Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary began offering theological education in Houston in 1975 with extension courses on the campus of Houston Baptist University. Twenty-five years later, a seminary looking for a home campus and a church looking to minister, joined forces to provide a full campus for master level studies in theology.
Park Place Baptist Church, true to its well known heritage of faith, deeded its facilities to Southwestern Seminary in 2002. The seminary began transforming the property into a state-of-the-art campus.
In 2004, Dr. J. Denny Autrey was named the first resident dean of Southwestern’s Havard School. Like the two Christian institutions that partnered to expand theological education in the Texas Gulf Coast, Autrey has a strong history of ministry and education.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a private, non-profit institution of higher education, associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. It is one of the largest seminaries in the world and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and also by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award diploma, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The school uses the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) as its confessional statement.
The seminary was established in 1908, with B. H. Carroll as its founding president. 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.