By John D. Pierce, Nurturing Faith Journal
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Students at Simmons College in West Louisville will have access to a full Master of Divinity degree program beginning in the spring of 2018, thanks to collaboration between the historically black college and Baptist Seminary of Kentucky (BSK) based in Georgetown.
BSK trustees approved the plan in a called meeting Aug. 21. The seminary has been offering some classes at the college since 2016. According to a BSK press release, the increased collaboration will provide ministry opportunities and strategic efforts at racial reconciliation as well as educational offerings.
“We seek to learn about ministry in our increasingly diverse society so we can better serve ministers and churches —this is the world in which we minister,” said BSK President David Cassady. “It is critical that we go beyond talking about racial reconciliation and live into it.”
Cassady said “presence matters,” and that seminary leaders look forward to growing through shared learning and service in the West Louisville community. “BSK is coming to West Louisville expecting to be changed.”
“In most instances racial integration has always been a unilateral process where blacks move into white space,” he said. “BSK has reversed this model and decided to move into black space.”
This approach reverses the familiar “white flight” of former generations, said Cosby, noting the rarity of an accredited seminary moving onto a historically black college or university campus. “And we say, ‘Welcome BSK.’”
Simmons College offers undergraduate degrees in sociology, music, religious studies and communications.
“The invitation from Simmons College to collaborate in West Louisville offers us the opportunity to incarnate more fully what it means to be made in the image of God with diverse bodies and traditions as we seek together to find our place in the mission of God,” said BSK Academic Dean Dalen Jackson. ”
The seminary, headquartered on the Georgetown College campus, was founded in 2001 and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).