In 1879, four acres of land were purchased in Louisville by the Convention of Colored Baptist Churches in Kentucky for the purpose of housing the campus of the Kentucky Normal Theological Institute. The school was later renamed to honor its second president, W.J. Simmons, who served from 1880 to 1890. The school fell on hard times during the Great Depression and refocused on training African Americans for the clergy. In 1982 it was renamed Simmons Bible College.
Now known as Simmons College of Kentucky, the school gained accreditation by the Association for Biblical Education. Since the educational institution was founded prior to 1965, its accreditation made it eligible for designation as a historically Black college in 2015.
Now Simmons College of Kentucky has entered into a partnership with the flagship campus of the University of Kentucky. The agreement calls for collaborative programs offering opportunities for students of both institutions to further professional and personal development. The collaboration will initially focus on educational and career opportunities for Simmons College students through programs with three colleges at the University of Kentucky: The J. David Rosenberg College of Law, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Education.
“The magnitude of this partnership’s potential to make change is unprecedented,” said Robert DiPaola, provost at the University of Kentucky. “We know there is tremendous promise in the idea of the University of Kentucky and Simmons College of Kentucky working together, guided by our shared commitment to students and service. The collaborative, transdisciplinary, interconnected nature of this agreement stands at the core of how we will move forward together.”
A video about the partnership may be viewed below.