“Here is no unanchored liberalism, freedom to think without commitment. Here is no encrusted dogmatism, commitment without freedom to think. Here is a vibrant evangelicalism, commitment with freedom to think within the limits laid down in Scripture.” These were the words of Denver Seminary’s second president Vernon Grounds, the man who would one day become the school’s Chancellor and the one who is widely recognized as transforming the former Baptist seminary to the major nondenominational institution it is today. This quote sums up the Seminary’s history, as it moved from the conservative Baptist college that it was when first established in 1950 by Dr Carey Thomas (its first president) to the Protestant/evangelical graduate school it has become today.
Offering limited distance learning to coincide with on campus classes for students pursuing education beyond undergraduate, Denver Seminary offers not only Master’s programs, but Doctorates and Graduate Certificates as well. While making sure to never stray too far from their religious roots, their ability to combine a strong dedication to academics and a pursuit of delivering God’s word to the masses has resulted in a variety of degrees offered to the almost 1,000 member student body.
Currently, Denver Seminary offers a dozen different concentrations in their Master’s of Divinity degrees, several majors in their Master’s of Arts (academic) programs, and a Master’s of Arts ‘professional program”, offering a handful of concentrations. This is in addition to their Doctor of Ministry program and 9 different certificate programs, for those who won’t stop pursuing knowledge and aid in teaching the word of God.
Their online programs follow the same semester timelines as on campus classes and are offered over summer classes as well. They are coordinated through Denver Seminary’s “Moodle” course management system (an online coordination and aid tool) and though students seeking their Master’s or PhD are limited in the amount of online work they can do, there are a wide variety of classes offered every semester online. There is rarely a time when all students need to be online simultaneously so online work can be tailored around personal schedules, but all courses include regular quizzes, assignments, and textbook reading. There are also regularly scheduled online discussion groups meant to simulate the group work done in class, the type of group interaction that is essential to most ministry work.
Denver Seminary’s work to move beyond its basis as a Baptist separatist school has continued to give fruit as the years have worn on. Due mainly to Chancellor Grounds’ work over the years, the college has moved into the forefront of evangelical colleges without truly discarding the principles it was founded on. Recently it has moved its campus from Englewood to nearby Littleton, CO, following less than ten years after its name change to Denver Seminary, and the changes continue to evolve the college into the thriving example of “vibrant evangelicalism” that Vernon Grounds has worked since 1956 to help create.