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Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby


President of Simmons College of Kentucky
Louisville, KY

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. Most recently, President Cosby earned a second doctorate – a Ph.D. in Public Policy (as a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar) from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, OH. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Eastern Kentucky University, Bellarmine University, and Campbellsville University. Dr. Cosby has held administrative and teaching assignments at Kentucky State University, the University of Louisville, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and United Theological Seminary. His exceptional oratory skills have led to lecture engagements at universities and institutions worldwide, including Harvard University.

In 2005, Dr. Cosby was inaugurated as the 13th President of Simmons College of Kentucky. In 2007, he led the once-fledgling college to reclaim its original campus, lost during the Great Depression, and has since expanded to multiple campus locations. From 1879 to 1930, Simmons College was a national leader in higher education for African Americans. Established by formerly enslaved Kentucky Baptists, Simmons became a full university with a law school and a medical school. But during the Great Depression, its campuses suffered foreclosure, and as its programs were scaled back, it became a small Bible college in a remote part of the city’s poorest area.

Dr. Cosby has refused nearly $1,000,000 in compensation that would otherwise be due to someone of his stature to ensure the college’s economic stability and build a comprehensive curriculum. Under Dr. Cosby’s visionary leadership, Simmons gained accreditation by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). In 2015, the U.S. Department of Education granted Simmons status as the nation’s 107th Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

He is one of our nation’s most influential leaders: He was inducted into the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians at the Kentucky State Capitol (2015); at the request of Muhammad Ali, he served as one of the eulogists at his funeral (2016); and he was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College (2017). Dr. Cosby is the author of six books, including a Biblical commentary on the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) entitled: “Getting to the Promise Land,” published by Westminster John Knox Press in the Spring of 2021. Dr. Cosby is married to Barnetta Cosby. They have two adult children (Dr. Christine Cosby-Gaither and Kevin Christopher).

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