Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

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About | History

In February, 1949, the First Baptist Church of Melvindale called Dr. William R. Rice as Pastor. During the first six months, morning attendance averaged ninety. In July of 1950, ground was broken for a new auditorium in neighboring Allen Park and the name was changed to the Inter-City Baptist Church. Additions followed in 1952 and 1956.

Continued growth during the next eight years necessitated a new and larger church. On March 15, 1964, a new building was dedicated, followed by construction of a high school, a retirement facility, and a bookstore. From a small beginning, God has wonderfully provided the present unusual facilities, and led in multiple ministries.

A burden for sound Christian education with academic excellence led to the formation of Inter-City Baptist Elementary and High Schools. As the church grew, so did the burden for quality Christian education at every level. In 1974 a meeting of concerned pastors was called by Dr. Rice to discuss the desirability of opening a Baptist theological seminary in the Detroit area. There was common agreement that such a seminary should combine an emphasis on expository preaching and a practical local church ministry. After two years of careful consideration, a decision was made to open in the fall of 1976. The former church property (1950–1964) across the street, which had been sold, became available and was repurchased by the church.

The pressing need then became the acquisition of a competent faculty. Four qualified men who shared the same convictions concerning the preaching of the Word of God, the prominence of the local church and the necessity of a practical emphasis upon its ministry, were selected and hired by faith.

The Detroit Baptist Divinity School (the original name of the Seminary) opened its doors in September of 1976 with thirty students. At the beginning of the third year of study, formal application was made to the Michigan State Board of Education for the right to grant the M.Div and Th.M. degrees. A committee of prominent educators came to the campus to evaluate the school’s credentials in October of 1979.

The resulting recommendation by this committee to the State Board was to give the school the authority to grant both graduate degrees. The recommendation was favorably received in March and the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary (changing its name) held its first commencement exercises in May of 1980. God has truly honored the faith of so many by providing faculty, students, facilities and recognition in so short a time.

Upon Dr. Rice’s retirement in 1989, the Inter-City Baptist Church called Dr. David M. Doran to become Pastor. Dr. Doran, an alumnus of the Seminary, also became the head of the Seminary.


4801 Allen Road  •  Allen Park, MI 48101  •  313.381.0111  •