Payne Theological Seminary is one of the oldest Black seminaries primarily concerned with the training of men and women for ministry. The purpose of Payne has always been to prepare men and women of faith to be spiritual leaders, intellectual leaders and agents of constructive social change in the church and world. African American Studies pervade the curriculum of this historically Black seminary. We are Africentric in focus and liberative in theology, drawing from the best of Africa, the African American framework, and the African diaspora. This commitment positions Payne, critically and creatively, to inform and be informed by challenging insights and values from other cultures, spheres, and orientations.

Payne is committed to its mission, and as such, routinely reviews the educational effectiveness of its degree programs. Data is gathered from many sources, including the Entering Student Questionnaire, the Graduating Student Questionnaire, rubric-based assessment of courses.

Payne had an enrollment of 209 students in its Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry programs for the 2016-17 academic year.