Denver Seminary

Academic Catalog 2014-2015

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5 The Seminary A HISTORY OF DENVER SEMINARY Denver Seminary of Denver, Colorado, began in the minds of several Colorado Conservative Baptist pastors who presented the idea at the annual meeting of the Conservative Baptist Association of Colorado in May, 1950. In response, the association formed an organizing committee of Conservative Baptist leaders. In the ensuing months, these men secured an adequate building for the new school and led in the selection of the first faculty and board of trustees. After promotion began, inquiries came from a number of prospective students. In September 1950, thirty-one students enrolled. The next year marked the coming of Dr. Carey S. Thomas as president and Dr. Vernon C. Grounds as dean. In a relatively short time the school obtained governmental approval for education under the G.I. Bill. This was followed by approval for the training of international students and later by governmental recognition for the education of chaplains. The first graduating class in 1952 consisted of six members, all of whom had transferred to Denver from other schools. In 1955, a new administrative arrangement was initiated with Vernon C. Grounds as president, Douglas V. Birk as administrative vice president, and Earl S. Kalland as dean. In the late 1950s several professors joined the faculty and the first of a series of additional buildings was secured in the neighborhood of the original administration and classroom building. By the mid-1960s the faculty numbered ten full-time professors, twelve buildings stood on the campus, and library volumes numbered 27,000. In June 1962, Denver Seminary was granted associate membership in the American Association of Theological Schools (now the Association of Theological Schools). Shortly thereafter, a major study of the curriculum resulted in changes embodied in the academic catalog of 1965–67. Other standards of the accrediting association were met, but an adequate library building remained only in the planning stages. In 1968, however, the school relocated to the south side of Denver. Purchasing twelve acres of ground and four buildings previously owned by the Kent Girls' School, the Seminary was able to convert the gymnasium into a library equipped to house at least 80,000 volumes. The following year three apartment buildings were erected on the grounds which provided eighty student housing units. In 1971, full accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) was achieved, followed by full accreditation under the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1972. In 1979, Dr. Haddon W. Robinson followed Dr. Grounds as the third president of the institution. Under his leadership, the Seminary continued to expand; faculty increased to twenty-two full-time and twenty- five adjunct professors. Five of the seven administrators received faculty status and the staff increased to sixty people. By 1992, the student body numbered over 600 and came from forty states, fifty-three denominations, and fifteen countries. Dr. Edward L. Hayes assumed leadership of Denver Seminary in 1993, becoming its fourth president, having previously served as academic dean and professor of Christian education. Under Dr. Hayes' leadership, Denver Seminary was positioned to meet the spiritual and technological challenges of the twenty-first century. Dr. Hayes retired in December 1996, having served Denver Seminary with distinction for a total of twenty-three years.

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