Celebrating a trailblazing past and innovative future

Lexington, Ky., Feb. 25, 2015 – Lexington Theological Seminary celebrates 150 years in 2015, with a series of events throughout the year commemorating this milestone anniversary.

“During the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Seminary in 2015, we are going to hear many stories of the Seminary’s impact. These narratives can remind us of our history as a pioneer institution,” said LTS President Charisse L. Gillett. “Today, Lexington Theological Seminary’s model for theological education, which includes an innovative utilization of technology, removes common barriers to a high-quality, congregation-focused theological education.”

The year’s events in particular focus on the Seminary’s relationships with congregations, beginning with a kickoff event in January at Beargrass Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., where the Seminary and congregation recognized the long history of scholarship recipients known as Beargrass Scholars.

Events are planned for each month of the year; a complete list of events and more information about the sesquicentennial celebrations may be found online at https://www.lextheo.edu/home-2015/lts150/. Highlights include a series of webinars throughout the year; a symposium on flourishing in ministry in May; a community golf scramble in June; Commencement also in June with the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as keynote speaker; and homecoming in October.

“2015 will be a year of great celebration for the Seminary, looking both back in time with appreciation and forward with excitement” said Richard Griffith, Chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees.

Lexington Theological Seminary is the pioneer theological school of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is located within the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, where much of the Disciples’ early history occurred. The Seminary has played a vital role in that Church’s development.

It also plays a key role in the history of higher education in Kentucky.  The Seminary dates its founding from 1865 when it was The College of the Bible, one of several colleges in Kentucky University. Another of these colleges was the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, which separated from its parent institution in 1878, and through a series of name changes emerged as the present University of Kentucky. The Seminary acquired its own charter in 1878 and occupied buildings on the campus of Kentucky University (Transylvania University) until 1950, when it moved to South Limestone Street in Lexington. At its centennial in 1965, The College of the Bible was renamed Lexington Theological Seminary.

LTS played a leading role in the formation of  The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the official accrediting agency of theological institutions. The Seminary also established the first chair of religious education in the nation, instituted one of the first courses on the ecumenical church, and was the first seminary in the United States to offer clinical pastoral training as a part of its curriculum.

Lexington Theological Seminary in the 21st century transformed its educational model for clergy preparation to integrate the congregation as a full partner in the preparation of pastors for leadership in the church. In 2013, the Seminary moved from a residential model and campus to its present location at Lexington Green Circle.


Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit www.lextheo.edu.