Grimké Seminary is named in honor of Dr. Francis Grimké, a biracial man who was born a slave but freed by the providence of God to become a faithful pastor and leading advocate of civil rights.
Born the son of a slaveholder and his slave, Grimké was eventually sold to a Confederate officer. After the Civil War he was discovered by his abolitionist half-sisters, who opened their home to him and supported his education at Princeton Theological Seminary. He went on to serve more than fifty years as the pastor of 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., where he devoted his life to preaching the gospel and advocating for the equal treatment of African Americans. To these ends he published numerous articles, wrote several books, and co-founded the American Negro Academy (1897) and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1909).
Building on his life and legacy, Grimké Seminary is a diverse seminary devoted to training pastors and church planters for the advance of the gospel, the good of the world, and the glory of Christ. Believing that the gospel is primary (1 Corinthians 15:3), the church’s mission is central (Matthew 28:18-20), and the pastoral role in theological education is indispensable (2 Timothy 4:2), we are a gospel-centered, mission-minded, practitioner-led institution.