Our History

Our History

From 1858 to Today

The year 1858 marks the beginning of Sioux Falls Seminary’s journey.  Fourteen small German-speaking Baptist churches responded to Christ’s great commission and sacrificially provided finances to begin a German department in an established seminary located in Rochester, New York.  In the decades that followed, this department grew in number of faculty and students and began to assume an identity of its own—becoming the German Baptist Seminary.

In the 1930s and 40s, the churches of the North American Baptist (NAB) Conference, formerly known as the German Baptists, were spreading westward through the prairies and to the west coast.  So in 1949 the seminary, having changed its name to North American Baptist Seminary, relocated to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in order to be more centrally located to its constituency.  However, the purpose of training pastors and church leaders remained central to the school’s mission.

Once again, to become more effective in its day, Sioux Falls Seminary relocated to new facilities in July 2009.  In recent years, the scope of the seminary has expanded.  In addition to serving its key constituency of the NAB, Sioux Falls Seminary is chosen by students from more than 26 different denominations for their ministerial preparation.  The only accredited seminary in a five-state region including North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana, SFS’ mission is to “equip servant leaders who engage the mission of Jesus Christ.”  The seminary offers master's degrees in Divinity, Christian Leadership, Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Bible and Theology, as well as a Doctor of Ministry and graduate and non-graduate certificates.  

Statement of Beliefs

Sioux Falls Seminary affirms the Statement of Beliefs of the North American Baptist Conference which was adopted by the 1982 NAB Conference in Niagara Falls, New York.