Cosby Scholar Program

Overview of Program

During May 2019 commencement at Simmons College of Kentucky, the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky (BSK) announced a new scholarship for American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS). The scholarship, named the “Kevin and Barnetta Seminary Scholarship for ADOS,” provides 10 incoming students per year with full tuition to pursue a graduate degree with BSK. For each entering class of 10 “Cosby Scholars” the scholarship is worth over $330,000. Applications are open now for Fall 2022 admission.

“This may be the first scholarship set aside exclusively for ADOS (American Descendants of Slavery) in history.”

“It demonstrates BSK’s commitment to racial justice which can lead to authentic racial reconciliation,” explained Dr. Kevin Cosby, president of Simmons College of Kentucky. “Racial justice is a key commitment for BSK,” said Dr. David Cassady, president of BSK, “and reconciliation is not possible until repair is begun. We are excited to play a role in forming ADOS students as they follow God’s call to ministry.”

Students who receive the scholarship become “Cosby Scholars” and will study with a cohort of students mentored by Dr. Lewis Brogdon.

Program features include a biannual workshop on theological and administerial method of Dr. Cosby and the ADOS movement as well as other mentor opportunities. Each cohort will have an opportunity to meet Dr. Kevin and Bernetta Cosby during their studies at BSK.

Admissions Requirements

View details and requirements

Apply Today

Begin your application today

Legacy and Leadership of Kevin and Barnetta Cosby

In 2005, Dr. Kevin W. Cosby was named the 13th President of Simmons College of Kentucky (SCKY).

Two years later, the college returned to their original campus. In the 13 years of his tenure, he has led the campus in generosity and vision, as demonstrated by his refusal to accept a salary from the college. Under his visionary direction, SCKY was granted accreditation by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in February 2014, expanded it’s campus and added three new degree programs, and was officially designated as the nation’s 107th Historically Black College & Universities (HBCU) in April 2015.

A staunch proponent of education, Dr. Cosby earned a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Eastern Kentucky University, Bellarmine University and Campbellsville University. He has held administrative and teaching assignments at Kentucky State University, the University of Louisville, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. Additionally, his exceptional oratorical skills have garnered lecture engagements at universities and institutions all over the world, including Harvard University.

He has been the subject of many national articles and documentaries, which consistently list him among Kentucky’s most influential leaders. His 2007 selection as Louisvillian of the Year is a tribute to his outstanding contributions to the community. He was ranked #1 of the Top Ten Religious Leaders in Louisville by Louisville Magazine in the October 2011 issue. In the spring of 2012, he was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Eastern Kentucky University. In February 2015, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights inducted Dr. Cosby into the Kentucky Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians at the state capitol. He is the 56th African American afforded this honor.

Although Dr. Cosby has achieved many notable accomplishments, he is most known for his intense commitment to serving the Lord through improving the lives of others. Dr. Cosby is married to the former Barnetta Turner; they are the parents of two adult children.

Since 1979, Dr. Kevin W. Cosby has served as Senior Pastor of St. Stephen Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Due greatly to his practical and dynamic Bible teachings, the congregation has grown from 500 to approximately 14,000 members, and has been recognized by Outreach magazine as one of the 100 largest churches in America (2010) and Emerge magazine as one of six “super churches” of the South. During his tenure at St. Stephen, the church has transformed from the “little church on the corner” to a multi-faceted institution that includes a 1,700-seat worship center, a cutting-edge $4 million inner-city family life center and a 1,000-seat worship facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana. In October 2013, Dr. Cosby began a satellite church in Hardin County, Kentucky. During the first Sunday’s service, seventy people united with the church.

Dr. Cosby has authored six highly-acclaimed books:

  • Getting to the Promise Land: Black America and the Unfinished Work of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Get off Your But!
  • Messages, Musings & Ministries to Empower the African-American Church
  • As They Went
  • Treasure Worth Seeking
  • Who’s Your Daddy? Life Lessons from the Prodigal Son and Loyal to the Royal

Programming & Mentoring

Details Coming Soon! Program launches Fall 2022

Admissions Requirements

Master of Divinity

Our Master of Divinity degree is a 75-hour professional graduate degree. BSK requires a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited college or university and an overall GPA of 2.5 for admission to the Master of Divinity degree program. However, BSK may accept otherwise strong candidates who lack an undergraduate degree or have a lower GPA under provisional status, which allows students to take pre-selected courses and potentially gain admittance into the Master of Divinity degree program based on satisfactory academic progress.

Admissions Requirements for Cosby Scholars

  • A completed application
  • An official transcript from each institution of higher education that you have attended
  • Spiritual autobiography — one typed, double-spaced, essay of 800-1200 words, with attention to style and content (prompts included on application)
  • Ministry in African American Community Essay one typed, double-spaced, essay of 800-1200 words on the challenges and opportunities of ministry today, with attention to style and content (prompts included on application)
  • A completed reference form from each of the following: 1) a minister of your home or current church, 2) a church member or peer, 3) a professor or work supervisor
  • Interview with a representative from the Admissions Committee may be required for admission