Turner Theological Seminary

Dean Wilkerson, circa 1978

Dean Wilkerson of Turner Theological Seminary speaks from pulpit, circa 1978.

Turner Theological Seminary was originally a part of Morris Brown College.  Founded the basement of Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal church of Atlanta in 1881, Morris Brown College provided Christian education for Negro boys and girls in the area. Operations would continue at Big Bethel until 1885 when Morris Brown moved to Boulevard and Houston Street in Northeast Atlanta. The faculty and student body consisted of two teachers and one hundred and nine students.  The school operated until 1894 on the primary, secondary and normal school levels. Tailoring, dressmaking, nursing education, home economics, printing and commerce were offered in addition to the regular academic program. The College department was established in 1894 and graduated its first class in 1898. A theological department was also established in 1894 for the training of ministers. Six years later in 1900 the theological department was changed to Turner Theological Seminary in honor of the Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Henry McNeil Turner. Some of the notable Deans of Turner include Dr. George A. Sewell, Dr. Josephus R. Coan, Dr. Cecil W. Cone (brother of James Cone) and Dr. Clayton D. Wilkerson. The school currently operates out of Talbot Hall on the ITC campus, named after A.M.E bishop Frederick Hilborn Talbot.