It all started in 1852.

Memphis Theological Seminary began in 1852 as the theology department of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.

By the time a century had passed, this university theology department had grown into the Cumberland Presbyterian Theological Seminary and moved from McKenzie, Tennessee to Memphis.

Renamed Memphis Theological Seminary of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the school became among the first educational institutions in the city to open its doors to men and women of all races and faiths.


Today, more than a century and a half after its founding, MTS remains a uniquely diverse community as we advance in our mission to educate and sustain men and women for ordained and lay Christian ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety, and justice.

Please consider joining the 1852 Society
by signing up for monthly donations of $18.52
in celebration of the 169 years
that Memphis Theological Seminary
has been educating and sustaining leaders of Christian ministry.

By joining the 1852 Society, you will become a special partner in our collective effort to:

share the seminary’s mission and ministry to a greater audience, giving those considering a theological education the chance to respond to their calling
increase our ability to offer scholarships to a broader audience of students seeking an education
enable us to serve the evolving needs of our community, region, and world.

Please, pledge to give future generations the opportunity each student at Memphis Theological Seminary has had since it began in 1852 to prepare for relevant, meaningful ministry in the real world.

Special Opportunity for Alums of MTS

It is extra-special to have those who have earned degrees from our institution to continue to be involved in our mission.

To thank our alums who join the 1852 Society, we are pleased to make available:

access to online MTS Library resources such as books, articles, etc.

an MTS yard sign (available only for pick-up from campus)

an MTS window sticker

Simply click the button above to join the 1852 Society and contact Nathan Brasfield, Coordinator of Academic and Alumni Affairs.

Thank you!

Members of the 1852 Society

Daniel Glenn Barkley (MDiv, ’12)
Michael B. Bowe (DMin, ’20)
Cynthia Fansler Burdick
(MDiv, ’93)
  Garrett Burns (MDiv, ’14)
Tom Carpenter (MAR, ’19)
Wallace Cunningham
(MDiv, ’19)
Mary Dassinger (MAR, ’09)
Hilary Dow Ward (MAR, ’11)
Bryan R. Diffee (MDiv, ’04)
Nadolyn W. Dunigan (MAR, ’11; DMin, ’16)
Martha Lyle Ford (DMin, ’22)
Peter R. Gathje
Davis Gray, Jr.

Green Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Fekecia Gunn
(MDiv, ’12)
Anne (MDiv, ’98; DMin, ’10) and Joseph Hames
Monya and Jody
(MDiv, ’00) Hill
Michelle Renee’ Iles (MDiv, ’14; DMin, ’20)
Samuel Jones
Darren (MDiv, ’03) and Julie Kennemer
Sherry Lear-Park
Lisanne Marshall
(MAR, ’17)
Jason Mikel (MDiv, ’14)
Paula Milo-Moultrie (MDiv, ’10)
Karen Patten
Prescott First United Methodist Church
Cassandra Price-Perry
Michael D. Reno
(MDiv, ’16)
Gail Robinson
Lowell Roddy
Deborah Smith
John Smith
Sarah Strong (MDiv, 07)
Mary Meux Toney (MDiv, ’16)
Kirk Whalum
(MAR, ’11)
Dorothy Jean Woods-Burks (MDiv, ’18)
William Young (MACM, ’19)