Should I be concerned about attending Westminster Seminary California because of pandemic shut downs/government over reach?

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Matt Ryan

Puritan Board Freshman
Brothers,
I was intending to apply at WTS for Fall of 2022 to pursue a MAR in Theology and a PhD. I live about an hour from WTS in Philadelphia but due to a medical condition my wife's doctor suggested we consider moving to a warmer climate. So I have been looking at WSC in Escondido, CA but I'm apprehensive on account of the political climate, particularly the covid restrictions, mandates and harsh shut downs over the past 2 years.

Could anyone speak to this situation? Does anyone else share my reservations? I would especially appreciate current students counsel! Thanks!
 

Andrew's Myth

Puritan Board Freshman
I graduated WSCAL this spring. The last 3 semesters I was there (of 6 total) were pretty severely disrupted by COVID (either only online or hybrid with masking requirements). Right now, the seminary is open to in-person instruction and California doesn't seem to be pressing new restrictions at the moment. However, if there are any new restrictions, you can expect the seminary to comply fully. There also is some vaccinated/unvaccinated discrimination going on if that is a concern to you, as mandated by San Diego County (https://wscal.edu/media/docs/202122WSC_COVID_Guidelines.pdf)
 

Matt Ryan

Puritan Board Freshman
I graduated WSCAL this spring. The last 3 semesters I was there (of 6 total) were pretty severely disrupted by COVID (either only online or hybrid with masking requirements). Right now, the seminary is open to in-person instruction and California doesn't seem to be pressing new restrictions at the moment. However, if there are any new restrictions, you can expect the seminary to comply fully. There also is some vaccinated/unvaccinated discrimination going on if that is a concern to you, as mandated by San Diego County (https://wscal.edu/media/docs/202122WSC_COVID_Guidelines.pdf)
Thanks. That's helpful. I noticed that WSC received government funds through the pandemic so I figured they wouldn't be in a position to resist mandates. I did also notice the vaccinated/unvaccinated distinction. Did you experience that at all during your time there? Do they require proof of vaccination?
 

Matt Ryan

Puritan Board Freshman
The cost of living and tuition would be greater concerns than COVID.

Cost of living looks like it would be largely mitigated by their new residential community which has very reasonable lease prices. And while they're not cheap, their tuition costs are significantly less than WTS or TEDS (among others). Depends on scholarships/financial aid too. I'm concerned about covid regulations because if I'm going to make the investment and move across the country for 3 years, I don't want to be locked down and stuck with online or hybrid courses.
 

Andrew's Myth

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks. That's helpful. I noticed that WSC received government funds through the pandemic so I figured they wouldn't be in a position to resist mandates. I did also notice the vaccinated/unvaccinated distinction. Did you experience that at all during your time there? Do they require proof of vaccination?
The vaccines came to be near the tail end of my time there, so it wasn't really an issue. I don't know if they're requiring proof now or not.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
There used to be a couple of Westminster California folks on here. I'll see if I can dig one out after work.

It's hard to compete with the San Diego climate, but there are several RTS seminaries in warm and temperate areas.
 

nickipicki123

Puritan Board Freshman
San Diego's vaccine and mask rules are going to be a lot different than Los Angeles or San Fransisco, FWW. I doubt they're going to implement a vaccine mandate. But idk about WSCal itself.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
GPTS, though, is in the south.
I am aware as I have been there many times. As you know, I only commented on PRTS.

GPTS is, indeed, in the south, but it is also humid. The question is whether the health issues require a drier climate or a warm climate with humidity being of no concern.
 
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RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I am aware as I have been there many times. As you know, I only commented on PRTS.

GPTS is, indeed, in the south, but it is also humid. The question is whether the health issues require a drier climate or a warm climate with humidity being of no concern.
I am not a doctor but I am pretty good with google. In all seriousness, though, drier climes are better than humid climes (I live in Louisiana).
 

Matt Ryan

Puritan Board Freshman
I appreciate the various suggestions. While I don't wish to pay a billion dollars for my education, cost isn't my biggest concern. My reason for desiring to go to WTS (originally) and now considering WSC (because of my wife's health) are the particular distinctives of those schools, particularly their approach to systematic theology viewed through a redemptive historical/biblical theological lens, their understanding of Christ as the substance of true biblical preaching, presuppositional apologetics, etc).

Is anyone concerned about the influence of CRT at RTS?
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Is anyone concerned about the influence of CRT at RTS?
Frankly, brother, if you are worried about CRT creeping into your seminary education, I would avoid all major/flagship seminaries, including ones that purport to be Reformed. The ones Pastor Barnes recommended above are solid and free of liberal nonsense.
 

Matt Ryan

Puritan Board Freshman
Frankly, brother, if you are worried about CRT creeping into your seminary education, I would avoid all major/flagship seminaries, including ones that purport to be Reformed. The ones Pastor Barnes recommended above are solid and free of liberal nonsense.
I haven't heard of any of that nonsense at WSC/WTS. I'll check out RPTS, GPTS. I didn't know they existed till now.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
My understanding is that Jackson at least pulled back somewhat. I'm not clear just how much of a platform they gave Jemar Tisby to promote his views. He's no longer there, so that's good.
Is Ligon Duncan still involved? He is still trending very woke. He is also the one that platformed Tisby for awhile.
 

Matt Ryan

Puritan Board Freshman
Is Ligon Duncan still involved? He is still trending very woke. He is also the one that platformed Tisby for awhile.
Yes, he's the President. Thus my concern. I want to pursue a PhD in order to teach, so I think I ought to go the accredited route.
 

Matt Ryan

Puritan Board Freshman
San Diego's vaccine and mask rules are going to be a lot different than Los Angeles or San Fransisco, FWW. I doubt they're going to implement a vaccine mandate. But idk about WSCal itself.
I expected it could come from the state level, not the county.
 

Matt Ryan

Puritan Board Freshman
Sadly, there is some of that nonsense (CRT) at WSC. It's mostly driven by students and some area churches, but it's there.
Well, unfortunately there's likely no way to avoid that altogether. When Paul was leaving Ephesus he said that some of the elders would turn out to be wolves. Its probably safe to say that no matter where we are we will be required to contend for the faith. I just don't want to make the investment required to attend seminary if that is trending in that direction among its leadership/professors.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Is Ligon Duncan still involved? He is still trending very woke. He is also the one that platformed Tisby for awhile.

He's the chancellor. I know he isn't personally woke. I see him the same way as Mohler. Personally conservative while sometimes platforming those who aren't (although I don't know of any who are currently teaching Wokism at RTS. I'd be surprised if there were).
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Yes, he's the President. Thus my concern. I want to pursue a PhD in order to teach, so I think I ought to go the accredited route.

Do you want to teach at college/university? If so, you will almost have to get the PhD from either a divinity school or a big-name college. While I am quite reticent to link to James KA Smith, his series on grad schools is required reading.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
I haven't heard of any of that nonsense at WSC/WTS.
I can’t speak for WSC, but I’ve heard things out of WTS that are troubling. Honestly, I believe ATS accreditation is dangerous and corrupting our seminaries. As someone who in his youthful arrogance and foolishness attended a big-name seminary for the big name, I would implore you not to take that route. I know you want to teach (I did, too), but focus more on solid, thorough, and godly Reformed training by qualified men over accreditation.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
He's the chancellor. I know he isn't personally woke. I see him the same way as Mohler. Personally conservative while sometimes platforming those who aren't (although I don't know of any who are currently teaching Wokism at RTS. I'd be surprised if there were).
Unfortunately Ligon is woke himself, perhaps not completely though. He wrote the forward to woke church by Eric Mason and endorsed it. Also, I am not sure if you saw the video about how his black friends couldn't trust him because of the color of his skin ("for very good reasons" he stated), but that one was bad.

Also, if you are platforming someone, I would see that as approving of it at some level. I do believe Mohler has more to answer for on that front. The SBC in general these days is a disaster. I can't speak to wokism being specifically taught at RTS. I will take your word on that.

Edit: my conclusion from the "very good reason reasons" comment is he is buying into the CRT definitions of being white/whiteness. The only other "good reason" could be that Ligon is an actual racist (which I don't believe is true at all).

https://rumble.com/vk8a6s-ligon-dun...ends-have-trouble-trusting-me-for-really.html (start around 1:20 mark)
 
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RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Unfortunately Ligon is woke himself, perhaps not completely though. He wrote the forward to woke church by Eric Mason and endorsed it. Also, I am not sure if you saw the video about how his black friends couldn't trust him because of the color of his skin ("for very good reasons" he stated), but that one was bad.

Also, if you are platforming someone, I would see that as approving of it at some level. I do believe Mohler has more to answer for on that front. The SBC in general these days is a disaster. I can't speak to wokism being specifically taught at RTS. I will take your word on that.

Edit: my conclusion from the "very good reason reasons" comment is he is buying into the CRT definitions of being white/whiteness. The only other "good reason" could be that Ligon is an actual racist (which I don't believe is true at all).

I remember that now.
 
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