The history of the College at Southwestern is a part of the history and mission of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Lord laid the need for a seminary to train and teach preachers in Texas on the heart of B.H. Carroll more than 100 years ago. Carroll founded the seminary in Waco, Texas, on the campus of Baylor University in 1908 and moved it to Fort Worth in 1910. From the beginning Southwestern Seminary has served as a training ground for preacher, ministers, missionaries, homemakers and evangelists with the ultimate goal of getting the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Nearly 100 years later, God laid the burden for a college at Southwestern on the heart of the seminary’s eighth president, Dr. Paige Patterson. The vision of a college that specialized in training undergraduates to engage the culture with the truth of Scripture and a heart for the lost fueled its formation in 2005. The desire to engage the culture meant that the College at Southwestern would be more than a Bible college; it would be a Great Books school, producing men and women who are critical thinkers, able to stand on their feet. Consequently, our students read and engage the most influential works of Western history and thought while simultaneously studying Scripture to obtain a biblical worldview.
A bachelor’s degree in music was added in 2007, and in 2009, the college added to its curriculum a missions concentration, which provides students the opportunity to serve alongside missionaries as part of a semester-long appointment with the International Mission Board. In 2010, the college added a bachelor’s program in biblical studies.
When the college's second dean Steven Smith transitioned to his role as vice president for student services and communications in 2013, trustees elected Michael Wilkinson as dean of the College at Southwestern. Wilkinson's two decades of ministry in the local church to single adults and college students as well as his time as a professor in the College at Southwestern uniquely prepared him for this leadership role. Read more about Dr. Wilkinson's vision for the College at Southwestern.
As the college expands, our heart and the goal remain the same. We continue to equip students with a truth worth knowing, a truth worth defending, and a truth worth sharing.