Southern Evangelical Seminary

The information on this page was last updated 12/26/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Southern Evangelical Seminary is a school dedicated to training men and women to defend the Historic Christian Faith. We offer undergrad, graduate, and doctoral programs. SES is also the host of the National Conference on Christian Apologetics.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Southern Evangelical Seminary
15009 Lancaster Highway
Charlotte, NC 28277


Phone: 704-847-5600

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 561764649

CEO/President: Judge Philip Ginn

Chairman: David Jamison

Board size: 8

Founder: Ross Rhoads and Norman Geisler

Ruling year: 1992

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1999


Every believer equipped to effectively proclaim the Gospel, engage the bad ideas that stand in the way of the Gospel, and defend the truth of the Gospel in any cultural context

Mission statement

The mission of SES is to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and defense of the historic Christian faith

Statement of faith

We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament Scripture alone to be verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original text, and that they alone are of supreme and final authority in faith and life.

We believe in one God who is Creator of heaven and earth, who is infinite Spirit, light, love, and truth; eternal, almighty, infallible in all things, including His foreknowledge of all future events as well as all free choices; that He is unchangeable, all wise, just, and holy; and that the triune God eternally exists in one essence and three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe in the special creation of the entire space-time universe and of every basic form of life in the six historic days of the Genesis creation record. We also believe in the historicity of the biblical record, including the special creation of Adam and Eve as the literal progenitors of all people, the literal fall and resultant divine curse on the creation, the worldwide flood, and the origin of nations and diverse languages at the tower of Babel.

We believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Eternal Word manifested in the flesh. We believe that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and that He is true God and true man, having two distinct natures co-joined in one Person.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of every human being and thus offers salvation as a free gift based on grace alone.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead in the same physical body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which will be given to all believers at the return of Christ.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven in the same glorified physical body in which He arose, was seated at His Father's right hand, assuring us of the perfection of His work of redemption, and that He now, as Head over all things to the Church, is engaged on behalf of the saved as their only Advocate. We believe in the personal, imminent, and premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones followed by His millennial reign on earth.

We believe that man was originally created in the image and likeness of God, and that he fell through sin; and that as a consequence of his sin, he became dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which is totally corrupt.

We believe that only those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior on the condition of faith alone, apart from all good works, are thereby born again of the Holy Spirit, are justified once and for all, and have become children of God.

We believe that the Holy Spirit, being the Third Person of the Godhead, convicts men of sin, regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals, and sets believers apart to a holy life; that He keeps and empowers believers day by day. We believe that He is the Teacher of the Word of God through which He guides us in our daily lives. We believe in the eternal security and everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the eternal conscious punishment of the lost.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted only two ordinances: water baptism and the Lord's Supper, to be observed until He comes. We believe that water baptism is not necessary for salvation but that it is an outward symbol of salvation and a sign of our obedience to Him.

We believe that the universal Church of Jesus Christ is composed of those who have been redeemed and washed in His blood, regenerated and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and that they are saved to worship and to serve; that it is the responsibility and privilege of all who are saved to seek to win others to Christ, to the "uttermost part of the earth"; that they should seek to live a holy life, to separate themselves from and forsake all that might dishonor God, cast discredit on His cause, or weaken their testimony.

We believe that there is a personal devil, a being of great cunning and power, who is "the prince and the power of the air," "the prince of this world," and "the god of this age." We believe that he can exert vast power but only as far as God permits him to do so; that he shall ultimately be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever.

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating1027 of 1102124 of 129
Fund acquisition rating1098 of 1103129 of 129
Resource allocation rating1083 of 1103127 of 129
Asset utilization rating512 of 110266 of 129

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$256,612$120,142$98,242$88,927$57,155
Short-term investments$0$2,185$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$3,745,037$223,299$165,341$455,063$494,990
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$15,252$3,880,548$3,957,631$6,696,965$6,822,931
Other long-term assets$919,506$965,975$920,944$1,095,002$1,401,151
Total long-term assets$934,758$4,846,523$4,878,575$7,791,967$8,224,082
Total assets$4,679,795$5,069,822$5,043,916$8,247,030$8,719,072
Payables and accrued expenses$6,846$21,043$41,109$18,318$30,177
Other current liabilities$0$200,000$109,462$341,081$0
Total current liabilities$6,846$221,043$150,571$359,399$30,177
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$3,995$6,200$62,082$110,930$115,692
Total long-term liabilities$3,995$6,200$62,082$2,523,482$2,492,125
Total liabilities$10,841$227,243$212,653$2,882,881$2,522,302
Net assets20232022202120202019
Without donor restrictions$4,663,309$4,837,516$4,730,428$5,303,950$6,161,697
With donor restrictions$5,645$5,063$100,835$60,199$35,073
Net assets$4,668,954$4,842,579$4,831,263$5,364,149$6,196,770
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$468,978$893,710$646,480$530,961$487,000
Program service revenue$969,867$862,299$955,410$848,252$881,928
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$500,771$1,560$286,276$9,340$15,373
Other revenue$53,675$125,096$93,645$234,175$1,000
Total other revenue$1,524,313$988,955$1,335,331$1,091,767$898,301
Total revenue$1,993,291$1,882,665$1,981,811$1,622,728$1,385,301
Program services$1,343,821$1,272,640$1,701,511$1,769,469$1,555,639
Management and general$574,360$343,958$407,177$347,614$265,524
Total expenses$2,166,916$1,871,349$2,514,697$2,455,349$2,067,953
Change in net assets20232022202120202019
Surplus (deficit)($173,625)$11,316($532,886)($832,621)($682,652)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($173,625)$11,316($532,886)($832,621)($682,652)


Phil GinnPresident$54,833

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2023

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 12/26/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Southern Evangelical Seminary was co-founded in 1992 by Ross Rhoads, former evangelist and then Pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte, NC, and Norman Geisler, long-time Seminary professor and apologist. Pastor Rhoads' burden for evangelism and Professor Geisler's concern to defend the historic Christian Faith combined in the two-fold vision of the seminary to evangelize the world and to defend the historic Christian Faith. SES was officially incorporated in the State of North Carolina on January 6, 1992.

A feasibility study prepared by Dr. Geisler was presented to and approved by the Calvary Elders on February 24, 1992. The agreement with the church included the acceptance of its doctrinal statement and involved a fraternal and supportive relationship between the two organizations. However, both entities agreed to remain legally and economically independent and autonomous. Ross Rhoads was appointed as the first President of the Seminary and Norman Geisler was the first Dean.

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 and the first classes began in September of 1992. The Seminary grew rapidly, attracting students from all over the United States and several other countries; from the beginning it attracted national attention by its unique program in evangelism and classical apologetics.

In 1995 the first graduate received his degree. By late summer of 1997 the Seminary moved to McKee Road in Charlotte to property graciously provided by McKee Road Baptist Church.

In 1999 Dr. Norman Geisler was appointed President of the Seminary. Also in 1999, SES 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 SES was granted accreditation by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a national accrediting association recognized by the United States government. That same year the Seminary started the Doctor of Ministry Program.

In 2003 SES completed the building of its own facility on a ten and one-half acre lot located on Tilley Morris Road in Matthews, NC. By the fall of 2004 Southern Evangelical Bible College was established to offer students the opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree. In 2006 apologist and evangelist Alex McFarland was inaugurated as president of Southern Evangelical Seminary.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree was approved by TRACS in 2007. In the spring of 2010 SES was approved to offer the Master of Theology (Th.M.) as a four year academic degree.

After Alex McFarland's tenure as president, Bob Westra, the then Chairman of the Board of Trustees, served as the interim president. In 2013, after a long and distinguished career as the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, Dr. Richard Land became the fourth president of SES.

With the rise of online education and the improvements of live-streaming technology, the number of non-traditional students began to increase. As a result, SES relocated to a more modern facility in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte in the summer of 2018.

With the retirement of SES co-founder Dr. Norman Geisler in winter of 2019, the SES Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name Dr. Geisler President Emeritus. With his passing in July the same year, they again unanimously voted to rename the graduate school the Norman L. Geisler Graduate School of Apologetics.

In the late Spring of 2021, after eight years of faithful service Dr. Land retired and was also name President Emeritus. Upon Dr. Land's retirement, Judge Phil Ginn, former Chairman of the SES Board of Trustees as well as an SES D.Min. alumnus, was named the fifth president of SES.

Program accomplishments