Westminster Theological Seminary Quick Facts
MDiv; MA; ThM; PhD
Number of Students
Tuition Costs for 2016 - 2017
$525/hr (MDiv); $3,210/course (ThM; PhD)
The history of Westminster Theological Seminary is necessarily tied to the history of Princeton Seminary in the early 20th century. While Princeton had long been associated with so-called "Princeton Theology," a Reformed, evangelical, yet academically rigorous approach that called for a high view of scripture and the transformative nature of the Christian life, the early 20th century saw many in Princeton Seminary embrace a more modernist view of the Bible.
Westminster Seminary was founded by former Princeton professors, including Robert Dick Wilson, Cornelius Van Til, and J. Gresham Machen, intending to honor the spirit of Princeton theologians such as Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, J. A. Alexander, and B. B. Warfield. To this day, Westminster Seminary expects faculty and trustees alike to adhere, not unsurprisingly, to the Westminster Confession of Faith as well as the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Westminster takes its orthodox, Reformed heritage very seriously and seeks to apply it to every facet of its academic programs.
Westminster currently offers the MDiv (with emphases available in Pastoral Ministry, Counseling, and Urban Ministries, MA (emphases in Religion, Counseling, and Urban Ministries), ThM (emphases in Old Testament, New Testament, church history, systematic theology, and apologetics), DMin (emphases in pastoral ministry, pastoral counseling, and urban missions, and PhD (emphases in historical and theological studies or hermeneutics and biblical interpretation). Certificate programs in Christian Studies or Biblical and Urban Studies are also available.
Westminster expects its graduates to be proficient in a wide array of theological disciplines, including biblical content, hermeneutics, apologetics, systematic and biblical theology, church history, and practical theology.
On campus, Westminster students have access to The Carriage House, a place for good conversations, small groups, and a good cheap cup of coffee. Numerous student fellowship groups are also available, including the African-American Student Fellowship, Chinese Student Fellowship, Korean Student Fellowship, Missions Fellowship, and Women’s Student Fellowship, among others.
Though the offerings for recreation at Westminster's relatively small campus are limited, the school itself borders the great city of Philadelphia, known for its excellent cuisine, museums, and nightlife. New York City is also just a little hour away by car or train, providing ample opportunities for everything from inner-city ministry to great pizza!
Westminster offers very limited on-campus housing for its students (13 rooms - space for 5 women and 9 men total), so most students will have to locate housing off-campus. The costs in the Philadelphia region vary greatly depending on location, size, and other amenities. The seminary also provides assistance in helping students find safe, affordable housing.
Westminster offers a number of need-based and merit-based grants and scholarships to assist with tuition. The seminary also provides assistance in helping students locate outside scholarship assistance. Furthermore, the seminary participates in federal loan programs, including the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan. There are also many job opportunities at area churches available.