December 24, 2006 Q & A

OPC and Seminary Choice


Is there any difference between the west coast seminary and the east coast seminary in the OPC? In other words, other than geography, how would one decide which seminary to go if the decision were down to these two?


I assume that you mean Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) and Westminster Seminary California. Neither of these is officially affiliated with the Othodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). The Christian Education Committee does routinely visit these and other seminaries and provide information on them to the General Assembly. You may procure such information by requesting it, either from the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly or the General Secretary of Christian Education.

Historically, the OPC has had a strong relationship with Westminster east and west, having OPC ministers and ruling elders on their respective faculties and boards. The OPC does not operate a seminary. The church typically recommends several as options from which men may choose, e.g. (in alphabetical order), Covenant Theological Seminary, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Mid-America Reformed Seminary, Northwest Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Seminary California, and Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). (All of the preceding seminaries—with the possible exception of Covenant Seminary—include OPC ministers on the full-time regular faculty.)

There are thus many seminaries that the OPC recommends as meeting the curriculum requirements set forth in the Book of Church Order. In addition, the OPC has a Ministerial Training Institute, which offers seminary level courses in order to supplement seminary education.

As I said, the OPC recommends both Westminster east and Westminster west as options from which men may choose. Historically, the assembly has encouraged pastors and churches to support these seminaries by prayer and monetary contributions.

In my opinion, either Westminster east or Westminster west is a fine option. While they may have some slight differences in emphasis, to my knowledge both affirm the Westminster standards, and both have qualified and godly professors. Personally, I would find it difficult to decide between the two.

Here is what I would suggest if you have narrowed down your choices to these two seminaries: Secure a catalog from each and compare them. Talk or correspond with recent graduates of each institution. If possible, visit both campuses, sitting in on representative classes, arranging in advance to meet with someone in the admissions office. Then decide.

I pray that this answers your questions. If you need anything clarified, please feel free to write.



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