For more than 140 years, Bethlehem Baptist Church has been committed to training and sending its people into the ministry of God’s Word as pastors, missionaries, Christian workers and countless church, community and business leaders of all kinds. During the 1980s and 90s, we expressed that commitment through developing a lay institute and training center, an apprenticeship program for ministerial candidates, and a nurture program for missionary candidates.
In 1998, these programs and curricula became The Bethlehem Institute. Since then, thousands of men, women and young adults have taken classes or seminars in our lay leadership development program. From 1998–2009. The Bethlehem Institute graduated ten classes from its seminary level program. The Bethlehem Institute also graduated four classes of college freshman between 2006 and 2009.
In 2009, The Bethlehem Institute was reconstituted as Bethlehem College & Seminary in order to be a degree granting institution of Christian higher education. The first cohort of Master of Divinity students matriculated that year, and a year later the first undergraduate students were enrolled. Bethlehem College & Seminary was accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education in 2015. A Master of Arts in Exegesis and Theology degree was created in 2018 to serve working adults through an evening program. Bethlehem College & Seminary’s extension site in Memphis, Tennessee was certified an Additional Location in 2019. An extension site of the seminary was established in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 2018, and matriculated its first cohort of students in 2019.