Palmer Theological Seminary: The Root of Eastern University

Trips to the Holy Land, academic forums featuring internationally known scholar-practitioners and ministers, bi-weekly Chapel and Chew, reading the Bible in a year, pastoral alumni care, student leadership, amazing faculty who love and follow Jesus, preparing students for holistic ministry, an individualized advising approach to help with vocational plans, paid internship experiences, student pantry, and so much more–this is a snapshot of Palmer Seminary at Eastern.

How does Palmer Seminary fit into the university?

The Whole Gospel, for the Whole World, through Whole Persons

On March 19, 1925, six ministers met to officially found Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now

Palmer Seminary). For over 97 years, we have been equipping students to bring the whole gospel, to the

whole world, through whole persons. In the early 1930’s, an undergraduate division was formed to

prepare people for graduate level theological study. In 1952, this became Eastern Baptist College (now

Eastern University) a separate institution. In 1984 the seminary started Eastern School of Christian Ministries (ESCM) , a certificate and diploma program designed to strengthen lay leadership in congregations. One year after the two schools reunited in 2004, Eastern  Baptist Theological Seminary became Palmer Theological Seminary, the Seminary of Eastern University, offering certificate, graduate, and doctoral programs for people seeking a firm theological grounding from which to engage life and ministry, whether ordained, or lay. Our graduates participate in ministry in all 50 states and more than 30 countries. We have a special focus on holistic ministry, spiritual formation, a commitment to the economically disadvantaged, social justice, and multidimensional diversity. If you ever want to sit in on a class or visit a faculty member, you’ll find us on the second floor of McInnis Hall.

Motivated by our love for God and people and with a desire to see persons prepared to serve the needs of their communities, we provide a variety of educational offerings: Master of Divinity (on ground and online), Master of Theological Studies, Master of Practical Theology (online), MDiv/MBA dual degree, Master of Theological Studies in Latino Ministries (Maestría en Estudios Teológicos en Linea) that’s taught online entirely Spanish, and a range of diplomas and certificates through ESCM–Eastern’s School of Christian Ministry. 

What is Palmer College?

Palmer College was created in 2020 and houses the undergraduate programs–Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, Youth Ministry, and online Youth Ministry Leadership programs. Most students are aware of the Bible and Theological programs because of their essential integration into the general education curriculum, but are less familiar with Youth Min. There are roughly 1.2 billion people around the globe between the ages of 13-20, and Youth Min. equips, guides, and nurtures students who are exploring their calling to serve God among this generation. Youth Ministry is known for its dynamic and creative instructors, and its practical ministry curriculum that balances content and skill development.

So many great things are happening in and through Palmer’s alumni, students, faculty, and staff. We invite you to join us! For more information about Palmer Seminary and College of Eastern University, email palmer@eastern.edu and follow us on social media @palmerseminary.

For more about the history of Palmer Theological Seminary at Eastern University check out the book, Praise and Promise: A Pictorial History of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary by Randall Frame.

Rev. Dr. Kimberlee A. Johnson serves as Interim Dean of Palmer Seminary and College.