New York Theological Seminary

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New York Theological Seminary
New York Theological Seminary Logo
Former names
Bible Teachers’ College, Bible Teachers’ Training School, The Biblical Seminary in New York
FounderWilbert Webster White
Religious affiliation
Non-Denominational Christian
PresidentLaKeesha Walrond
New York City
, ,
United States

The New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) is a private non-denominational Christian seminary in New York City. It was founded in 1900 as the Bible Teacher's College.

In 2019, Rev. LaKeesha Walrond was appointed as the first woman and the first African American woman president of New York Theological Seminary.[1][2]


New York Theological Seminary began its life in 1900 as the Bible Teacher's College in Montclair, New Jersey.[3] Under the direction of its founder, Wilbert Webster White, the school sought to intentionally bridge the divide that had then begun to open between university-based and Bible school forms of theological education. White was a leading proponent of what was known as "the inductive Bible study method". He believed that the Bible ought to be taught in English and allowed to occupy the central position in the theological curriculum. The method lent itself easily to an emphasis on practical training for ministry, which characterized the institution from its inception.

White moved the school to New York City in 1902 in order to provide what he called a more "cosmopolitan" setting for the ministerial training of students, renaming it the Bible Teachers’ Training School.[4] In 1921, the corporate name was changed to The Biblical Seminary in New York, and then, in 1965, to New York Theological Seminary.[5]

In the early 1970s, NYTS, under the leadership of theological educator, George W. Webber, began targeting educational programs for students in the greater New York metropolitan area who were already in ministry, were bi-vocational, or were contemplating a shift from a secular to a religious vocation. The seminary sold its campus and relocated to more affordable space and began offering its programs at nights or on weekends when urban church leaders who worked full-time could attend. For several years it suspended the granting of the M.Div. degree and focused on offering the STM degree, a newly formed Certificate in Christian Ministry, and continuing education opportunities for urban church leaders. In the mid-1970s, the seminary added the MPS and D.Min. degree programs. In the early 1980s it began to offer the M.Div. degree again, and began a master's degree program inside Sing Sing Correctional Facility that trains inmates from throughout the New York State prison system for ministry within the system. In the 1990s, the curriculum was modified to reflect the seminary's commitment to social and community analysis and the increasingly multicultural urban context. In 2002, the seminary moved to the Morningside Heights area of Manhattan. It has offices in The Interchurch Center, classrooms in the Riverside Church, and access to the Columbia University Library System, which includes the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary.[citation needed]


NYTS is accredited by New York State and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.[6] The seminary currently offers six accredited degrees:[citation needed] Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts (MA) in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Master of Arts in Religious Education (MRE), Master of Arts in Religious Leadership and Administration, Master of Arts in Youth Ministry, and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.). Two non-accredited programs are also currently offered: a Certificate in Christian Ministry and a Clinical Pastoral Education program that is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education through a satellite contract with Norwalk Hospital. It also offers an ATS accredited Master of Professional Studies to selected inmates in Sing Sing Correctional Facility.[citation needed]


The Center for the Study and Practice of Urban Religion (CSPUR), formerly the Ecologies of Learning Project (EOL), is a research and action center based at New York Theological Seminary. NYTS received a grant in 2004 for the Ecologies of Learning project, founded by former professor of Urban Studies and Religion Lowell Livezey, which developed into the Center for the Study and Practice of Urban Religion (CSPUR) in 2009.

The Center for World Christianity was established in 2004 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "LaKeesha Walrond, new black woman seminary president breaking 'glass ceilings'". Religion News Service. 2019-06-27. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  2. ^ Barnett, Jenna (2019-05-21). "Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond Named First Woman President of New York Theological Seminary". Sojourners. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  3. ^ "Bible Teacher's College: More Than 300 Studies and Lectures to Constitute the Course", The New York Times, November 8, 1900. Accessed March 30, 2011.
  4. ^ "Bible Teachers College to Remove to this City; Will Leave Montclair, N.J., at the Beginning of the New Year -- Institution's Future Plans.", The New York Times, December 21, 1901. Accessed March 30, 2011.
  5. ^ G. D. (November 6, 1965). "2 Churches Plan Birthday Fetes: Institutions Here to Mark 125th and 100th Years". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Membership Schools: Alphabetical List (N)". Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Retrieved 2022-02-16.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°48′40″N 73°57′50″W / 40.811178°N 73.963903°W / 40.811178; -73.963903