Since its founding as Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1925, Palmer Theological Seminary has always been difficult for people to categorize. In its early years, the Seminary was described as “conservative, yet progressive.” This description remains accurate today. As is the case with any academic community, one can find among students, faculty and staff vibrant discussions and varying perspectives. This takes place within a traditionally conservative theological framework, as reflected by the Seminary’s doctrinal basis.
"The Whole Gospel for the Whole World through Whole Persons": Palmer’s diversity encompasses ethnicity, culture, denomination, age, and gender. Though a fairly small community, Palmer students, staff, and faculty hail from many nations, including Ethiopia, Liberia, South Africa, India, Romania, Mexico, Myanmar, South Korea, and Hong Kong. Students in recent years have ranged in age from their early 20s to their early 80s. While American Baptists constitute the single largest denominational grouping among students at Palmer, other denominations are well represented. These include the National Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Church of God in Christ, the Evangelical Free Church, the Lutheran Church, Brethren in Christ, the Assemblies of God, the Mennonite Church, the Pentecostal Assemblies, among others. People find unity in a common mission.