Fuller Seminary Through the Years

  • 1947
    • Building on radio evangelist Charles E. Fuller’s vision, plans for a new seminary are confirmed as Dr. Fuller and Harold John Ockenga meet in Chicago for prayer and discernment with founding faculty members Everett F. Harrison, Carl F. H. Henry, Harold Lindsell, and Wilbur M. Smith.
    • Fuller Theological Seminary is launched in September with 39 students.
    • Classes are held in the Sunday school rooms of Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena; offices and library are housed at the distinguished Cravens Estate.
    • Harold John Ockenga serves as Fuller’s first president.
    • Herbert J. Taylor, Arnold Grunigen, and R. C. Logefeil, together with Ockenga as president and Fuller as board chair, form the founding Board of Trustees.
    • The school is named after Henry Fuller, Charles E. Fuller’s father.
  • 1948
    • Edward J. Carnell joins the faculty.
    • Classes are opened to women.
  • 1949
    • The Payton Lectures are launched, named to honor the parents of Charles Fuller’s wife, Grace Payton Fuller; William Childs Robinson is inaugural speaker.
  • 1950
    • Fuller celebrates its first graduating class, comprised of 20 students.
    • Herbert Mekeel becomes dean.
  • 1952
    • Rebecca Price is Fuller’s first female faculty member.
    • Helen (Holly) Clark MacGregor is the seminary’s first female graduate.
    • Harold Lindsell is appointed dean.
  • 1953
    • The seminary moves to its current Pasadena location with the construction and opening of Payton Hall, named for the family of Grace Payton Fuller.
  • 1954
    • Edward John Carnell becomes Fuller’s second president.
  • 1956
    • Billy Graham joins Fuller’s Board of Trustees.
  • 1957
    • The American Association of Theological Schools grants the seminary full accreditation.
  • 1959
    • President Carnell resigns from the presidency to focus on teaching and writing; he continues to serve on the faculty.
    • Harold John Ockenga begins his second term as president.
  • 1961
    • John G. Finch delivers a series of lectures at Fuller on the theological and psychological dimensions of humankind, sparking the idea for the School of Psychology.
  • 1962
    • Daniel Fuller, son of Charles E. Fuller, becomes dean.
    • Tentative plans to found a school of psychology are announced, generously funded by trustee C. Davis Weyerhaeuser and Mrs. Annette Weyerhaeuser.
    • Fuller Seminary and parachurch ministry Young Life begin an informal training partnership.
  • 1963
    • David Allan Hubbard, at the age of 35, becomes Fuller’s third president.
    • McAlister Library opens.
  • 1964
    • The Pasadena Community Counseling Center opens under the direction of Donald F. Tweedie Jr., laying the foundation for the School of Psychology.
    • A committee is appointed to explore the founding of a school for world evangelism.
  • 1965
    • The School of Psychology begins classes with 29 students and 6 resident faculty members.
    • Lee Edward Travis is named dean of the new School of Psychology.
    • The School of World Mission opens, known initially as the School of World Mission and Institute of Church Growth.
    • Donald A. McGavran is appointed dean; McGavran and Alan R. Tippett are the founding faculty members.
  • 1968
    • The School of Psychology begins a tradition of community involvement with the establishment of the Child Development Clinic.
  • 1969
    • All three of Fuller’s schools receive accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
  • 1970
    • The School of Theology inaugurates the Master of Arts program to help equip laypersons for church leadership roles.
    • The Doctorate of Missiology is launched in the School of World Mission.
  • 1971
    • Arthur F. Glasser becomes dean of the School of World Mission.
  • 1972
    • The American Psychological Association grants approval to the doctoral program in clinical psychology (PhD) of the School of Psychology.
  • 1973
    • Glenn W. Barker becomes dean of the School of Theology.
    • The theological studies program for ethnic minority ministers begins, offering the opportunity of an MA for qualified pastors not holding a bachelor’s degree.
    • The seminary opens its first extension centers (now called regional campuses) in Seattle, Washington, and Irvine, California, for the training of laypersons in local churches.
  • 1974
    • Glenn W. Barker becomes provost.
    • The School of Theology begins a Doctor of Ministry program for professional ministers.
    • A third extension center, in Menlo Park, California, opens.
  • 1975
    • Neil Clark Warren becomes dean of the School of Psychology.
    • The School of World Mission starts an In-Service Mission Research Program, enabling students to take some of their courses while on the mission field, and launches the Cross-Cultural Studies Program.
  • 1976
    • All training components in the School of Psychology are organized under the Psychological Center.
    • The School of World Mission launches the PhD in Missiology.
  • 1977
    • Robert P. Meye becomes dean of the School of Theology.
    • The Institute of Youth Ministries is launched in Colorado in partnership with Young Life, the first accredited seminary-parachurch partnership of its kind. 
  • 1979
    • Extension programs are now operating in six cities, with the MA in Theology available at the Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, and Southern California extension centers.
  • 1980
    • Paul E. Pierson becomes dean of the School of World Mission.
  • 1981
    • The School of World Mission expands its Cross-Cultural Studies Program with the inauguration of the PhD in Intercultural Studies.
  • 1982
    • Archibald D. Hart becomes dean of the School of Psychology.
  • 1983
    • The seminary issues its Mission Beyond the Mission document, addressing a broad range of moral and ethical issues from an evangelical perspective.
  • 1984
    • Lawrence Den Besten becomes provost.
  • 1985
    • The Doctor of Ministry program, Extended Education, Lowell W. Berry Institute for Continuing Education in Ministry, and Institute for Christian Organizational Development are brought together under the name of Continuing and Extended Education.
  • 1986
    • The School of Psychology building opens, including the new Lee Edward Travis Auditorium.
  • 1987
    • The Marriage and Family program moves from the School of Theology to the School of Psychology.
    • The School of Psychology begins offering a second doctoral degree, the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD).
  • 1988
    • The Graduate Studies Program in the School of Theology is reorganized as the Center for Advanced Theological Studies (CATS).
  • 1989
    • Richard J. Mouw becomes provost.
  • 1990
    • William A. Dyrness becomes dean of the School of Theology.
    • A reorganization of the Psychological Center results in all outpatient services for children, adults, and families coming together as Fuller Psychological and Family Services.
  • 1991
    • The Lee Edward Travis Institute for Biopsychosocial Research is inaugurated.
    • The School of Psychology MA curriculum is revised and renamed the Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy.
    • The School of World Mission shifts its curriculum, including the design of 15 concentrations in missiology.
  • 1992
    • J. Dudley Woodberry becomes dean of the School of World Mission.
    • The seminary develops a cohort model that allows students to fully complete the MDiv at selected extension centers, beginning with Seattle and eventually also the Menlo Park and Phoenix campuses.
    • The School of World Mission launches the Korean Studies program with courses offered in the Korean language.
  • 1993
    • Richard J. Mouw is named Fuller’s fourth president.
    • Robert K. Johnston is appointed provost.
    • The Association of Theological Schools approves the expansion of the School of World Mission’s In-Service Program to students residing in the United States.
    • An international cooperation is established with St. Petersburg Evangelical Theological Academy in Russia.
  • 1994
    • Fuller helps inaugurate the City of the Angels Film Festival in a joint effort to mend community relationships after the Los Angeles riots.
    • The School of World Mission initiates the Doctor of Ministry in Global Ministries program.
    • A partnership begins with South American Theological Seminary in Brazil.
  • 1995
    • James Guy is named dean of the School of Psychology.
    • Russell P. Spittler becomes provost.
    • The School of World Mission’s In-Service Program becomes part of the seminary’s Individualized Distance Learning program, administered by the Division of Continuing and Extended Education.
    • The School of Theology inaugurates the Korean Doctor of Ministry program, allowing students to complete half their coursework in Korea.
    • The Global Research Institute is established.
    • Partnerships are launched with Presbyterian Theological Seminary in the Philippines and with Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary in Seoul, Korea.
  • 1996
    • The Max De Pree Center for Leadership is founded, honoring De Pree's longtime service on the Board of Trustees.
    • A partnership is launched with the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 1998
    • The Lee Edward Travis Research Institute is reorganized and broadened in scope.
  • 1999
    • Sherwood Lingenfelter is appointed dean of the School of World Mission.
    • David Augsburger becomes interim dean of the School of Theology.
    • The Distance Learning Office begins the development of Fuller’s first online courses.
    • Continuing and Extended Education becomes the Horner Center for Lifelong Learning.
    • The first Reel Spirituality Conference is held.
  • 2000
    • Winston Gooden is appointed dean of the School of Psychology.
    • Howard Loewen is appointed dean of the School of Theology.
    • Partnerships are initiated with the Consortium for Gradate Programs in Christian Studies, Indonesia; Australian College of Ministries, Australia; and the University of Bristol and Trinity College in the United Kingdom.
  • 2001
    • The Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts is established.
  • 2002
    • A partnership is formed with the Consortium for Indian Missiological Education, in India.
  • 2003
    • Sherwood G. Lingenfelter becomes provost.
    • The School of World Mission changes its name to the School of Intercultural Studies.
    • C. Douglas McConnell is appointed dean of the School of Intercultural Studies.
    • The Center for Ministry to Youth and their Families (now the Fuller Youth Institute) is established.
  • 2004
    • The Master of Arts in Global Leadership (MAGL) becomes the first degree students can complete primarily online.
    • The Student Service Center is opened at Fuller’s Pasadena campus.
  • 2005
    • The School of Psychology is named in honor of longtime trustee C. Davis Weyerhaeuser and Annette Weyerhaeuser.
    • Fuller holds the first meeting in what will become a regular series of Evangelical-Jewish dialogues.
    • The “Leading Change” capital campaign is publicly launched.
    • The first Windrider Film Forum is held at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
  • 2006
    • Chang Commons student housing is opened.
    • The Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute of Preaching is established.
    • The Fred Bock Institute of Music is established.
  • 2007
    • The “Leading Change” campaign concludes with a record $148 million committed.
    • Fuller establishes a partnership with the Institute for Middle East Studies, Lebanon.
  • 2008
    • The seminary opens a new regional campus in Houston, Texas.
  • 2009
    • The David Allan Hubbard Library opens as Fuller’s primary theological library.
    • Fuller earns the highest possible accreditation review.
  • 2010
    • Fuller assists with leadership of the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa.
    • A partnership is initiated with China to host annual psychology of religion conferences.
    • The Pastors’ Empowerment Program is initiated in post-Katrina New Orleans.
  • 2011
    • C. Douglas McConnell is appointed provost.
    • The Thrive Center for Human Development is established.
  • 2012
    • Scott W. Sunquist is appointed dean of the School of Intercultural Studies.
  • 2013
    • Mark Labberton is named Fuller’s fifth president.