WSCAL and Board Intro

Elect_Exile

Puritan Board Freshman
First, I would like to express my profound gratitude for this board and all who contribute to it. Reading posts from the recent past as well as those over a decade ago is providing me with some much-needed counsel to enable, as best as possible, that my “plans [will NOT] fail” as I make a decision on a seminary.

Second, I am both a newcomer to this board as well as a relative newcomer to reformed theology, in the formal sense of the term. If you had asked me if I was reformed a year ago, I would have not been able to say yes even though I had a great many of the elements of reformed theology solidified in my thinking. I have walked with the Lord as long as I can remember, with the ever present, unceasing pursuit of God and His word which has been “like a fire shut up in my bones.” About 10 years ago (age 25) I set out on a quest to rediscover the big themes of Scripture which, in the wake of Dispensational disillusionment, seemed like an impossible task. If anyone here has ever come out of that world, then you will know that is only by God’s grace that you are able to do so, so firm is the grip of indoctrination of what it teaches about Israel vs. the church. I was even, at one time, a member of John Hagee’s non-profit Christians United for Israel….yeah… Oh the irony. I do want to be charitable to my dispensational brethren, but I admit that this has been difficult. God forgive me. I do sometimes refer to it as Dispen-Sen-sationalism. Is that being uncharitable? :) I just cannot bear to see the authority and finished work of Christ undermined and defamed as it so blatantly is with this teaching. In any event, I had been adrift, more or less, in a sea of confusion and misunderstanding in the wake of dispensationalism about the overarching themes of Scripture. What began as a pulling upon the thread of the pre-trib rapture debate ended up unravelling way more than I bargained for and set me on a course to finally ground my thinking in sound and Christ-exalting ecclesiology, Christology, and eschatology.

Furthermore, as a member of the military and lifelong lover of America, part of my quest also involved extricating myself from wrong thinking about the Kingdom of God. I am grateful to a faithful brother and associate with the Navigators who, without even knowing, helped me do this. Praise God that His kingdom is not something that we have to establish on our own efforts on this side of heaven. I have exerted much needless mental energy and shed countless tears over the seeming loss of a “Christendom” that God never commissioned us to establish. I have had to repent.

I write all this to say that coming out of wrong theology is as dramatic, if not more so, than becoming a new creation in Christ. I didn’t grow up being taught Reformed theology per se or sit at the feet of Presbyterian minister. My loyalty, though, has always been to God’s Word, wherever it leads. And I can’t tell you how incredible it has been to find that God brought me, ever so slowly, to find in Reformed theology an understanding of Scripture that codifies all of the insights (more than just those mentioned) God had given me, little by little, along the way. It’s more affirming than I can say. To God be the glory!

To round out this mini-autobiography of an intro, I am giving WSCAL serious consideration. Unless there is some little gem I’m not currently aware of hiding somewhere, it appears that, sadly, of all the available seminaries on the West Coast, let alone on the entire western half of the country, WSCAL appears to be the last man standing for an accredited, conservative, and soundly Reformed graduate institution. Am I wrong?

-Luke
 

MChase

Puritan Board Freshman
Very nice to hear of your transition into reformed theology and a more pure expression of Christianity. As someone who was zealous to enter the ministry after quickly coming to the reformed faith, I would encourage you to have your session and presbytery examine your life and call to see if you are in fact equipped to further your education and pursue the path towards public ministry. The question of which seminary to go to will be something to discuss after having come under care.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
What about New Geneva in Colorado Springs? I haven't kept up with them the last few years.

And, Greetings.
 

J.L. Allen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Greetings! Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana. There's a link in my signature (which you'll want to customize your own signature, too). :)
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Welcome Luke!

I had looked into seminary awhile back and it wasn't my calling despite my love and fascination for theology. Though I love teaching!

I don't know much about tuition now but New Geneva would be worth looking into. Accreditation depends. Ministering in a conservative Reformed denomination traditional accreditation doesn't matter as they are still very rigorous. https://artseminaries.org
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Luke, see full signature requirements here: https://www.puritanboard.com/help/signature/

To access the field to change your signature,

‘Click on your username on the main navigation bar (on my screen, upper right next to the envelope and bell icons), click signature from the menu that appears, supply the information requested.’
(Copied and pasted, thanks Chris!)
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
BTW, Luke, can you fix your signature according to Board Rules. Click on "Signature Requirements" under my signature to see how.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have some concerns about WSCAL, although I'd rather not go into detail. PRTS, RPTS, or Greenville would be my first choices. I know they're not where you're looking, but a good education is worth living in an unfamiliar or distant place for a few years in my opinion. Plus you could save on rent over California.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Hey Luke,

I am an Old Navigator and have had the privilege of knowing a few of the original Navigators. One of my mentors Dr. Roy Blackwood use to spend a lot of time with Dawson and Leroy Eims as a friend. He was a WWII Navy Pilot. Reformed Theology isn't as hard to understand when Covenant Theology unfolds. The Doctrines of Grace are a lot easier to understand when Covenant Theology is understood. A lot of people are introduced to it through the Calvinism vs. Arminianism discussion which is partly about what it means to be Born Again (regenerate) and the discussion of the will of man and the will of God. You can pull your hair out over that topic. LOL.

I was fortunate. I became a Christian in a Navy Barracks reading the Gospels. You can read my testimony here. It isn't the three minute version. lol RPCNA Covenanter Testimony I didn't really grow up in Church. Just a hand shake kind of thing as a kid. So I didn't have a lot of Church Theology baggage when I was converted. In fact I was Born a Calvinist. My introduction to end times stuff was strange. I had read the whole old Testament in 3 Months and was fortunate by grace to understand that Israel was the Church in the Wilderness. I was a Reformed Baptist for about 30 years even though I was mostly Presbyterian in my theology. I will be a Christian for 40 years this October. So you can ask me anything. I can't tell you the answers are correct but they will have a reason for why I think the way I do. That can be pretty messed up I am sure. LOL

Concerning Seminaries, I have five Seminaries that I have a lot of appreciation for. Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Mid America Reformed Seminary, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia. Those are not in any particular order.

Welcome to the Puritanboard.
 

Elect_Exile

Puritan Board Freshman
Very nice to hear of your transition into reformed theology and a more pure expression of Christianity. As someone who was zealous to enter the ministry after quickly coming to the reformed faith, I would encourage you to have your session and presbytery examine your life and call to see if you are in fact equipped to further your education and pursue the path towards public ministry. The question of which seminary to go to will be something to discuss after having come under care.
Thank you for the advice. Though I am not in the position of seeking that type of counsel from a presbytery as I’m not in such a church at this time, I have been and continue to solicit feedback from older men of faith both in my current church and from ministries’ past to affirm this calling. In fact, one of my good friends and, still, mentors who moved away last year, and is a retired Army chaplain, has given me both invaluable counsel as well as provided some of that affirmation. I really feel blessed to have crossed paths so many times and in unexpected ways with amazing men of faith and principle. My current pastor (who is dispensational, lol) has been so gracious to confirm that which is in my own heart to pursue, even though he knows we disagree pretty strongly on some issues. It takes someone really humble to be able to do that. I think that matters even more to me than getting confirmation from those who I see eye-to-eye with on everything.
 

Elect_Exile

Puritan Board Freshman
I have some concerns about WSCAL, although I'd rather not go into detail. PRTS, RPTS, or Greenville would be my first choices. I know they're not where you're looking, but a good education is worth living in an unfamiliar or distant place for a few years in my opinion. Plus you could save on rent over California.
Please PM me about your concerns. Also, moving is not a deterrent in the least. I live in Colorado and would happily go where I felt convicted. I am also in the fortunate position of having the GI Bill, which bases the housing stipend on the school location, so proportional to overall cost of living for that locale.
 

MChase

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for the advice. Though I am not in the position of seeking that type of counsel from a presbytery as I’m not in such a church at this time, I have been and continue to solicit feedback from older men of faith both in my current church and from ministries’ past to affirm this calling. In fact, one of my good friends and, still, mentors who moved away last year, and is a retired Army chaplain, has given me both invaluable counsel as well as provided some of that affirmation. I really feel blessed to have crossed paths so many times and in unexpected ways with amazing men of faith and principle. My current pastor (who is dispensational, lol) has been so gracious to confirm that which is in my own heart to pursue, even though he knows we disagree pretty strongly on some issues. It takes someone really humble to be able to do that. I think that matters even more to me than getting confirmation from those who I see eye-to-eye with on everything.

I would suggest trying to find a Reformed church to worship at and eventually become a member at. It will be helpful, if not necessary, to be involved and situated within the life of the body of a solid, confessional church before trying to go on from there. Springs Reformed Church, of the RPCNA, is relatively close to you it seems.

Find someone who will tell you no. Not an ultimate no, but a "lets see how it goes for the next bit. Hold a job, come set up the chairs (or whatever needs to be done), show hospitality, and we will see in XXXXX time". That is probably a person who has seen a fair number of men go through seminary and fall on their face after that.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Seminaries I would recommend:
Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

WSC is a solid seminary in several areas, but my issues would be with their two kingdoms views. I know you mentioned wanting to stay on the west coast but a seminary education is important enough that I would suggest looking into relocating to wherever necessary to attend. I believe all three of the above ones I mentioned offer some forms of distance education also.
 
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