Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary

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Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Gordon-Conwell's Shield Logo
Former names
Gordon College of Theology and Mission, Gordon Divinity School, Conwell School of Theology
Motto Think Theologically, Engage Globally, Live Biblically
Type Private
Established 1969 merger, 1888 (as Gordon Divinity School), 1889 (as Conwell School of Theology)
Affiliation Protestant, evangelical
President Dennis Hollinger
Students 2,137
Location Main campus, South Hamilton, Massachusetts, United States
42°36′46″N 70°50′43″W / 42.612896°N 70.845294°W / 42.612896; -70.845294Coordinates: 42°36′46″N 70°50′43″W / 42.612896°N 70.845294°W / 42.612896; -70.845294
Campus Multiple campus locations
Affiliations BTI, ATS
Website gordonconwell.edu

Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) is an evangelical seminary whose main campus is based in Hamilton, Massachusetts, with three other campuses in Boston, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Jacksonville, Florida. The current president of Gordon-Conwell is Dennis Hollinger, a Christian ethicist.[1] According to the Association of Theological Schools, Gordon-Conwell ranks as one of the largest evangelical seminaries in North America in terms of total number of full-time students enrolled.[2]


A.J. Gordon
Russell Conwell

The history of Gordon-Conwell goes back to the late 1800s.[3] In its current form, Gordon-Conwell arose from the refounding of two separate schools in 1969. This refounding was the product of a merger between Gordon Divinity School, formerly of Gordon College (1889) in Wenham, Massachusetts, and the Conwell School of Theology (1888), formerly of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both schools were founded in the Baptist theological heritage. Both Adoniram Judson Gordon and Russell Conwell were Baptist ministers; Gordon's divinity school was first established as Gordon Bible Institute in 1889,[4] while Conwell's theological school was originally chartered as Temple College in 1888.

In 1969, both Gordon Divinity School and Conwell School of Theology experienced a downturn. The reorganization of both schools into Gordon-Conwell was the result of the financial backing of J. Howard Pew and the unifying influence of evangelist Billy Graham. Boston pastor and theologian Harold Ockenga was selected as its first president.[5]

Ockenga had wanted a strong evangelical voice in New England to contend with more theologically liberal schools like Harvard and Boston University. He also envisioned Gordon-Conwell as an east-coast equivalent to Fuller Theological Seminary on the west coast. Other former presidents include Robert C. Cooley (1981–97), Walter Kaiser, Jr. (1997–2006), and James Emery White (2006–07), and Haddon Robinson (2007–08).[3] Currently the President is Dennis Hollinger (2009–) and the chair of the board of Trustees for Gordon-Conwell is John A. Huffman, Jr., a pastor and author.[6]


The Kerr building on Gordon-Conwell's Hamilton campus
The Center for Urban Ministerial Education in Roxbury, Boston

The main 118-acre (0.48 km2) residential campus is in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. There are secondary campuses in Boston, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Jacksonville, Florida. The campus in Boston is known as the Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME), and it is a program offered exclusively through part-time night and weekend classes. The CUME campus also focuses primarily on urban and cross-cultural ministry in an urban setting.[7] The Charlotte program was founded in 1992, and it offers courses on weekends, evenings and through week-long intensive courses, and generally attracts an older student body.[8] The Jacksonville campus opened in February 2006 and was originally an extension of the Charlotte campus, though it now is the fourth campus for Gordon-Conwell.[9] The Jacksonville campus is located in downtown Jacksonville, Florida.[10] On February 2, 2012 the school began renovations of two large rooms in the main administrative and residence building on their South Hamilton campus. The 'Old Book Center' has been transformed into 'Alumni Hall,' a space for events and conferences dedicated to the alumni of Gordon-Conwell.[11] In August 2013, a donor gifted several hand-carved tables, chairs, couches, and art work for the Great Hall. In honor of this donor, the space was renamed the Pierce Great Hall.[12]


Gordon Divinity School and Conwell Theological Seminary were both from the Baptist heritage. When Gordon-Conwell was refounded in 1969, however, the seminary was purposefully founded with no specific Christian denominational affiliation. Today, Gordon-Conwell has students from over 90 different denominations, as well as students from over 40 countries around the world. Theologically, the Statement of Faith[13] and the Mission and Purpose[14] of the seminary are based on Protestant and evangelical doctrines, such as biblical inerrancy.

Gordon-Conwell is part of the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), a consortium of nine theological schools in the Greater Boston area and the Carolina Theological Consortium, a consortium of four theological schools in North and South Carolina.

Gordon-Conwell is overseen by the main administration at the Hamilton campus. Each of the other three campuses is overseen by a campus dean, who reports directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and main campus administration.


As of Fall 2014, 2,067 students were enrolled at Gordon-Conwell.[15] The seminary offers 23 degrees including the Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theology (Th.M.), Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), and a wide range of specialized master's degrees.

Gordon-Conwell has been accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada since 1964[16] and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1985. It is also certified by the United States Government for the training of veterans and the education of chaplains for military service.[17]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • John Jefferson Davis, Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics
  • Donald Fairbairn, Robert E. Cooley Professor of Early Christianity
  • Dennis Hollinger, President, Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics
  • Gordon Hugenberger, Ranked Adjunct Professor of Old Testament
  • Walter Kaiser, Jr., President Emeritus; Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Old Testament Ethics
  • Richard Lints, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dean of Hamilton Campus; Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Theology[18][19][20][21]
  • Gary D. Pratico, Senior Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew Language[22][23][24]
  • Haddon Robinson, Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching; Senior Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program
  • Douglas Stuart, Professor of Old Testament
  • David Wells, Distinguished Senior Research Professor
  • James Emery White, Ranked Adjunct Professor of Theology and Culture

Former faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary". Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  2. ^ "2011–2012 Annual Data Tables" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Our History". Gordon Cornwell. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  4. ^ Songe, Alice (1978). American Universities and Colleges. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 79. 
  5. ^ "Ockenga Institute". Gordon Cornwell. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  6. ^ "Board of Trustees". Gordon Cornwell. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  7. ^ "About Our Campus". Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  8. ^ "About Our Campus". Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  9. ^ "Multiple Locations". Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  10. ^ "Jacksonville". Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  11. ^ Hollinger, Dennis (February 2, 2012). "A Message from President Hollinger". Our construction deadline is May 1, in order to accommodate a Lausanne event being held at the Seminary May 29 – June 1 
  12. ^ Email to student body from Dr. Dennis Hollinger. August 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Statement of Faith". Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  14. ^ "Mission and Purpose". 
  15. ^ Association of Theological Schools 
  16. ^ The Association of Theological Schools Archived May 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ "Accreditation". [dead link]
  18. ^ "Richard Lints". Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Dr. Richard Lints Installed as Vice President and Dean". February 15, 2013. Retrieved Apr 28, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Archives for Richard Lints". Retrieved May 8, 2016. 
  21. ^ Julius Kim (2015). Preaching the Whole Counsel of God: Design and Deliver Gospel-Centered Sermons. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. pp. back cover. ISBN 9780310519645. 
  22. ^ "Notable Today recognizes Gary Pratico". Retrieved Mar 5, 2016. 
  23. ^ "World-Renowned Faculty - Biblical Studies". Retrieved Mar 5, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Review of Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar. Gary D. Pratico and Miles V. VanPelt. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001". Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. 46: 415–17. 2003. 
  25. ^ "Roger Nicole (1915–2010)". Retrieved 2014-09-24. 
  26. ^ "Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary: World-Renowned Faculty at Gordon-Conwell". Retrieved 2012-11-05. 

External links[edit]