Founded in 1879 as Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute, Simmons College of Kentucky was recognized in 2015 as the nation's 107th HBCU
Simmons College was the first school for higher education established for African-Americans in the state of Kentucky. The college was the vision of 12 freed slaves who comprised the General Association of Baptists within the state. Those 12 Baptists understood the importance of education for the sons and daughters of former slaves. A year after opening, Howard alum Rev. William J. Simmons become the school's president. During his ten-year tenure, the college saw rapid growth of its physical plant and student body. Additionally, Rev. Simmons increased the academic offerings so that there were also medical and law departments. The school was renamed in his honor in 1918. During its early years, Simmons produced most of the black professional class in the state of Kentucky.
Unfortunately, when the Great Depression began, Simmons-like most institutions- struggled. Over the coming decade, enrollment dropped and many buildings were lost to foreclosure. The campus was eventually sold to the University of Louisville to house its segregated, all-black, Louisville Municipal College. Simmons College moved to a new location and changed its focus (and name) to that of theology.
Nearly 60 years later St. Stephen Church purchased the original campus of Simmons College, which was no longer used by the University of Louisville. It's pastor. Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby became the president of the college, which again had been renamed from Simmons Bible College to Simmons College of Kentucky. Simmons then began to offer more courses and was granted accreditation by the Association of Biblical Higher Education. Now, instead of offering only certifications in theology, Simmons was able to offer associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees. Degrees are currently offered in Business, Communications, Religious Studies and Sociology.
In its rebirth Simmons now has an athletic program, featuring mens' and women's basketball, as well as a band. Additionally, the Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship International has made Simmons its partner to train its ministers and leaders.
Simmons is the only private HBCU in Kentucky.
Simmons is the fastest growing college, percentage wise, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Simmons has more African-American males than females enrolled.
Visit the website of Simmons College of Kentucky