The following press release is reprinted from Central Baptist Seminary. It appears here unedited.
Seminaries Consider Merger
Faith and Central Lay Plans to Join Institutions
The Boards of Directors of Faith Baptist Theological Seminary (Ankeny, Iowa) and Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, Minnesota) announce their intention to explore the possibility of a merger of the two institutions. Faith and Central are two respected seminaries that share a common theological position and a commitment to train leaders for ministry within Baptist Fundamentalism.
The merger proposal calls for maintaining Central Seminary’s Master of Divinity program on its Minnesota campus at the historic Fourth Baptist Church. Matt Morrell, pastor of Fourth Baptist and chairman of Central Seminary’s board, believes that the merged institution will perpetuate the long-standing partnership between that church and the seminary in training and mentoring men for ministry. Central Seminary’s postgraduate programs will eventually be offered on the Ankeny campus.
The votes by the two Boards allow the administration of the seminaries to begin developing the curricula, structure, and finances necessary for the merger, as well as to secure approval from their accrediting agencies. If the merger occurs, the seminary will hold both regional and national accreditation.
The proposed merger will combine the strengths of two solid institutions, creating a multi-campus school with the ability to rise to a new level of national and international leadership. Both faculties feature professors who join academic excellence with strong pastoral experience. The marriage of these two faculties will produce one of the strongest teaching staffs in the history of Baptist Fundamentalism.
Dr. Kevin Bauder, president of Central Seminary, said, “The potential in this merger is amazing. Both schools have wonderful faculties. Both emphasize the centrality of the local church as the leading partner for ministry training. Both bring real strength to the relationship. We have a long way to go before a merger can be completed, but the prospect is energizing.”
Dr. James D. Maxwell III, Faith’s president, stated, “We believe it would be hard to find a better match between seminaries than that of Faith with Central. In theology, philosophy of ministry, and institutional convictions, the two seminaries are already one. Yet each institution would bring to a merger unique strengths that, when combined, I believe will form one great institution.”