North American Baptist Seminary Becomes Sioux Falls Seminary
May 18, 2007
PRESS CONFERENCE BRIEFING
During press conference on May 18, 2007, President Mike Hagan announced that North American Baptist Seminary has changed its name to Sioux Falls Seminary.
In his prepared statement, President Hagan said the following:
"Thank you for attending this important announcement, a great day in the life of this institution. Established in 1858 in Rochester, NY, the seminary began as a German Department in an established seminary. In the years and decades to come, as it grew in number of students and faculty, our school became the German Baptist Seminary.
"In the 1930s and 40s, as members of the North American Baptist Conference were spreading westward through the prairies and to the west coast, the seminary made a decision to change its name. This time the seminary became North American Baptist Seminary, and soon after, it relocated to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Since settling into Sioux Falls, we have continued to serve our North American Baptist Conference. We have also grown to serve this region. We have been equipping leaders and transforming the lives of students from various denominations in the region, in addition to the North American Baptist Conference. Because there is no other accredited seminary in the five state region including South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska, we have also become your seminary.
"And it is with great excitement I announce that North American Baptist Seminary will become Sioux Falls Seminary. As Sioux Falls Seminary, we will continue to serve the church, provide excellent theological education, and keep equipping leaders and transforming lives at the heart of our ministry. Sioux Falls - we are proud to serve in your community and now to share your name."
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
North American Baptist Seminary is your seminary. NABS has been equipping servant leaders for the ministries of Christ in the church and in the world since 1858. Over the years, the seminary has grown and expanded - creating new chapters in its history. Today is a day that will be remembered in the history of our seminary. Today, North American Baptist Seminary will become Sioux Falls Seminary. Sioux Falls Seminary, a North American Baptist seminary, will continue to serve the North American Baptist Conference and its churches. Sioux Falls Seminary will also continue to serve its region. Equipping leaders and transforming lives will remain at the heart of our ministry.
The decision to change our name to Sioux Falls Seminary was not taken lightly. Being located in Sioux Falls, SD, for over 50 years, North American Baptist Seminary settled into this area. As a result, the seminary now serves the churches of the North American Baptist Conference and its region. The name Sioux Falls Seminary, A North American Baptist Seminary, better reflects the role we play to all of our constituents.
We have created new chapters in our history before. In 1858, when the seminary first began its journey, it was established as a German department within a seminary in Rochester, New York. As it grew in number of faculty and students, our school became the German Baptist Seminary. In the 1930s and 40s, as members of the North American Baptist Conference were spreading westward through the prairies and to the west coast, the seminary again made the decision to change its name. This time, the seminary became North American Baptist Seminary, and soon after, it relocated to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Only our name has changed. Who we are as a seminary and who we serve has not. Our mission is and always will be to equip servant leaders for the ministries of Christ in the church and in the world. Our approach to providing a solid, high quality theological education alongside practical ministry experience will remain a priority. And most importantly, we will still exist to serve the church.
As we continue to equip leaders and transform lives, now as Sioux Falls Seminary, we ask for your support, partnership, and prayers. Please call us or write if you have additional questions. We will answer them as best we can.
In Christ's Service,
G. Michael Hagan
QUESTION AND ANSWER
What prompted the decision to change the seminary's name?
The seminary arrived at a point in its history that the name North American Baptist Seminary no longer fully described the scope of its entire ministry. In addition to serving the churches of the North American Baptist Conference, the seminary was also equipping servant leaders for its region.
Why the name Sioux Falls Seminary?
Many names were considered and divided into categories such as concept, geographical and heritage. After feedback from trustees and faculty, geographical names received the most favor�which makes sense as many seminaries are named after their region or some other geographical feature. The name Sioux Falls Seminary, A North American Baptist Seminary, best reflects both the role we play in equipping servant leaders in our region and throughout the North American Baptist Conference.
Will Sioux Falls Seminary remain a part of the North American Baptist Conference?
Yes. Sioux Falls Seminary is a North American Baptist seminary. We will continue to uphold and confirm the statement of beliefs of the North American Baptist Conference. We will also maintain our relationship with NAB churches in the United States and Canada to raise up the next generation of Christian leaders within our conference.
What will happen to the name North American Baptist Seminary?
The name North American Baptist Seminary will always be a part of the seminary's identity. We are not abandoning the name. We will be North American Baptist Seminary doing business as Sioux Falls Seminary.
What does a new name mean for the seminary and its future?
The name Sioux Falls Seminary better reflects the role we play in our region. We will always declare our affiliation with the North American Baptist Conference; however, we must also recognize the difference we are making in our region. As Sioux Falls Seminary, we will continue to serve the North American Baptist Conference and our region, providing excellent theological education and practical experience to tomorrow's Christian leaders.
How will the name change effect students?
The name change will not effect the quality or type of education that our students receive. We will still focus on providing practical ministry experience for all of our students, enriching students through spiritual growth, getting to know each of our students on a personal level, and providing a community of support and enrichment.
How does the name change fit into the seminary's relocation plans?
Our name change is effective today, May 18, 2007. We are still moving forward with plans to build a new campus. We will begin the process by breaking ground in the spring of 2008 and will move into the new facility in the summer of 2009 - just in time to conclude a year of celebration marking 150 years in ministry. We will stay at our current campus until our 2009 relocation.
If I graduated from North American Baptist Seminary, would it be possible to get a new diploma with the name Sioux Falls Seminary?
Yes. Graduates of North American Baptist Seminary can request a new diploma containing the name Sioux Falls Seminary at the cost of $50.00. For details, contact the Registrar�s Office at 605.336.6588.