Strengthening Pastoral Theology at Westminster

Westminster Theological Seminary is refreshing the practical ministry training curriculum within its Master of Divinity (MDiv). With professors Dr. John Currie, Rev. Rob Edwards, and Dr. Alfred Poirier in the newly-renamed ‘Pastoral Theology’ department, the seminary will begin offering a range of new and re-tooled courses aimed at building on the seminary’s heritage in discipling specialists in the Bible to preach, lead, counsel, and evangelize. Here are some of the highlights:

Double the Preaching

The pastoral theology curriculum will double the number of opportunities for MDiv pastoral students to preach. With interdisciplinary collaboration, these courses will provide students with a deep and well-rounded experience of Christ-centered exposition from the Old and New Testaments.

Emphasize leadership training

Pastoral students will experience reshaped courses on leading congregations in ordained ministry as well as new electives geared toward providing hands-on training in pastoral leadership. The curriculum also calls for all MDiv students to engage in theological reflection on the practice of leadership in and beyond the pastoral office.

Preserve the WTS-CCEF legacy in the MDiv

Biblical counseling will become a more expansive, non-negotiable part of the curriculum for every student trained for ministry at Westminster. Like apologetics and redemptive-historical hermeneutics, biblical counseling will function as a core distinctive of the Westminster tradition. 

Expand evangelism and missions

Courses on evangelism and missions will become an essential part of the curriculum for all MDiv students. Drawing on the rich tradition of missiology, reformed orthodoxy, and apologetics at Westminster, these courses are designed to inspire and inform service in Christ’s global church.

These changes are part of our Westminster for the World strategic plan approved by WTS Trustees in fall 2018. We are grateful for the input and support of students, alumni, faculty, CCEF, and ministry leaders, along with past Westminster professors of practical theology who have helped lay the foundation for the revised curriculum design. Please rejoice and pray with us as we seek to strengthen our MDiv with exceptional ministry preparation for years to come.

To learn more about these changes, email us at