“Asbury Seminary empowers all Christians for ministry. Our ethos, teaching and preaching reflect this.”Jessica LaGrone Dean of Chapel, Master of Divinity, Asbury Seminary, 2002
Since its founding in 1923, Asbury Seminary has grown from an enrollment of three students to more than 1,800 and boasts an alumni base of more than 13,000 graduates. During its 100 years, the Seminary has maintained its commitment to providing a formative theological education that melds rigorous academics with spiritual formation to send biblically sound, Spirit-filled men and women into the world for Christ and the church. As the Seminary community commemorates its centennial, it celebrates its innovation during its first 100 years with its focus on rigorous academics coupled with spiritual formation, residential renaissance, women in ministry, church planting, the Latino Center, Global Partnerships, and Seedbed Publishing/New Room Conference.
In 1964, Asbury Seminary established its Department of Prayer and Spiritual Life under Dr. Thomas Carruth, thought to be the first of its kind in any seminary in the nation. That department has since been enfolded into the entire Seminary ethos and curriculum. The Formation Team serves as the connecting hub of community and formation for faculty, staff, and students, across all the Seminary’s campuses. This work takes place in collaboration with the Chapel Office, mentors in our residential housing, student services, and many other aspects of campus life. Resources provided to Asbury Seminary’s students include pastoral care, transition support, healing ministry, spiritual direction, and access to mental health counseling.
Residential Renaissance at Kalas Village
Asbury Seminary restated its commitment to residential theological education and thanks to the generosity of donors, began developing a housing renaissance that opened in 2011. Kalas Village, named in honor of President Emeritus Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas, is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood of 150 new townhomes for married students and their families just north of campus. Kalas Village offers green spaces, recreational amenities, a community house, and a community garden. The housing renaissance was the largest construction expansion in Asbury Seminary’s history and coincided with the Pedestrian Mall and Streetscape Improvement Project for the City of Wilmore.
In 2012, the Seminary celebrated the completion of two single student residence halls, Bettie Morrison and Sundo Kim Halls, officially opening The Ira and Sally Galloway Village. The new halls are amenable to the rich student life and residential community that are a hallmark of theological education at Asbury Seminary.
Women in Ministry
At Asbury Seminary women are empowered, encouraged and equipped to learn, live, preach and lead in an environment that affirms full participation in vocations of pastoral leadership, scholarship and ministry. From the beginning, the student body contained female students and faculty. In 1926, Faith M. Scull-Wright became the first female graduate with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. In 1975 the Seminary had more than 500 students, of which 40 were women. In 1976 the Seminary chartered an organization named the Chi Alpha Society for women students, providing opportunities for cultural advancement and personal friendships. In 2022, more than 600 women currently attend Asbury Seminary. Our female alumni lead, preach and serve around the world as pastors, church planters, executives and leaders.
Center for Church Multiplication
Since 2014, Asbury Theological Seminary has become the world’s premier seminary for training and equipping church planters for the 21st century. Originally tasked with the vision of training 800 church planters by 2023, the Church Planting Initiative has surpassed its goal and has trained nearly 1,000 leaders in more than 20 countries through multiple degree programs. As we look to the future, Asbury Theological Seminary is excited to launch the new Center for Church Multiplication. Under the direction of Dr. Winfield Bevins, the new Center will be a catalyst for planting reproducing disciple-making churches in every context around the world and will have four main areas of focus. It will run the Connection, which is a growing global network of church planting leaders from around the world. It will offer co-curricular courses and workshops that equip missional leaders to make disciples and plant multiplying churches. It will mobilize new churches by providing coaching, fellowships, and matching grants. Finally, the Center will produce high-quality resources that equip leaders for discipleship, church multiplication, and researching trends that will help shape the future of the church.
Asbury Latino Center
The Asbury Latino Center is a central place for all the Spanish-language and bilingual programs at Asbury Theological Seminary. These programs are offered through a variety of methods (online, face-to-face, hybrids) and they reflect the best scholarship and ministry training that the Seminary has to offer. The Asbury Latino Center houses the Bilingual Master of Arts in Ministry degree, the Latino/a Studies Program, the Excellence in Preaching Initiative and the Graduate Certificate in Hispanic Ministry Formation.
The Seminary currently has 15 Global Partners around the world, including, Asia Theological Association, Langham Partnership USA, The Overseas Council, the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies in Bangalore, India, and more. These partnerships serve as a bridge between the Seminary and the global church, with faculty teaching exchanges at partner institutions, cross-cultural courses for students, and resource sharing. Learn more about our global partners on our website.
Seedbed Publishing/New Room Conference
Seedbed, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asbury Seminary, is a 21st-century movement and media platform whose mission is to gather, connect and resource the people of God to sow for a great awakening. Seedbed provides both printed and online resources for clergy and laity in the Wesleyan world. Seedbed’s New Room network promotes large conferences as well as discipleship bands. These bands are small groups of believers who read, pray, and conference together to help one another grow in the fullness of Jesus Christ.
As the Seminary looks to its next 100 years, it is excited to launch Asbury Seminary Global that will allow students to study online while staying on mission.
Asbury Seminary Global
As part of Asbury Seminary Global students can choose to study on-campus, online and on-site with hybrid courses that pair online learning with face-to-face intensives. Each format can be combined in a way that best fits needs and circumstances. Although each format is different in the way it delivers courses, all provide a quality theological education with the Seminary’s renowned faculty and an Asbury Experience that focuses on spiritual and holistic development. With locations in Wilmore, Ky.; Memphis; Tulsa; Colorado Springs; and online, students can study anywhere from everywhere.
Asbury Seminary looks forward to its next 100 years of innovation while remaining true to the unchanging truth of Christianity. The Seminary is a spiritually vibrant, academically rigorous community steeped in the Wesleyan tradition and committed to living out the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.