B.H. Carroll Theological Seminary is making its return to Tarrant County. 

The seminary, currently located in Irving, announced its merger with East Texas Baptist University in late 2024 and will be making its move back to where the school began — in downtown Arlington. 

B.H. Carroll Theological Seminary will make its move to First Baptist Church of Arlington’s Wade Building in January and serve as a North Texas location for the university.

Gene Wilkes, president of the seminary, said that moving back to Arlington gives the school a central location between Dallas and Fort Worth. The merger also allows the seminary to join the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Since the pandemic, the seminary has operated completely online, Wilkes said. He looks forward to the move back to First Baptist Church giving the seminary a physical presence in the community. 

“First Baptist Arlington will provide classroom and conference space that we don’t have now, though we have always taught in local churches up until COVID,” Wilkes said. “So we’re excited about returning to have some physical presence.” 

The merger of the institutions has been described as a homecoming for the school. B.H. Carroll Theological Seminary was founded in 2004 as an independent seminary offering education online and within local churches, according to East Texas Baptist University. 

The seminary relocated to Irving in 2015 to have a more permanent location while the school began its accreditation process with The Association of Theological Schools, Wilkes said. The move back to Arlington and merge with the university will provide financial sustainability. 

“We have always been able to provide the necessary services and our natural resources for our faculty, staff and students. But as you know, it’s been difficult in recent years to sustain financial viability. We are not near collapse or anything like that. But we started looking for a partner two or three years ago, for a university that provides a broader expanse of service,” Wilkes said. 

The joining of the seminary and university will enable students to have access to financial aid, scholarship opportunities and potentially allow the university to become a doctoral degree-granting institution according to the press release.

The move also means the seminary’s Ph.D. colloquies, graduations and other events will be held on-site for the first time since it left Arlington for Irving in 2015. 

“This partnership is less of a new merger and more of a family reunion,” Tommy Sanders, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, said. “The founding faculty members of Carroll had strong ties and history with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the wider world of Baptists. We share educational, theological and denominational heritage. I am thrilled to see these leaders reunite around the common goals of Texas Baptists.”

Marissa Greene is a Report for America corps member, covering faith for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at marissa.greene@fortworthreport.org or on Twitter @marissaygreene.

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Marissa Greene is a Report for America corps member and covers faith in Tarrant County for the Fort Worth Report. Greene got her start in journalism at Austin Community College, where she spearheaded the...