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Central Seminary among fastest growing theology schools

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Central Seminary among fastest growing theology schools

Ric Stewart

Central Baptist Theological Seminary, located in Shawnee, KS, is a partner of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), Inc.  For more information about this partner relationship, please check out the CBF Partner Theological Education Programs directory at the CBF partner page.

In a recent report released from The Association of Theological Schools on the numbers of students enrolled in seminary, Central Seminary, was identified as one of the 12 fastest growing theology schools in the US.  Central was highlighted as one that has seen attendance grow by more than 50 percent.  At a time of decreasing church attendance and overall affiliation with organized religious practice, it is significant that Central continues to grow.

What is the secret to Central’s success?  “There is no silver bullet,” Daniel O. Aleshire, executive director of ATS, said in the report. “The reasons that some schools have enjoyed extraordinary enrollment growth during the past five years are idiosyncratic. Each growing school has its own success story to tell.”

According to President Molly T. Marshall, it is absolutely critical to offer relevant and contextual theological education to support Central’s mission and values.  As a result, Central has overseen a record growth of more than 179 percent during the past five years.

President Marshall adds, “We are delighted that ATS cites Central as one of the twelve fastest growing seminaries among its approximately 270 schools.  It is clear that students desire the kind of education we are offering!  We are preparing creative leaders for diverse ministry contexts through accessible educational delivery.  Our core values of disciplined learning, diversity, justice, and hospitality thread through all our courses and experiences of community. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve churches and the larger social landscape through theological education.”

Central is honored to be recognized in such a significant fashion.  In a time of significant challenges for traditional seminaries, Central has found a way to remain significant, relevant, and accessible to students and those interested in ongoing theological education and spiritual development.

More About Central Baptist Theological Seminary

Founded in 1901, Central Seminary prepares women and men for seeking God, shaping church and serving humanity. Central is proud to have the first woman president of a Baptist seminary accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. With course offerings in a dozen locations and serving more than 30 Christian denominations, the Seminary is ecumenical and evangelical.  Central is devoted to the redemptive gospel, the mission of the church, and to intellectual inquiry which encourages open-mindedness to the best insights of biblical and theological studies. For more information, visit www.cbts.edu.