SAN ANTONIO—Motivated by belief Texas Baptists needed a seminary in the United States’ seventh-largest city, Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary dedicated its campus at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio April 22.
Logsdon has offered classes at Trinity Baptist since 2011, and under Pastor Leslie Hollon’s guidance, the church began last year to prepare a 3,500-square-foot designated area for the seminary.
“Here we knew we could serve an underserved population,” said Don Williford, Logsdon’s former dean.
Extend seminary’s influence
Current Dean Bob Ellis noted the seminary could not respond to the need for theological education by staying in Abilene exclusively.
So, it began to offer extension classes in Corpus Christi in 1997, later adding extensions in San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Lubbock and McAllen.
The San Antonio campus has the largest enrollment number of Logsdon’s extension campuses, and it continues to grow.
“Every year, we have had a new record of enrollment,” Ellis said, noting the San Antonio seminary extension has 61 students enrolled this semester.
Making Logsdon’s San Antonio extension successful demanded more than the efforts of university and seminary faculty, said Wally Goodman, director of Logsdon in San Antonio.
“People who love the Lord, people who serve the Lord, and people who love people, many of them without seminary training, are part of the group that has made this possible,” Goodman said.
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Multi-cultural and diverse
Located in one of the largest metropolitan areas with a Hispanic population majority, a third of the Logsdon’s student population in San Antonio is Hispanic. Many enter the seminary program after graduating from Baptist University of the Américas, also located in San Antonio.
Before coming to direct the San Antonio extension in 2010, Goodman was assistant professor of New Testament and director of institutional effectiveness and quality enhancement at BUA.
Logsdon in San Antonio’s goal is to be “the next stop for BUA students,” Ellis said.
To do so, Goodman wants to continue to open the space for diversity in terms of the student and faculty population of Logsdon in San Antonio, providing theological education that is culturally contextual and has a multicultural vision.
“‘Seminary’ comes from the word seed, and that’s what we want to be here—a garden bed for those seeds,” Ellis said.