Our Characteristics

While making our education increasingly accessible in a variety of settings, Western Seminary remains a single institution dedicated to maintaining consistent quality in the following spheres:

Spiritual Life Development

Scripture clearly teaches that effectiveness in ministry requires godly character. Western Seminary thus seeks to establish a campus environment that fosters genuine spiritual growth. This spiritual development serves as one of the overarching objectives in its curriculum, and every course is expected to make some contribution to one’s maturing into Christlikeness. Character development is also a major focus of both faculty and field mentoring. The foundation for this growth is provided by required courses in biblical spirituality, which address the responsibilities, resources, and results involved in the

development of Christian character. Many of these courses also include a small group component that provides a peer relational structure aimed at stimulating each student’s progress in the Christian life.

Doctrinal Commitment

Western Seminary’s theological stance remains consistent with its evangelical heritage. The school consciously submits to the authority of inerrant Scripture and models a hermeneutical framework that interprets the Bible in light of its grammatical, historical, literary, and theological contexts. The doctrinal understanding to which its core faculty annually subscribe is detailed in the Faculty Teaching Position.

Experienced Faculty

The heart of any seminary is its faculty. Each Western faculty member is expected to blend personal piety, academic scholarship, and ministry experience to serve as a credible role model of spiritual maturity and expertise. Many faculty members bring to their teaching a firsthand understanding of the dynamics and challenges of intercultural ministry.

Program Diversity and Flexibility

God calls people to ministry in a manner consistent with the gifting and passions He has given them. Consequently, Western’s programs seek to honor a diversity of ministry callings through both the breadth and depth of its curricular options. The school offers a half-year certificate, a one-year diploma, five different master’s degrees, including the CACREP-accredited Master of Arts in Counseling, the advanced-level Master of Theology (ThM), and four doctoral programs, including the PhD in Intercultural Education. Western has also worked diligently to ensure significant flexibility within these programs. For example, the Master of Divinity’s design allows students at least eight credits of electives, which they can align with their personal calling. Most of the other programs allow similar opportunities for students to be active partners with their faculty advisor in shaping their studies to align with their educational desires and ministry calling. When this flexibility is combined with Western’s core Bible, theology, and biblical spirituality courses, the result is a program that equips men and women for a specific ministry and grounds them in sound theology, biblical understanding, and spiritual maturity

Local Church Participation 

From its earliest days, Western Seminary has maintained a focused commitment to serve and build the local church. Since Western nurtures leaders for the church, responsible involvement in a local congregation is expected of students, staff, and faculty. Practical internships within the church and parachurch environments further help to ensure that all graduates are well-grounded in actual ministry experience.

Diversity of Student Body

Western’s students come from a wide diversity of national, cultural, and denominational backgrounds. Studying in this community – men and women from a spectrum of ages, ethnic backgrounds, disciplinary specialties and denominational affiliations – is a very stimulating component of seminary education, and represents the beautiful complexity of the kingdom of God.

Equipping Men and Women for Ministry

At Western Seminary we are engaged in equipping men and women for strategic ministry roles. We believe males and females equally bear God’s image, and that the Holy Spirit equips all His people with a wide range of gifts for the building up of His body, the church.

We welcome students with different views, and we strive to provide a safe, supportive, and hospitable learning experience for students who embrace different convictions regarding this matter.

Our professors invest wholeheartedly in equipping both men and women to thrive in service to Christ and his church, and we are committed to cultivating a welcoming, supportive environment for our students.

Trustworthiness and Accountability 

The investments of individual supporters and local congregations account for approximately 15% of the seminary’s annual budget, which helps to reduce overall tuition costs. Western’s careful stewardship of these gifts conforms to the guidelines of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The seminary has been a member of ECFA since 1983. The various third-party approvals listed below (cf. Accreditation, Approvals, and Affiliations) further demonstrate the school’s commitment to educational best practices and compliance with quality control standards.