Mission & History

Our Mission

Central prepares leaders for seeking God, shaping church, and serving humanity and all creation.

Our History

Since 1901, Central has educated persons from diverse backgrounds in preparation for a wide variety of ministry and service contexts. Convinced that all persons should have opportunity to pursue service for God and humanity as God’s Spirit might guide them, inclusivity has been a valued quality of this school throughout its history. This value still motivates us to expand our understanding of inclusivity as socially engaged persons. It helps us open our eyes to still others who are excluded, marginalized and in need.

From its founding, Central has remained responsive to the educational needs of a variety of church, ministry, and service traditions. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s we evolved our curriculum, faculty composition, and focus to address the issues of Civil Rights, gender inequity, and the plight of Native Americans.

As we entered the digital age of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the emergence of remote learning expanded opportunities to make high-quality, postsecondary education more accessible and affordable. At the same time, economic realities made students rethink when, where, and how they could pursue ministry and service education successfully, while graduate students in ministry studies were in need of less campus housing and more web-based education.

Shifts like these motivated Central to undertake a serious study of the changing world of higher education in 2004. After months of careful research, thought-provoking consultations, and sober reflection on the school’s mission, a strategic plan was adopted that laid out three significant initiatives:

Invigorated with a new vision for theological education, in August 2006 we moved to our current home in Shawnee, Kansas. New educational methods, creative instructional means, and reinvigorated curricula emerged quickly as we set out to meet our plan objectives.





Central has attracted a diverse and dynamic group of undergraduate and graduate students who are preparing their own unique and imaginative ministries in traditional church settings or for careers in non-profit services.

Central is now among the fastest growing seminaries in the Unites States. We serve more students in 11 global locations with more innovative curricula, cutting edge technologies and instructional methods than ever before in our history.

We are proud of the qualities that characterize an education at Central:

Learn more about Central Today – A New Generation Seminary with a 119 Year Legacy

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