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On Southern Baptist Seminaries and Seminaries for Southern Baptists: Thinking about Southern Baptist Identity

Yesterday I received the most recent edition of Southwestern News in the mail, the official magazine of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. As 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the Texas seminary, Southwestern has published a Centennial Edition of their periodical. It is a great collection of short articles and photographs that recount the rich history of SWBTS. Join me in wishing them one hundred more years of fruitful service, should the Lord tarry.

Thinking about Southwestern’s history has got me thinking about the nature of Southern Baptist identity, particularly as it pertains to cooperation. It may surprise you to know that Southwestern was not originally an official entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. Southwestern was originally birthed from the theological department at Baylor University, relocating to Fort Worth in 1910. Though Southwestern was founded by Southern Baptists and trained Southern Baptists for ministry, it was not until 1925 that the school formally came under the banner of the convention. New Orleans and Golden Gate seminaries, respectively, followed a similar route into the convention, while Southern, Southeastern, and Midwestern Seminaries were actually established by the convention at their inception. [Read more →]