Baylor University’s Truett Seminary Announces Plans to Launch San Antonio Extension Campus in 2021May 20, 2020
WACO, Texas (May 20, 2020) – Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary has announced that it plans to launch an extension campus for the San Antonio region in 2021, seeking to reach students who cannot pursue traditional, in-residence theological education. True to Truett’s mission, the extension will exist to equip God-called people for gospel ministry in and alongside the local church.
The proposed extension campus will offer Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) and Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degrees beginning in the summer of 2021, with occasional courses beginning in spring of that year, said John K. Burk, Ph.D., Truett’s assistant dean for strategic initiatives and director of Truett’s extension campus in Houston. The new campus will be housed at San Antonio’s Trinity Baptist Church.
The opening of the San Antonio extension is contingent upon external review and approval from two accrediting agencies: The Association of Theological Schools and The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The degrees will focus on — but not be limited to — three groups of potential candidates: recent college graduates; practitioners of Christian ministry who do not yet have formal theological training or are unable to leave their ministry to pursue in-residence theological training at Truett’s main campus in Waco; and laity with theological and ministerial interests.
“We are particularly grateful for an opportunity to partner with Rev. Dr. D. Leslie Hollon and the other ministers and members of the historic, strategic Trinity Baptist Church to provide a rigorous, relevant theological education that is both informative and transformative,” said Truett Seminary Dean Todd D. Still, Ph.D., holder of The Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran Delancey Chair of the Dean and The William M. Hinson Chair of Christian Scriptures.
“Furthermore, we are eager to join hearts and hands with other Christian congregations and organizations in San Antonio and South Texas to provide the knowledge and skills as well as to model the attitudes and habits necessary to flourish in ministry in both the short and long term,” he said. “We are buoyed by the strong support that we have already received from so many friends and supporters regarding this proposed collaborative endeavor and are hopefully looking toward and leaning forward into God’s good future.”
Coupled with the offering of classical theological education to students, due to the city’s location, heritage and demographics, Truett’s extension in San Antonio also will be able to offer a rich variety of field education opportunities. In addition to ministry in local churches, opportunities for field placement might also include ministry among the homeless and among refugees seeking asylum status from politically unstable countries. Because San Antonio is home to seven major military installations, another possibility for field education might be military chaplaincy. Mentoring opportunities might also be available for students who are interested in hospital and sports chaplaincy.
While there are a number of other seminaries in the San Antonio area, the majority of those are in the Catholic tradition. In fact, as of June 2021, the city will have no seminary embedded into a major research university offering extension graduate theological education in the Baptist tradition — although San Antonio is home to scores of Baptist and other evangelical congregations.
“Additionally, given Baylor’s emphasis on meaningful research, scholarship and service in Latin America in its Illuminate strategic plan, San Antonio is an especially attractive location for Truett’s next extension,” Burk said.
Elizabeth Le’anani Coffee, South Texas Regional Coordinator for Texas Baptists and a member of the Seminary’s Board of Advocates, praises this effort.
“As Baylor University and Truett Seminary look to the future, stretching their imaginations regarding higher education and our own, I am excited that Latin America and our country’s relationship to it remain a central value as well as a strategic initiative,” she said. “As a native to San Antonio and South Texas, I believe the realities faced by communities in this region will continue to be the norm for urban areas in our country and certainly our state. Knowing that Truett is investing in contextual, theological education here thrills me, especially for those who will learn in and from San Antonio.”
The Rev. Dr. Leslie Hollon, senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, said that the congregation is honored to partner with Truett to provide world-class class opportunities for seminary education in the San Antonio area, one of America’s fastest-growing regions.
“God is calling men and women — from various ages, stages and backgrounds — to vocational ministry,” he said. “This opportunity in seminary education also will benefit lay leaders in their growth as servant leaders. Through this endeavor, we commit to honor God by helping to shape gospel leaders for local and global ministry.”
For additional information about or to make a financial contribution toward the San Antonio extension of Baylor’s Truett Seminary, please contact Dean Still at Todd Still.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 18,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.
ABOUT GEORGE W. TRUETT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary is an orthodox, evangelical school in the historic Baptist tradition that equips God-called people for gospel ministry in and alongside Christ’s Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, Truett Seminary provides theological education leading to the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Theological Studies, Doctor of Ministry and Ph.D. in Preaching. The MACM and MTS degrees also can be completed at the seminary’s Houston campus. In addition, Truett Seminary offers joint degrees: M.Div./M.S.W. and M.T.S./M.S.W. with the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, M.Div./M.B.A. with the Hankamer School of Business, M.Div./J.D. with Baylor Law School, M.Div./M.M. with the School of Music and M.Div./M.S.Ed. or M.Div./M.A. with the School of Education. Visit baylor.edu/truett to learn more.