The Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary, in Jacksonville, was established as the North American Theological Seminary in 1955 by the education committee of the North American Baptist Association. Ground was broken in 1956 on a seventeen-acre site given by J. M. Travis and William S. Gober. An administrative wing, a reading room, and five classrooms were completed for the opening, which took place on September 8, 1957. A charter class of fifty-seven students enrolled, and the chapel was dedicated in January 1958. Later additions to the campus included a bookstore, a student center, a music hall, a library, and student housing projects. The library contained 7,880 volumes in 1969. The seminary provided specialized training for Baptist pastors, evangelists, missionaries, ministers of education, and ministers of music. Degrees offered in 2001 were bachelor of arts in religion, master of divinity, master of arts in religion, and associate of divinity. Admission to degree programs required some college work, although certification and diploma courses in Christian training and music were open to all, regardless of academic background. In the late 1980s the institution's name was changed to Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary. During the fall of 1998 the school had a faculty of twelve and an enrollment of fifty-two. Charley Holmes became president in 1999.