Birmingham Theological Seminary (BTS) was founded in 1972. Two men, Dr. Frank Barker, Pastor Emeritus of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Bill Hay, Pastor Emeritus of Covenant Presbyterian Church, saw the need for men and women to be trained for full-time Christian service to enrich their personal lives, to increase their knowledge of the things of the Lord and to be better equipped to teach, preach, and witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. These men also saw the need to enable those who felt God’s call to study for Christian work to do so on a part-time basis, if obligations would not allow them to study full-time. Students could have the opportunity to work full-time and also to attend classes in the evening.
BTS was initially known as the “Birmingham Extension Seminary for Theological Education,” often referred to as “BES.” BES began offering classes in the fall of 1972 at Edgewood Presbyterian Church located in Homewood. In 1980, the name of the seminary was changed to “Birmingham Theological Seminary.” During our 37-year history, more than 3500 students have taken one or more courses and 350 students have been awarded master’s level degrees. BTS has offered courses in various locations around the state of Alabama and in foreign countries such as Uganda, Korea, China, Ukraine, New Zealand, and Australia.