Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

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The Southewestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS)
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Logo.png
Motto Preach the Word
Reach the World
Type Private
Established 1908
Affiliation Southern Baptist
Academic affiliation
President L. Paige Patterson
Provost Craig Blaising
Academic staff
Students 3,942
Postgraduates 2,142
Location Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Campus Suburban
Affiliations The College at Southwestern

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is an American, private, non-profit institution of higher education, associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, established in 1908, and located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is one of the largest seminaries in the world[1] and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada[2] and also by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award diploma, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.[3] The school uses the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) as its confessional statement (see the Southwestern Declaration on Academic and Theological Integrity)[4] Its stand on inerrancy and gender is as stated in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which states that science cannot override scriptural statements on creation and the flood, and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.[5]


B.H. Carroll

The seminary was established in 1908, with B. H. Carroll as its founding president.[6] It grew out of the Baylor University theological department, which was established in 1901. By 1905, Carroll had managed to convert the department of five professors into the Baylor Theological Seminary, but still under Baylor University. In 1907, while Baylor University President Samuel Palmer Brooks was on vacation in Europe, B.H. Carroll, then chairman of the Baylor Board of Trustees, made a motion that the department of religion be separated from the University and chartered as a separate entity.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary received its charter on 14 March 1908, but remained on Baylor's Waco campus until the summer of 1910, when the board accepted an offer made by Fort Worth citizens for a campus site and enough funds to build the first building.[6] The 200-acre (0.81 km2) campus was located on what came to be known as "Seminary Hill," the highest natural elevation in Tarrant County. The first building was named "Fort Worth Hall" in honor of the seminary's new location. In 1925, the Baptist General Convention of Texas passed control to the Southern Baptist Convention.

In 1994, the seminary experienced a sudden change in leadership with the dismissal of Russell H. Dilday as president, during the Southern Baptist Convention conservative resurgence. On March 9, 1994, Dilday was called to a board meeting where he was removed without warning and his office was locked while he was still at the meeting, preventing his removal of personal effects.[7] The appointment of Ken Hemphill followed.[8] President Dilday was the only president of SWBTS ever to be removed.[8]

In 2006 the seminary imposed a prohibition on professors or administrators promoting charismatic practices, such as private prayer languages.[9]

In 2007 a gender discrimination suit in federal court was filed by Professor Sheri Klouda over her dismissal. Klouda claimed she was dismissed from the faculty due to her gender, being a woman.[10] In response, the seminary commented that Klouda was not dismissed but that she would not have tenure. [11][12][13] The Klouda lawsuit was dismissed because of church-state concerns.[14][15] The federal judge who dismissed the case stated that "Leaders of a prominent Southern Baptist seminary who believe women are biblically forbidden from teaching men were within their rights when they told a female professor to leave."[16]

In 2009, the School of Educational Ministries was renamed the Jack D. Terry, Jr. School of Church and Family Ministries.

In 2014, the school received criticism from other evangelicals when it admitted its first Muslim student from Palestine. The Muslim student was enrolled in Southwestern's PH.D. in archaeology program. [17] Paige Patterson, the president of SWBTS, defended his decision. [18]

The seminary added two new graduate programs, Master's Degree of Art in Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in World Christian Studies, in 2016.

Administration and faculty[edit]

SWBTS is currently administered by a 40-member board of trustees serving staggered terms of office. Board members are elected by the Southern Baptist Convention. Trustees elect faculty members and administrative officers. Financial support is derived from the Southern Baptist Convention's Cooperative Program, endowment earnings, gifts and student fees.

Dr. L. Paige Patterson, selected in 2003, is the current president of the seminary. Current (2014) deans include Michael Wilkinson (College at Southwestern), Waylan Owens (School of Church and Family Ministries), David Allen (School of Theology), Keith Eitel (Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions), Leo Day (School of Church Music) and J. Denny Autrey (Havard School for Theological Studies in Houston, Texas).

The full-time faculty includes ninety-two individuals and there are also forty-seven part-time faculty members.


B. H. Carroll Memorial Building, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's main administrative building.

The school offers 18 tracks of study in areas such as corporate chaplaincy, Islamic Studies, marriage and family counseling, urban evangelism and social work.[19]

Since 1908, Southwestern Seminary has graduated more than 40,000 students. In 2007–2008, students came from 46 states, 2 US protectorates, 47 foreign countries and represented 46 denominations, although more than 94% are Southern Baptists.

The seminary's academic journal, Southwestern Journal of Theology has been published since 1958.[20] It is conservative and Baptist in orientation.

In the fall of 2005, the Seminary converted its undergraduate program (baccalaureate school) into The College at Southwestern which awards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities. In 2007, a Bachelor of Arts in Music (B.A.M.) was added.[21]

In 2007 the seminary began an initiative for engaging and transforming culture, its new Center for Cultural Engagement, named in honor of Richard Land.[22] In line with this initiative, the seminary employed prominent intelligent design advocate William A. Dembski.[23]

In 2016, the seminary added a new Master's degree program. Students have an opportunity to earn a Master's Degree in Philosophy. The program was immediately approved by the Board of Trustees and the accreditation body, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Seminary President, Paige Patterson, stated “Everybody is a philosopher, the question is are you a good one or a bad one? We are committed to having good philosophers and to making good thinkers and philosophers out of our people.”[24]

Southwestern is divided into eight schools:

  • The College at Southwestern
  • The School of Theology
  • The School of Preaching
  • The School of Church Music
  • Roy Fish School of Evangelism & Missions
  • Jack D. Terry School of Church & Family Ministries
  • Women's Program
  • J. Dalton Havard School of Theological Studies (Houston, TX)

The School of Theology[edit]

Established in 1908, The School of Theology trains seminary student for master's or doctorate degrees in theology. Concentrations include biblical languages, apologetics, theology, church history, preaching, pastoral ministry, etc. The current dean is D. Jeffrey Bingham.

School of Church Music[edit]

Originally a department within The School of Theology, The School of Gospel Music was established in 1921. The school was renamed to The School of Sacred Music in 1926 until 1957 when the school was renamed to The School of Church Music.[25] The current dean of the school is Leo Day. Day has recorded two solo albums: “He Loves Me” (2003) and “Solace for the Soul” (2005).[26]

Roy Fish School of Evangelism & Missions[edit]

In 2005, the division of evangelism and missions in the School of Theology was reorganized as the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. Students will experience spiritual growth through mentorship, a solid theological grounding in Scripture, and coursework that equips students to share the Gospel with intelligence, relevance and boldness. The current dean is Keith Eitel.

Jack D. Terry School of Church & Family Ministries[edit]

The Terry School of Church and Family Ministries offers several different master's and doctoral degrees such as the Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE). The school was originally a department within The School of Theology until The School of Religious Education was established in 1921. The school was renamed to The School of Educational Ministries in 1997. The school was officially renamed in 2009 in honor of Jack D. Terry. The current dean is Waylen Owens.

Women's Program at Southwestern[edit]

The school offers both master's and doctoral degrees for all women. The current dean of the women's program is Dr. Terri Stovall.[27]

J. Dalton Havard School of Theological Studies[edit]

Located in Houston, the Havard School offers bachelor's and master's degree in theology. Students have an opportunity to serve in a local church in Houston while taking classes at the same time. The school has 8 academic staff members. The current dean of the J. Dalton Havard School is Dr. Denny Autrey.


Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has its main campus in Fort Worth, but also offers programs and selected degrees at remote campuses.[28]

  • Masters of Arts in Theology at their Bonn, Germany, campus
  • Masters of Divinity, Masters of Arts in Christian Education, Masters of Arts in Lay Ministry, Masters of Arts in Theology at their Houston, Texas, campus

Courses toward a degree are made available at their campuses in Little Rock, Arkansas, Plano, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, and Shawnee, Oklahoma.[28]


Name Term
1 Benajah Harvey Carroll 1908–1914
2 Lee Rutland Scarborough 1915–1942
3 E. D. Head 1942–1953
4 J. Howard Williams 1953–1958
5 Robert E. Naylor 1958–1978
6 Russell H. Dilday 1978–1994
7 Kenneth S. Hemphill 1994–2003
8 L. Paige Patterson 2003–present

Notable people[edit]


Name Known for Relationship to SWBTS
Benajah Harvey Carroll Pastor, theologian SWBTS founder and first president
William A. Dembski Proponent of intelligent design Professor of Apologetics since 2006[23]
E. Earle Ellis New Testament scholar Research Professor of Theology Emeritus
William Roscoe Estep Baptist and Anabaptist historian, professor Professor of Church History Emeritus
Buckner Fanning Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio from 1959 to 2001; leader in ecumenical movement 1952 SWBTS graduate[29]
James Bruton Gambrell Theologian Chair of Christian Ethics and Ecclesiology from 1912 to 1914[30]
James Leo Garrett Jr. Theologian Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theology
T. B. Maston Christian ethicist Professor of Christian Ethics
J. Frank Norris Fundamentalist preacher SWBTS trustee
Paige Patterson Former president of the Southern Baptist Convention SWBTS president
Lee Rutland Scarborough Professor, evangelist SWBTS second president
Terry Wilder New Testament scholar Professor of New Testament


Name Known for Relationship to SWBTS
Gary Chapman Author Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
David S. Dockery President, Trinity International University Master of Divinity
Louie Giglio Pastor, Passion City Church and founder, Passion Movement Master of Divinity[31]
J. D. Grey Pastor of First Baptist Church of New Orleans, 1937–1972 Master's degree[32]
George E. Hearn Psychologist and Professor at Louisiana College Master's degree
Mike Huckabee Governor of Arkansas & 2008 candidate for US President Graduate study (one year)
Robert Jeffress Pastor, First Baptist Church (Dallas, Texas) Doctor of Ministry
Bill P. Keith Louisiana State Senator (1980–1984) & defender of creation science Seminary graduate in late 1950s
James Lankford United States Senator (R-OK) Master of Divinity[33]
Larry Lea Televangelist Attended the doctoral program[34]
Fred L. Lowery Pastor of First Baptist Church of Bossier City, Louisiana;
Televangelist, "The First Word"
Master of Theology[35]
Robert L. Lynn President of Louisiana College from 1975 to 1997 [36]
Baylus Benjamin McKinney Singer, hymnist Seminary student[37]
Erwin McManus Lead Pastor of Mosaic Church Master of Divinity
Don Miller Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives M.R.E.[38]
Bill Moyers Journalist Master of Divinity
John R. Rice Evangelist and founder of Sword of the Lord publications Attended in 1920
Rick Scarborough former pastor, heads Vision America Master of Divinity[39]
Charles Stanley Pastor, First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia Master of Divinity
Rick Warren Founder and Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church Master of Divinity
Paul Washer Preacher, Founder/Director of HeartCry Missionary Society Master of Divinity
Earl Stallings Minister and Civil Rights Movement Activist Master of Divinity
Lester Roloff Evangelist within Independent Baptist movement, influential home school advocate Master of Divinity
Edwin Barry Young Founder Fellowship Church Master of Divinity


  1. ^ SWBTS had a non-duplicating headcount of 3,567 students in all schools and all locations as of the 2005–2006 academic year. "About Us" SWBTS Official Website
  2. ^ Year of last comprehensive evaluation visit: 2001; "Fall 2011 Data - Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary";"Fall 2008 Data - Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary";"Fall 2006 Data - Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary" The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
  3. ^ Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Official Catalog p. 11
  4. ^ "Southwestern Declaration on Academic and Theological Integrity" Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  5. ^ "Affirmed Statements". SBTS. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Texas State Historical Commission. "Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Historical Marker". 
  7. ^ Fletcher, Jesse (24 November 1999). "Russell Dilday". Baptist Standard. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Hawkins, Merrill M., Jr. (2007) "Columns: Glimpses of a Seminary Under Assault" Baptist History and Heritage 42(1): p. 117–118
  9. ^ Staff (December 2006) "Briefs" Christianity Today 50(12) p. 17
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Staff (3 April 2007) "Lawsuit filed against Southwestern Baptist" Christian Century 124(7): p.17
  13. ^ Thomas, Oliver Buzz (2007) "Having faith in women" USA Today 8 April 2007
  14. ^ "U.S. District Judge John McBryde dismissed Klouda’s case, ruling that SWBT is, for First Amendment purposes, a church, and that Klouda is a minister." "Sheri Klouda and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary", with quoations from Judge McBryde and links to court documents.
  15. ^ Marus, Robert (24 March 2008) "Judge dismisses Klouda lawsuit against Patterson, Southwestern" Associated Baptist Press
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ John Babler is an associate professor of social work and ministry-based evangelism. Tomlin, Gregory (10 April 2002) "Southwestern Seminary adds eight to faculty; Trustees approve record budget" The Hill - The Home for News from Southwestern Seminary
  20. ^ Listing of issues of The Southwestern Journal of Theology
  21. ^ "The College at Southwestern: History". Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 
  22. ^ See Collins, Keith (22 October 2007). "WRAP UP: Seminary trustees fall 2007 meeting". Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. 
  23. ^ a b Tomlin, Gregory; Thompson, Brent (April 2006). "SWBTS trustees elect new deans, faculty, and vice president; expands program in San Antonio". Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b "Fall 2011 Data - Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary". Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. 
  29. ^ Elaine Ayala (July 30, 2015). "Buckner Fanning remains a San Antonio legend: Evangelist has been compared to Billy Graham". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved February 16, 2016. 
  30. ^ Summerlin, Travis L. (June 15, 2010). "GAMBRELL, JAMES BRUTON". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Louie Giglio Books and Ministry". Christ Notes. 2007. Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. 
  32. ^ James Cole and Robert L. Lee, Saint J. D. (Waco, Texas: Word Publishers, 1969), pp. 159–1963
  33. ^ "Campaign-2012: Candidates: Oklahoma: James Lankford: House". The Washington Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. 
  34. ^ Balmer, Randall Herbert (2002) Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, p. 333, ISBN 0-664-22409-1
  35. ^ "LoweryFeatured Speaker for Oklahoma Baptist University Chapel Service, February 14, 2000". Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Dr. Lynn is slated by Lions", Minden Press-Herald, Minden, Louisiana, September 24, 1975, p. 1
  37. ^ "Stacy Whitlow, 'Wherever He Leads I'll Go,' B.B. McKinney reunion sings anew, August 14, 2000". Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  38. ^ House profile
  39. ^ Murray, Shailagh. "Filibuster Fray Lifts Profile of Minister: Scarborough Has Network and Allies", The Washington Post, May 8, 2005. Accessed December 19, 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°40′55″N 97°20′53″W / 32.682°N 97.348°W / 32.682; -97.348