New Life Theological Seminary is an interdenominational seminary founded in 1996 by visionary and Senior Pastor of New Life Baptist Church (now Eastside Community Church), Dr. Eddie G. Grigg. Pastor Grigg became convinced that God would have him begin a new Seminary to equip ministers as servant leaders and enlisted his church and several close friends to help birth the seminary. The Seminary's mission is to equip servant leaders of integrity to exegete and deliver the Word of God, to urban people of all cultures, for the glory of Jesus the Messiah." The Seminary has always displayed a commitment of providing excellence in higher theological education for all people.
The University of North Carolina granted the Seminary an exemption from licensure on January 23, 1998 as a degree-granting Seminary. On October 26, 1998, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to seek accreditation with TRACS. Dr. Timothy Eaton, TRACS representative, conducted our first staff visit thus launching the institution's first extensive Self-Study.
The Board and administration wanted the Seminary to have its own campus within the city of Charlotte. While the Board appreciated the hospitality of New Life Baptist Church, it knew having its own campus would better promote the growth of each institution. President Grigg entered discussion with the historic Whiting Avenue Baptist Church of Charlotte and negotiated a gift to New Life Theological Seminary in June 2002. The donation, valued at 2.5 million dollars, consists of 2.36 acres and a 34,000 square foot building of usable space. The gift relocated the Seminary from its existing site to Whiting Avenue. This prime location is just two miles from uptown Charlotte in one of the fastest growing major cities in the United States. This gift helped the Seminary receive Candidate Status as a Category III institution with TRACS in November 2003 and Accredited Status in November 2008.
The campus sits prominently in a residential neighborhood in the "NoDa" district of Charlotte. The building was constructed in two stages, 1952 and 1962, and was in need of renovation to fit the change in use and to make the building handicapped accessible. In 2005, the Board moved ahead with plans to add a new entrance, elevator, and handicap rest rooms. The renovation occurred in 2006-2007 in the 1962 building. Further improvement and expansion plans are in place to help ensure the institution's longevity and to meet its growing demands and size.
In addition to its associates and master's degree programs, the Seminary is the only school of theology in the Charlotte area that offers a four-year, fully-accredited bachelor's degree program. Its commitment to provide excellence in higher theological education to all who feel called of God to serve in Christian Ministry has led to eight straight years of increases in enrollment and financial growth. Under the leadership of Robert Yost, VPAA, the faculty has further strengthened and developed its departments, its faculty, and its degree programs. Library staff has increased the library's holdings on campus, made important advancements in developing online teaching aids, and actively helped to strengthen the Carolina Consortium of Theological Libraries.
The Seminary affects the urban arena positively and provides excellent theological education to its students using a blended method of in-class and out-of-class instruction. Students experience developing and leading multiethnic urban congregations. They develop exegetical skills, through the biblical languages and hermeneutical principles, which equip them to preach and teach among a multiethnic urban audience. On graduation, our students will have received high academic training, gained interpersonal skills, and developed a strong moral constitution.
God has given New Life Theological Seminary the unique mission of training ministers and leaders to reach the world's cities for Christ. This is obvious by the growing diversity of students from different states, countries, and cultural and social backgrounds. The Seminary is working to help the Faith Community have the tools and leaders it needs to reach the masses living in the world's cities. New Life Theological Seminary is current, relevant, and faithful in its mission. We invite you to partner with us in fulfilling the mission God has given New Life Theological Seminary, and would cherish an opportunity to discuss the various ways you can get involved.