Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary began offering theological education in Houston in 1975 with extension courses on the campus of Houston Baptist University. Twenty-five years later, a seminary looking for a home campus and a church looking to minister joined forces to provide a full campus for master's-level studies in theology.

Park Place Baptist Church, true to its well-known heritage of faith, deeded its facilities to Southwestern Seminary in 2002. The seminary then began transforming the property into a state-of-the-art campus.

A generous gift in honor of retired Houston pastor, evangelist J. Dalton Havard, provided the initial establishment of the Houston campus, including its namesake: The J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies.

In 2004, Dr. J. Denny Autrey was named the first resident dean of Southwestern’s Havard School. Like the two Christian institutions that partnered to expand theological education in the Texas Gulf Coast, Autrey has a strong history of ministry and education.

He brings the mind of a scholar and the heart of an evangelist to the practical task of ministry in the local church. The core values of Southwestern Seminary are reflected in that model of ministry.