History

Statue of Jesse Mercer on the Atlanta CampusWhen Jesse Mercer founded Mercer University in 1833, he and other Georgia Baptist leaders envisioned an institution that would provide students with a classical and theological education. Their concern was for young preachers and for members of area Baptist churches. Mercer knew these churches desperately needed pastor-leaders who understood scripture and could clearly articulate their Christian beliefs.

Over the intervening years the institution begun by Jesse Mercer has developed into a university of far-reaching influence that is now the second-largest Baptist institution in the United States. Today it serves approximately 7,000 students in Atlanta and Macon with Colleges of Liberal Arts and Nursing and schools of Education, Engineering, Business and Economics, Pharmacy, Law, Medicine, and Theology.

In recent years, both pastors and students who seriously examined the opportunities for seminary-level training expressed a need for new educational alternatives within the Baptist tradition. After careful consideration of the issues and after an extensive feasibility study, the University’s Board of Trustees in June of 1994 voted to establish a School of Theology.

The McAfee School of Theology partners with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and attracts students who have looked critically at the options and who seek a theological education that will best prepare them for ministry.