Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis

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Established September 11, 1956
Type Fundamentalist Christian Seminary
Chancellor Dr. Douglas R. McLachlan
President Dr. Samuel E. Horn
Dean Dr. Jonathan R. Pratt
Students 100
Location Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Affiliations Independent Baptist
Website http://www.centralseminary.edu

Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis is one of the oldest fundamentalist Christian seminaries in the United States. The school is located in Plymouth, Minnesota, and has a branch campus in Arad, Romania. Its student body numbers close to one hundred enrolled in graduate (M.A.T., M.Div.) and postgraduate (Th.M., Ph.D./Th.D., D.Min.) programs. The seminary is distinctively Baptist, separatist, dispensationalist, and cessationist.[citation needed]

Accreditation and Memberships[edit]

Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)] having been awarded Accredited status as a Category IV institution by the TRACS Accreditation Commission on November 4, 2008; this status is effective for a period of five years. TRACS is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).

MembershipAmerican Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries (AACCS)

Approval – (1) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for Enrollment of Foreign Students (2) Minnesota State Approving Agency for Veterans Training Benefits (3) Armed Forces Chaplains Board for Military Services

Chartered – By the State of Minnesota in 1957


The founding of Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis grew out of the need to fill a vacuum created when Northwestern Theological Seminary closed. Northwestern Seminary, an auxiliary of Northwestern College (Minnesota), was founded in 1935 by Dr. William Bell Riley, noted fundamentalist leader and pastor of First Baptist Church of Minneapolis. Within a decade of Dr. Riley’s passing, financial pressures forced Northwestern’s board of trustees to close Northwestern Seminary after twenty years of service training ministers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region. Students, seminary faculty, and other supporters urged Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters, pastor of Fourth Baptist Church of Minneapolis, to fill this void through the establishment of a new fundamentalist Baptist seminary. With the knowledge and encouragement of the administration of Northwestern Schools, Dr. Clearwaters set in motion the founding of a new seminary. Fourth Baptist Church agreed to provide accommodations for the fledgling school within the church’s own facilities. A board of trustees and an administrative structure were formulated. The seminary’s doctrinal statement, central points of purpose, and school hymn were articulated. Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Minnesota, and an initial faculty was recruited. Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis officially began classes on September 11, 1956, with a group of thirty-one students from ten states and a faculty of seven.

Within its first decade, Central Seminary grew to a student body of over 100 students. As Fourth Baptist Church grew numerically under the leadership of Dr. Clearwaters, the seminary enjoyed expanded facilities on the near-north side of downtown Minneapolis. Central Seminary’s radio station, WCTS, began in 1965 as a service of witness and praise benefiting its upper mid-west listening audience. In 1986 the seminary instituted a postgraduate degree program, and inaugurated an extension campus in Arad, Romania, in 1993.

In 1982 Dr. Douglas R. McLachlan succeeded Dr. Clearwaters as pastor of Fourth Baptist Church[1] and, during the 1986-87 school year, McLachlan began his tenure as president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary. At the end of that school term, Dr. McLachlan was called of God to serve at Northland Baptist Bible College. He remained at Northland for four consecutive school years. From 1988 to 1993, Dr. Ernest Pickering served as president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary and pastor of Fourth Baptist Church.[2] Dr. Pickering was not a newcomer to Central Seminary. During the formative years of the school, Dr. Pickering had served both as Dean and as Professor of Theology while he pastored elsewhere in the Twin Cities area (1959–1965). After returning to serve as president of Central Seminary for five years, Dr. Pickering accepted a leadership position with Baptist World Mission as Director of Deputation. With the departure of Dr. Pickering, God providentially called Dr. Douglas R. McLachlan back to the pastorate of Fourth Baptist Church and the presidency of Central Baptist Seminary. In 1998 under Dr. McLachlan’s leadership, Fourth Baptist Church and Central Baptist Theological Seminary relocated to a newly constructed facility in the Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth.

Because of the close relationship between Fourth Baptist Church and Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and out of a desire to foster seminary training in the context of local church ministry, the original administrative structure of the school named the pastor of Fourth Baptist Church as the President of Central Baptist Theological Seminary. By the middle of the 1990s, the complexities in the duties of these two offices grew, particularly the responsibilities of a seminary president in the areas of student recruitment and fundraising increased. Thus, discussions began among the board, administration, and faculty regarding the separation of the two offices: pastor and president. In 1999 the board of trustees, in official action, created a committee for the revision of the seminary constitution with regard to the office of seminary President, among other items. The following year, the board of trustees unanimously approved the constitutional revision. In the fall of 2001, a presidential search committee was formed and in May 2003 Dr. Kevin T. Bauder became, by unanimous board action, the first full-time president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary.[3] Samuel E. Horn succeeded Bauder on July 1, 2011, also by unanimous action of the board.[4]


  • Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters 1956 to 1986
  • Dr. Douglas R. McLachlan 1986 to 1987
  • Dr. Ernest Pickering 1988 to 1993
  • Dr. Douglas R. McLachlan 1994 to 2003
  • Dr. Kevin T. Bauder 2003 to 2011
  • Dr. Samuel E. Horn 2011 to present


  1. ^ "Fourth Baptist Church: About Us". Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  2. ^ "Memorial: Ernest Dinwoodie Pickering". Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. 2001. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  3. ^ "Central Seminary Celebrates First Presidential Inauguration". Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  4. ^ "Central Seminary Appoints New President". Retrieved 2011-06-28. 

External links[edit]