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OUR HISTORY

OVER 140 YEARS OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

FORMED AFTER THE CIVIL WAR

In 1865, members of the Kentucky State Convention of Colored Baptist Churches proposed the establishment of Kentucky’s first post-secondary educational institute for its “Colored” citizens. The State Convention purchased four acres of land in Louisville to serve as the campus for the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute in 1879.

Dr. William Simmons became the second President in 1880 and led the Institute through a period of rapid growth in enrollment and facilities. Although Dr. Simmons’ tenure ended in 1890, he set the foundation for continued growth, which included a dramatic expansion of the liberal arts program and the attainment of university status.

SIMMONS BIBLE COLLEGE

In recognition of Dr. Simmons’ leadership, the University was renamed Simmons University in 1918.

Unfortunately, the Great Depression interrupted this period of educational prosperity. Course offerings were substantially curtailed and many of the buildings were lost to foreclosure. The University relocated to a smaller location in West Louisville in 1935. 

Faced with the continuing decline in student enrollment and the loss accreditation, the 1950s brought a change in operations. The University was renamed Simmons Bible College and shifted focus to a limited set of theology courses.

A NEW BEGINNING

In 2005, Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby was named president of Simmons College of Kentucky, beginning a resurgence that continues today. Under his tenure, Simmons has reacquired its original campus, secured accreditation, and been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).


Student enrollment is increasing at an unprecedented rate resulting in an expansion of class offering and degree programs. Simmons College of Kentucky is well positioned for bright future as a thriving institution of higher learning serving traditionally undeserved communities. 

SIMMONS PHOTO ARCHIVE

OUR PRESIDENT

Learn more about President Cosby.

SIMMONS TODAY

Take a look at how Louisville’s only HBCU is doing now!

1018 South 7th Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40203

(502) 776-1443

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Simmons College of KY has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

None of the Simmons College of KY programs lead to licensure.

Simmons College of Kentucky is nationally accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education