Statement of Faith. Official high school transcripts must be sent. Transfer students must have official transcripts sent from any college or university attended. Students must also provide official ACT or SAT scores.
Graduate students must complete an online application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide official college transcripts from any college or university attended. In addition, students must provide a digital photo in JPEG format. Students are required to submit an autobiographical review and a release of records form. Specific program may have admission requirements, so graduate students should contact an admissions counselor before applying.
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Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition at Tennessee Temple University is $295 per credit hour. Master’s level and Doctor of Ministry courses are $295 per credit hour and Ph.D. courses are $450 per credit hour. Students at Tennessee Temple and Piedmont Universities receive more than $1 million in financial aid each year and more than 90 percent of students receive some form of aid.
Students must complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify and must submit to an interview with a financial aid officer. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs.
Online Degree(s) Available
Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry, Counseling Minor
The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry with a Counseling Minor is designed to prepare students for a variety of church related ministries that focus on counseling. The program is built on a strong major in Bible and a core of general studies. Students develop a general knowledge of the Bible and develop skills necessary to serve in local church ministry. In addition, students develop a Biblical philosophy related to ministry and expertise in two different areas of ministry. Two internships in two minor areas of ministry are required.
The counseling minor provides pre-professional knowledge and skills to prepare students for a career in counseling in a local church setting. The minor focuses on the Biblical philosophy of counseling and methods for taking a Christian approach to counseling those in need. Courses required under the Counseling major include:
- Counseling I: Theory and Methodology
- Counseling II: Problems and Procedures
- Counseling in the Local Church
- Marriage and Family Counseling
- Counseling Adolescents
- Counseling and Theology
Courses required for the major include:
- Old Testament Survey
- New Testament Survey
- Life of Christ
- Pauline I
- Bible Doctrine I & II
- Baptist History
- Biblical Interpretation I, II & II
- Christian Ethics
- Church Education
- History of Christian Thought
- Introduction to Missions
Electives may include:
- Pauline Epistles II
- General Epistles Survey
- Daniel and Revelation
- Historic Books
- Poetic Books
- Prophetic Books
There are also 35 semester hours in General Education required to complete the major.
The undergraduate degree requires 130 semester hours to complete and the entire degree is available online.
The merger between Tennessee Temple University and Piedmont University is unlike other mergers where one university is absorbed by the other, but is instead more like a marriage. Tennessee Temple University will continue its strong faith-based higher education while enjoying the benefits provided by Piedmont. Almost all programs offered at the university are available in online formats so that working adults are able to meet family, work and social obligations while achieving their higher education goals in a faith-based curriculum.