Simmons College to Become New Site for BSK

The Baptist Seminary of Kentucky (BSK) announced that it will establish offices and begin offering a full Master of Divinity degree in West Louisville at HBCU Simmons College beginning with the 2018 Spring semester. BSK was founded in 2001 and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

The unanimous decision was made at a special called meeting of the BSK Board of Trustees on August 21. Since 2016 BSK has offered several classes at the Simmons College campus but is accelerating its movement to cement a full presence in West Louisville as the need has grown for action around racial reconciliation within the Christian community. BSK president Dr. David Cassady explained the motivation for the decision, “We seek to learn about ministry in our increasingly diverse society so that we can better serve ministers and churches —this is the world in which we minister. It is critical that we go beyond talking about racial reconciliation and live into it. Presence matters, and we look forward to growing and learning as we serve within and alongside this vibrant community. BSK is coming to West Louisville expecting to be changed.” Beyond offering classes, the seminary also will engage in ministry within the community.

Simmons President Dr. Kevin Cosby welcomed BSK to campus, “In most instances, racial integration has always been a unilateral process where blacks move into white space. BSK has reversed this model and decided to move into black space. This is a reversal of the white flight of former generations. This is perhaps the first time in history that an accredited seminary has moved onto the campus of an HBCU. And we say, ‘Welcome BSK.'” Simmons College is an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in Louisville, Kentucky, offering undergraduate degrees in sociology, music, religious studies and communications.

Being in Louisville also allows the school to serve leaders and churches in Central and Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Dr. Dalen Jackson, Academic Dean at BSK, described the seminary’s approach. “We help students develop an imagination and expertise needed for living out their calling to ministry in a variety of cultural and social contexts. We draw broadly from scripture and the diverse witness of the church, old and new, as we cultivate practices of faithful ministry. The invitation from Simmons College to collaborate in West Louisville offers us the opportunity to incarnate more fully what it means to be made in the image of God with diverse bodies and traditions as we seek together to find our place in the mission of God.”

BSK received accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). Headquartered in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, ATS is the highest accrediting agency for theological education, including schools such as Central Seminary, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Vanderbilt, Yale, Harvard.

The Baptist Seminary of Kentucky currently offers classes on the campus of Georgetown College. “We are proud of our presence at and partnership with Georgetown College and are excited to continue to offer classes in Central Kentucky through our partnership with them,” said Dr. Cassady.

Since 2001 the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky has prepared men and women sensing God’s leadership for life and ministry in faithful witness to Jesus Christ in the church and the world. The seminary draws upon the breadth and depth of the whole Christian tradition to undergird our common life and Christian formation. BSK is committed to theological education affirming the God-given gifts of each student and grounded in spiritual, moral, and intellectual formation in the Christian life.

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Abby Sizemore