Western Theological Seminary

For the former institution in Pittsburgh, see Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. For the former institution in Illinois, see Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.
The Western Theological Seminary
Type Seminary, Professional school, Graduate school
Established 1866
Affiliation Reformed Church in America
President Timothy Brown
Location Holland, Michigan, USA
Website www.westernsem.edu
Designated March 9, 1966

The Western Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church in America, known as Western Theological Seminary (WTS) is a seminary located in Holland, Michigan, in the United States. Established in 1866, it is one of two seminaries[lower-alpha 1] operated by the Reformed Church in America, a mainline Reformed Protestant denomination in Canada and the United States that follows the theological tradition and Christian practice of John Calvin.[lower-alpha 2][1]

The seminary offers professional and graduate degree programs for candidates for ministry, and to those pursuing careers in academia or non-theological fields. It was established to fill a need for theological education on the (then) western frontier of the Reformed Church in America. In its theological identity, Western Theological Seminary is ecumenical and Reformed. Western Theological Seminary prepares students for ministry often involving ordination (many in the Reformed Church in America), as well as for further graduate study, chaplaincy, missions, youth ministry, social service ministry, etc. Although WTS is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, it is ecumenical in scope and it educates students from other denominations, including: the Christian Reformed Church, the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA).


In 1866, seven students graduating from Hope College felt called to full-time Christian ministry following graduation. They wanted to pursue their theological training in West Michigan, so they made a petition to the General Synod of the Reformed Church to allow for theological training through the Hope College Religion Department. Permission was granted and Western Theological Seminary was established.[2]


The school has full accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).

Degrees offered

Notable graduates



  1. The other being New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, New Jersey
  2. Note, before 1819, RCA was the North American branch of the Dutch Reformed Church.


  1. Reformed Church in America. Educational Institutions – Seminaries. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  2. "The Western Story". http://www.westernsem.edu/about/mission/. Western Theological Seminary. External link in |website= (help);

Coordinates: 42°47′10″N 86°06′11″W / 42.786°N 86.103°W / 42.786; -86.103

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