"Sanctify them in the Truth; Your Word is Truth." John 17:17 (ESV)
Westminster is committed to Scripture and to the systematic exposition of biblical truth known as the Reformed faith. The very name of the institution signals clearly that our systematic theology has been and remains an outworking of the theological documents known as the Westminster Standards. In addition to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, the Seminary treasures the rich and harmonious diversity of creeds and confessions within the historic Reformed tradition. In particular, it recognizes that the system of doctrine contained in Scripture is also confessed in the Three Forms of Unity (the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort).
A central aspect of Westminster’s mission is to “form men for the Gospel ministry.” And it is our intention to contribute to the spiritual formation of all of our students, male and female, in the various degree programs. While theological education is a significant part of this “forming,” we believe that theological education alone will not adequately fulfill that mission goal. Formation is more than education; it also involves what B. B. Warfield called the “religious life” of theological students. Westminster is committed to a first-rate academic training, but we are also committed to the equally high standard of helping our students “grow in grace” as they study for ministry.
In theological education, we believe there should be no separation between learning and godliness as the goal of learning. The New Testament speaks of truth that is in accord with godliness (Titus 1:1) and of godliness that is produced through the knowledge of Christ (1 Peter 1:3). Our concern about the intellectual preparation of students for Gospel ministry, and for service in the kingdom of Christ, must never be divorced from a concern for character traits that are necessary for Christian ministry.
A minister must be learned, on pain of being utterly incompetent for his work. But before and above being learned, a minister must be godly. You are students of theology; and, just because you are students of theology, it is understood that you are religious men—especially religious men, to whom the cultivation of your religious life is a matter of the profoundest concern. In your case there can be no ‘either-or’ here—either a student or a man of God. You must be both. - Benjamin B. Warfield