The Best Reformed Theological Seminaries - Successful Student (2022)

The Best Reformed Theological Seminaries
1Princeton Theological SeminaryPrinceton, New Jersey
2Westminster Theological SeminaryGlenside, Pennsylvania
3Westminster Seminary CaliforniaEscondido, California
4Knox Theological SeminaryFort Lauderdale, Florida
5New Brunswick SeminaryNew Brunswick, New Jersey
6University of DubuqueDubuque, Iowa

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This is a ranking of the 6 Best Reformed Theological Seminaries in the United States. This ranking is designed for students to make informed college decisions.

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Reformed seminaries prepare graduates to serve churches in the Presbyterian or Reformed tradition. Many students become pastors, missionaries, or church educators and counselors. Reformed, generally speaking, means the church that became Reformed in the protestant reformation of the 16th century.

In common usage Reformed often means adhering to John Calvin’s theology, including Limited Atonement and Irresistible Grace. The Reformed tradition has created some of the highest echelon of higher learning institutions. These colleges and universities have played a major part in educating Americans for decades, and their contributions have had a tremendous influence in American culture.

These degree programs are open to female and male students. Students across different faith backgrounds may study scripture and theological instruction at these seminaries.

Students may study subjects such as Practical Theology, History, Ministry, and Divinity. Students can study the history of Christianity, classic literature, Greek, Hebrew, and systematic theology. Depending on if they are going to ministry, they may study preaching pedagogy.

Graduates from these seminaries are often called to ministry, but many into teaching. Students often pursue advanced degrees, such as Master’s and PhDs. Some pursue professorships at universities across the nation after graduating.

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The Best Reformed Theological Seminaries - Successful Student (2)

Ranking Methodology

Successful Student strives to rank schools and programs for the benefit of students, to help students make sense of the many options in education. The criteria for this ranking was including schools with a heritage in the Reformed tradition, degree offerings and variety, and academic influence. For more information about our methodology see our College Calculator.


Princeton Theological Seminary

Princeton, New Jersey

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Princeton Theological Seminary was founded in 1812 by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. The Seminary continues in the Reformed tradition to this day. Students learn in an environment of faith, scholarship, and leadership. Students also learn key skills for ministry (such as integrity, compassion, and joy). There are five key areas of study available:

  • Biblical Studies
  • History and Ecumenics
  • Practical Theology
  • Religion and Society
  • Theology

The degree programs include:

  • Master of Divinity – a three-year, 78-credit degree that is the professional program for students interested in ministry
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation – a two-year, 52-credit degree with three degree tracks
    • Teaching
    • Spiritual Formation and Mission
    • Ministry with Young People
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies – a two-year, 52-credit degree
  • Master of Theology – a one-year, 24-credit degree that is an excellent supplement the MDiv degree
  • Duel Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation – a four-year, 104 credit degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy – offers 12 fields of study based on the five key areas

Admissions: The majority of programs require official academic transcripts, a letter of pastoral endorsement, and three letters of recommendation. Admissions strongly encourages interviews. Admissions material varies based on the desired program. Students should note that faculty only allow a maximum of two admission attempts.


Westminster Theological Seminary

Glenside, Pennsylvania

Faculty at Princeton Theological Seminary left and founded Westminster Theological Seminary in 1929. Today Westminster continues its high levels of scholarship and the Word of God. Westminster emphasizes systematic theology, presuppositional apologetics, historical theology, and other subjects for ministry.

There are nine comprehensive programs available through Westminster. The Graduate programs include:

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  • Master of Divinity – three to four year degree, requires 111 credits
  • Master of Arts in Religion – two to three year degree, requires 74 credits
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies – two year degree, requires 36 credits, available completely online
  • Master of Arts in Counseling – two to five year degree, requires 60 credits, available completely online

The postgraduate programs available are:

  • Master of Theology – two to three year degree, requires six to eight courses, supplements the Master of Divinity
  • Doctor of Ministry – four to five year degree, requires eight courses
  • Korean Doctor of Ministry – five year degree, requires eight courses
  • Doctor of Philosophy – four to five year degree, requires ten courses

There is one additional program in Mastering Theological English (MTE) for students with English as a second language (who have TOEFL scores below the minimum requirement for admission to Westminster at large). The MTE program prepares such students for success in the MDiv, MAR, and DMin programs.

Admissions: Admissions requirements vary by program, however most often students must submit prior academic transcripts, two to three essay questions, a pastoral reference and academic references. Doctoral candidates may also have to submit a current resume and sample sermon.


Westminster Seminary California

Escondido, California

Westminster Seminary in California, founded in 1980, educates students for pastoral positions. They seek to balance spiritual and academic growth in future church leaders. These leaders will serve within the Presbyterian and Reformed denominations. Other faiths are welcome. An ecumenical spirit exists within a student body, representing more than 25 denominations.

Today there are four Master’s degrees available:

  • Master of Divinity – a three to four-year program which requires 110 credits including Biblical Languages
  • Master of Arts in Biblical Studies – a two-year degree which requires 72 credits
  • Master of Arts in Historical Theology – a two to three-year degree which requires 72 credits
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies – a two-year degree which requires 72 credits

Several non-degree opportunities are also available. WSC keeps membership in the Consortium of Associate Schools of Jerusalem University College. Students have the opportunity to take short-term courses at Jerusalem University College. Classes like Jesus and His Times, and Geographical and Historical Settings of the Bible, give life to the Bible’s historicity.

Admissions: In addition to the online application, students must submit previous academic transcripts and ecclesiastical and academic references. Admissions may request an interview or GRE test scores.


Knox Theological Seminary

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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In 1989, Dr. D. James Kennedy founded the Knox Theological Seminary. This independent evangelical school caters to students from a variety of denominational backgrounds. The Seminary encourages civil conversation within ecumenicalism. However, the Seminary expects all enrolled students to affirm the Apostle’s Creed. Knox Seminary maintains a mission to educate spiritual leaders within the Reformed tradition. These leaders will teach and live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faculty and staff hold to God’s sovereignty, Biblical inerrancy, and the Great Commission.

The following degree programs are available:

  • Master of Divinity – 90 credits, up to 30 of which must be completed on campus. Three to five-years to completion.
  • Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies – 60 credits. Three to five-years to completion.
  • Master of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies – 48 credits. Two to three-years to completion.
  • Doctor of Ministry – 30 credits. Three to six-years to completion. Offers three tracks:
    • Theological Exegesis
    • Biblical Preaching and Teaching
    • Gospel in Church and Culture

Students have the option to complete the Master’s programs completely online. A variety of online individual courses and certificate programs are also available.

Admissions: Admissions requirements vary by program. Most programs require previous academic transcripts and pastoral and academic letters of recommendation. The Doctoral program also requires a previous Master of Divinity degree, or its equivalent, and a minimum of three years pastoral experience.


New Brunswick Seminary

New Brunswick, New Jersey

The New Brunswick Seminary, founded in 1784, is the oldest independent Protestant institution. Affiliated with the Reformed Church of America, students are yet diverse and ecumenical. Professors emphasize high standards of academics. This includes excellence in ministry, critical thinking, and personal reflection. The urban setting of the Seminary allows for students to act justly and lead faithfully. Enrollment is flexible, with full and part-time, day or evening options. Online options are also available.

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The available degree programs include:

  • Master of Divinity – 81 credits, three to six-years time to completion
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling – 48 credits, two to four-years time to completion
  • Master of Theological Studies – 48 credits with an average of two-years time to completion. The curriculum allows for a number of elective classes for students to create their own area of concentration that meets their career goals. Students may take a vocational focus or a PhD preparation focus.
  • Dual Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling – 96 credit, four to seven-years time to completion. Students must take classes in four consecutive modules.
  • Doctor of Ministry – average three-years time to completion with one-week intensives three times each year. Offers four areas of concentration:
    • Prophetic Urban Ministry
    • Transformational Preaching
    • Missiology and Global Christianity
    • Pastoral Care and Counseling / Pastoral Theology

Admissions: Most programs require students to submit previous transcripts, a statement of purpose, and two to three letters of recommendation. Doctoral candidates must also submit a critical essay and have a minimum of three years ministry experience.


University of Dubuque

Dubuque, Iowa

Founded in 1852, the University of Dubuque manages its own Theological Seminary. They keep connections to the Presbyterian Church. Located in Iowa, the Seminary embraces an ecumenical nature. The school honors other denominations that respect Christian teachings and traditions. The Seminary encourages community worship and fellowship. This allows students to connect in bible studies, prayer groups, concerts, and missions. Dubuque Seminary maintains a Field Education Program that helps place students in ministries. This allows for the development of practical service skills and life experience.

Dubuque Theological Seminary offers the following degrees:

  • Master of Divinity – 75 credits, distance or residential program
  • Master of Arts in Mission Discipleship – 40 credits, distance or residential program
  • Master of Arts in Christian Leadership – 30 credits, completely online
  • Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity program – for undergraduate students at Dubuque to transfer into the Master of Divinity program and complete all requirements within six years
  • Doctor of Ministry – offers two focus areas
    • Military Chaplaincy
    • Pastoral and Congregational Renewal

Other available programs include the Young Adult Ministry Scholars, Education for Laity, Continuing Education, and many other special programs and electives.

Admissions: Admissions requirements vary based on the desired program. Admissions accepts students on a rolling basis.

Accreditation: The Seminary receives accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.

The Best Reformed Theological Seminaries - Successful Student (3)

For a complete list of online Master of Divinity degrees, see the article Fully Online MDiv Degrees: The Complete List.


Where can I study Reformed theology? ›

You can now pursue an accredited degree in Reformed Theology for free from The North American Reformed Seminary (TNARS).

Is Reformed Theological seminary conservative? ›

Founded by conservatives in the Southern Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church in the United States, in 1966, it serves primarily students from more conservative branches of the Presbyterian and Reformed traditions.
Reformed Theological Seminary.
MottoA mind for truth. A heart for God.
9 more rows

What denomination is Reformed Theological seminary? ›

Reformed Theological Seminary exists to glorify the Triune God and to serve His Church in all branches of evangelical Christianity, especially Presbyterian and Reformed churches, by providing Reformed graduate theological education that is globally accessible.

Is Fuller Seminary liberal or conservative? ›

Fuller envisaged that the seminary would become "a Caltech of the evangelical world." The earliest faculty held theologically and socially conservative views, though professors with liberal perspectives arrived in the 1960s and 1970s.

What seminaries are reformed? ›

By Stephen DeRose
1Princeton Theological SeminaryPrinceton, New Jersey
2Westminster Theological SeminaryGlenside, Pennsylvania
3Westminster Seminary CaliforniaEscondido, California
4Knox Theological SeminaryFort Lauderdale, Florida
2 more rows
31 May 2022

How do you become a Reformed pastor? ›

Steps to Become a Pastor
  1. Volunteer For Service in Your Church.
  2. Get a Complete Education in Religion and Pastoral Studies.
  3. Meet Your Denomination's Qualifications for Becoming Ordained.
  4. Take and Pass Your Ordination Examinations.
  5. Become Ordained or Licensed as a Pastor in Your Faith.
26 Jan 2022

What denomination is Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary? ›


What is Reformation theology? ›

Reformed theologians teach that sin so affects human nature that they are unable even to exercise faith in Christ by their own will. While people are said to retain will, in that they willfully sin, they are unable not to sin because of the corruption of their nature due to original sin.

What denomination is Westminster Theological Seminary? ›

Reformed theological tradition

What does the Reformed Theological seminary believe? ›

A seminary committed to training the next generation of preachers, pastors, and theological leaders. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as originally written, are God's inerrant Word inspired by His Spirit and therefore are the only infallible authority for faith and practice.

Is Western seminary conservative? ›

Though Western Seminary students come from a large number of Christian denominations and non-denominational churches, the faculty teaches a conservative and evangelical Christian doctrine, with a philosophy of ministry in and alongside the church.

What is Fuller Theological Seminary? ›

Fuller Theological Seminary is one of the world's leading Christian graduate educational institutions. It is a multidenominational, international, and multiethnic seminary committed to training global Christian leaders for the fulfillment of their religious callings in Christian ministries.

How hard is it to get into Fuller Theological Seminary? ›

As you can see from the data above, Fuller Theological Seminary is exceptionally difficult to get into. Not only should you be aiming for a 3.15 but also SAT scores around -. Getting into Fuller Theological Seminary is no easy feat and you will need to set yourself apart with more than just numbers and data.

Is Fuller Theological Seminary good? ›

Fuller Theological Seminary was excellent academically and had a supportive Christian environment. However it was very expensive. In hind sight I may have pursued a Masters in Social Work which is way more marketable in the mental health field. Yes, I would recommend this course to a friend.

Is Fuller Seminary a good school? ›

"Fuller is a great school, but it is a private school so it might be a bit more costly. Student life is lively and the campus affords students so many ways of interacting and meeting one another. The academics are great and the research is cutting edge." "Fuller is great school, providing world class teaching."

What denomination is Erskine theological seminary? ›

Erskine College was founded by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church in 1839. Prior to this time the church had established an academy for men in Due West, S.C., in 1835, and a seminary in 1837. The academy became Erskine College, the first four-year church-related college in South Carolina.

Is Denver Seminary conservative? ›

The school was originally known as the Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary and, in 1982, changed its name to Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary. The school changed its name again in 1998 to Denver Seminary to reflect its growing appeal to a wide-spectrum of evangelical students.

Is Knox Theological Seminary accredited? ›

Knox Theological Seminary is Accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved: Master of Divinity, MA (Christian and Classical Studies), MA (Biblical and Theological Studies), and the Doctor of Ministry.

Can you be a pastor without being ordained? ›

There are no government certification or licensure requirements for pastors, but some denominations refer to to pastor or minister ordination as certification or licensure.

How much does it cost to become a pastor? ›

All of this comes at a price, one that has done nothing but climb in recent years. The cost of tuition for most four-year seminary programs runs anywhere from $35,000 to $50,000, according to Don Davis, president of the Urban Ministry Institute.

What is an ordained minister called? ›

In the majority of churches, ordained ministers are styled "The Reverend". However, as stated above, some are styled "Pastor" and others do not use any religious style or form of address, and are addressed as any other person, e.g. as Mr, Ms, Miss, Mrs or by name.

How hard is it to get into Gordon-Conwell? ›

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's average GPA is 3.15. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary does require GPA. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is currently selective. However, be aware that oftentimes schools in this GPA range are increasing their selectivity in hope of increasing “prestige”.

How many students attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary? ›

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary has a total enrollment of 1,489 students. The full-time enrollment at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is 418 students and the part-time enrollment is 1,071. This means that 28.1% of students enrolled at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary are enrolled full-time.

Is Gordon College affiliated with Gordon-Conwell? ›

The merged schools settled about two miles from the Gordon College campus, forming the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Though they share a common heritage, the college and seminary are no longer formally linked.

Does Reformed theology believe in predestination? ›

Predestination has been especially associated with John Calvin and the Reformed tradition. There has been no argument in Reformed theology about the positive side of the doctrine of predestination...

Are Baptists Calvinists? ›

The Particular Baptists adhered to the doctrine of a particular atonement—that Christ died only for an elect—and were strongly Calvinist (following the Reformation teachings of John Calvin) in orientation; the General Baptists held to the doctrine of a general atonement—that Christ died for all people and not only for ...

Is John Piper a Calvinist? ›

John Stephen Piper (born January 11, 1946) is an American New Testament scholar, Reformed theologian, pastor, and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
John Piper (theologian)
John Piper
Tradition or movementEvangelicalism Reformed Baptist New Calvinism
Notable ideasChristian hedonism
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What denomination is Peter Enns? ›

Enns is a biblical scholar who teaches and writes on Old Testament, New Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and the intersection of biblical studies and contemporary Christian faith.

Why did Carl leave Westminster? ›

In 2018 Trueman resigned his position at Westminster to become a full-time undergraduate professor at Grove City College, serving as Full Professor in their Department of Biblical and Religious Studies as of the fall semester of that same year.

Is Bible college the same as seminary? ›

Bible colleges are usually billed as regular colleges, just with a biblical slant. Students from Christian backgrounds who want a college campus community that will nurture their beliefs often choose to attend bible colleges. Seminary is for students who want to pursue a career in ministry.

Who founded Reformed theology? ›

Calvinism , the theology advanced by John Calvin, a Protestant reformer in the 16th century, and its development by his followers. The term also refers to doctrines and practices derived from the works of Calvin and his followers that are characteristic of the Reformed churches.

What is Arminianism vs Calvinism? ›

Calvinists believe God is 100% sovereign and he knows everything that will happen because he planned it. Arminians believe God is sovereign, but has limited control in relation to man's freedom and their response to it. Another one, Election. This is the concept of how people are chosen for salvation.

Does Calvary Chapel believe in predestination? ›

Calvinism and Arminianism

Regarding unconditional election, Calvary Chapel affirms that God, "based on his foreknowledge, has predestined the believer," and that "God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God's invitation to salvation."

How good is Western Seminary? ›

Western Seminary is a great place to earn a Masters Degree in Biblical and Theological Studies, Ministry, Divinity, or get your ThM. The professors are some of the best men I have learned from and are patient and understanding of your life situations. Challenging and fun are two words to describe Western.

What is Phoenix Seminary? ›

Phoenix Seminary is an evangelical Protestant seminary in Phoenix, Arizona. It was founded in 1988 as a branch campus of Western Seminary and became independent in 2004. Phoenix Seminary. Motto. Scholarship with a Shepherd's Heart.

What denomination is Portland seminary? ›

Portland Seminary at George Fox University is a multi-denominational, university-based school that offers a variety of master's degree and postgraduate degree programs in theology and ministry, located in Portland, Oregon.
Portland Seminary.
Former nameGeorge Fox Evangelical Seminary
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What is Fuller Seminary known for? ›

Known for its socially conservative views, Fuller is a premier private non-profit Christian seminary dedicated to Biblical education. Each year, Fuller Theological Seminary enrolls over 4,050 graduate students from more than 110 faith denominations and 80 global nations.

What is the Harvard Divinity School? ›

Harvard Divinity School (HDS) is one of the constituent schools of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school's mission is to educate its students either in the academic study of religion or for leadership roles in religion, government, and service.

What is the largest Southern Baptist seminary? ›

For more than fifty years Southern has been one of the world's largest theological seminaries, with an FTE (full-time equivalent) enrollment of over 3,300 students in 2015.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
MottoFor the truth. For the church. For the world. For the glory of God
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Where did John Piper go to seminary? ›

After college, he studied for and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (1968-71).

Is DTS a Baptist seminary? ›

It is known for popularizing the theological system dispensationalism.
Dallas Theological Seminary.
Other nameDTS
TypeEvangelical seminary
ChancellorMark Bailey
11 more rows

Who founded Fuller Theological Seminary? ›

Fuller Theological Seminary

What can I do with an MA in religion? ›

Your religious studies master can lead to a wide range of leadership opportunities, including these top jobs:
  • Religious Activities and Education Directors.
  • Community and Social Service Specialists.
  • Clergy.
  • Social and Community Service Managers.
  • Postsecondary Education Administrators.
  • Postsecondary Teachers.
5 Jan 2021

What is spurgeons college? ›

Spurgeon's College is an evangelical Baptist theological college in South Norwood, London, UK. It is affiliated with the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

What does the term theology mean? ›

Theology literally means 'thinking about God'. In practice it usually means studying the sources of Christian belief like the Bible and the Creeds, and exploring the meaning of Christianity for today.

What can a woman do with a theology degree? ›

Other theology jobs

Other possible theology jobs can include working as an advice worker, archivist, a charity fundraiser, counselor, community development worker, civil service administrator, police officer, and roles in publishing, such as editorial and journalism.

Can you teach theology with a masters? ›

Universities, colleges, and religious organizations need qualified candidates to teach courses in philosophy, theology, and religious studies. While most colleges and universities require a doctorate for full professorship, those with a master's in theology can teach many undergraduate courses.

How much do theologians make? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $93,500 and as low as $11,000, the majority of Theology salaries currently range between $41,000 (25th percentile) to $62,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $89,000 annually across the United States.

What division is Spurgeon College? ›

Spurgeon College is located in Kansas City, MO and the Basketball program competes in the Division II conference.

What are the 3 virtues? ›

The three Theological Virtues are Faith, Hope, and Charity. Faith is the virtue that enables us to believe in God and believe what He has revealed to us as truth because He is Truth Himself.

Who invented theology? ›

The first great theologian, however, was Socrates' student Plato, who appears also to have been the first to use the term theology. For Plato, theology was the study of eternal realities, the realm of what he called forms, or ideas.

Is theology a science or art? ›

Theology is a science because it complies with the criteria to be classified as a science.


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