Harding School of Theology, known in the United States as the Harding University Graduate School of Religion until 2011, is based in Memphis , Tennessee. It is a private Christian university-related organization affiliated with the Churches of Christ known as Harding University, the main campus of which is in Searcy, Arkansas. Harding School of Theology mainly exists for the preparation of religious ministers for Christ's church congregations. It is located on a campus in East Memphis that consists of part of a vast estate donated by a wealthy donor, on land shared with the K-12 church affiliated private school Harding Academy.
The administration of the institution declared a change of name in 2011, from Harding University Graduate School of Religion to Harding School of Theology. The name change reflected a "rebranding strategy that aims to better reflect the School's mission of equipping and empowering Christ's servants with deeper confidence and higher levels of scholarship," as the alumni magazine suggests.
In 1952, at its campus in Searcy, Arkansas, Harding University began offering graduate studies in the Bible and ministry. In 1955 in Memphis Harding began offering such classes as an extension program, and in 1958 the Harding University Graduate School of Religion (HUGSR) became a permanent branch of Harding University. Dr W. B. West was HUGSR's founding president.
The Harding School of Theology is accredited by the American and Canadian Association of Theological Schools. It offers several degrees including the Master of Arts, Christian Ministry Master of Arts, Therapy Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, and Ministry Doctor. Degrees may include choices for accent or focus.
Around half of the 240 students from the Harding School of Theology live outside of the Memphis area. To accommodate these students, Harding School of Theology offers courses online and in intensive formats of one week (in addition to the regular semester format).
The 13-acre (53,000 m2) campus of the Harding School of Theology is situated on land at 1000 Cherry Road in Memphis which used to be part of E. Ranch L. King. Today the old ranch mansion houses the offices of the administration and the faculty. In addition to classrooms, the W.B. West Classroom building also includes an auditorium and hospitality space. Students who choose to live on campus may rent one of 23 apartments in the buildings in Benson, Harding and Brewer. A fitness center and student lounge are also available for all visitors.
The L. M. Graves Memorial Library was built in 1964, after which major extensions were made in 1978 and 2006. The library contains more than 140,000 volumes of books and 24,000 volumes of periodicals, including 615 daily newspapers and annual subscriptions. The collection of libraries is focused in areas related to Christian theology and ministry including therapy.
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