BTSR opened for classes in September of 1991–born of Baptist freedom–to question, to discover, to learn, and to serve in Jesus’ name. Springing from historic Baptist soil, the seminary became an expression of innovation and creativity in theological education. Originally the seminary was birthed by the Alliance of Baptists. It has since been nurtured by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist General Association of Virginia.
From the original 32 students who enrolled in 1991, the student body has grown to over 140 degree-seeking students. From rented space in the basement of a local church, the seminary has grown to a 17,000 square foot building with high tech classrooms and chapel. From a modest curriculum, we have grown into an expansive network of learning experiences, including online learning and cross-registration programs with Union Presbyterian Seminary and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, dual degree programs with Virginia Commonwealth University and a shared concentration in Justice and Peacebuilding with Eastern Mennonite University.
As of May 2015, we will have over 700 graduates serving all around the world: in local congregations, social service agencies, educational institutions, chaplaincies, and on the mission field.
From simple beginnings, we are now writing the book on theological education in the twenty-first century.