Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis
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|Type||Fundamentalist Christian Seminary|
|Established||September 11, 1956|
|Chancellor||Dr. Douglas R. McLachlan|
|President||Dr. Matthew D. Morrell|
|Provost||Dr. Brent A. Belford|
|Dean||Dr. Jonathan R. Pratt|
|Address||900 Forestview Ln N Plymouth MN 55441, Plymouth, Minnesota, United States
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.
Accreditation and Memberships
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Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)] .
Membership – American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries (AACCS)
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 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. 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. Samuel E. Horn succeeded Bauder on July 1, 2011, also by unanimous action of the board. Following three years in which he streamlined the seminary and significantly strengthened it for the future, Dr. Horn was hired by Bob Jones University to become Vice President of Ministerial Advancement as well as the Dean of the Seminary and School of Religion in October 2014. At the November 2014 board meeting, the presidential search committee proposed an internal candidate and a return to the pastor-president model in the person of Dr. Matt Morrell, pastor of Fourth Baptist Church. The board unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Morrell pending the good pleasure of Fourth Baptist Church which also gave its overwhelming approval at a December 2014 congregational meeting. Dr. Morrell officially took office in January 2015, with Dr. Brent Belford, Vice President of Administration, being promoted to provost to assist Dr. Morrell in the fulfillment of his duties.
- 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 2014
- Dr. Matthew D. Morrell 2015 to present
- "TRACS Members". Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- "Fourth Baptist Church: About Us". Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "Memorial: Ernest Dinwoodie Pickering". Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. 2001. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "Central Seminary Celebrates First Presidential Inauguration" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "Central Seminary Appoints New President". Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "Dr. Sam Horn Hired by Bob Jones University". Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- "Central Seminary Announces President". Retrieved 2015-01-07.