Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary has announced it will launch an extension campus in San Antonio, Texas, in 2021.
The extension will be located at Trinity Baptist Church, which has hosted the San Antonio extension of Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary since 2011. HSU plans to close its seminary next year.
Truett’s news release did not say if the idea or timing behind the extension was motivated by news of Logsdon’s planned closure. A Baylor spokesperson said the expansion is unrelated to the Logsdon situation.
In the release, Truett Dean Todd Still expressed gratitude for Trinity’s cooperation in providing “a rigorous, relevant theological education that is both informative and transformative.”
Truett said the extension will begin offering courses in the summer of 2021 for Master of Theological Studies and Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degrees.
According to Trinity’s 2017-2018 ministry plan, $500,000 was raised to remodel church spaces dedicated to the Logsdon extension. Those funds included $350,000 from the Eula Mae & John Baugh Foundation, based in San Antonio, and other donors.
Logsdon currently offers Master of Divinity, Master of Arts and Master of Arts in Family Ministry degrees at its San Antonio extension, according to its web site.
The decision to shutter the seminary has inspired a movement of HSU and Logsdon supporters dedicated to shedding light on the administration’s actions and disputing claims the seminary was struggling financially. Leaders of the Save Hardin-Simmons Facebook group have asserted the decision to close Logsdon was at least in part theologically motivated, driven by powerful conservative pastors in the state.
Jonathan Davis, a Logsdon graduate who attended the San Antonio extension and is one of the leaders of Save Hardin-Simmons, said it is frustrating to learn that another seminary will move in so soon.
“Truett sees the opportunity that exists in San Antonio – just as Logsdon did – for a moderate or progressive seminary” in a multi-cultural city of more than 2 million people and a huge military presence, said Davis, the senior pastor of Beale Memorial Baptist Church in Tappahannock, Virginia. “It kind of rubs me the wrong way.”
Truett said its San Antonio extension will offer a variety of field education placements for its students, including opportunities in local churches and ministries that work with homeless people and refugees.
“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,” the statement said.
Illinois-based Northern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced it will open an extension in San Antonio this fall.
Truett said it is initially focused on attracting recent college graduates, those without formal theological education who are engaged in ministry, and lay people who are interested in theological and ministerial subjects.
The extension opening is contingent on approval by its accrediting agencies, the Association of Theological Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the seminary said.