Commitment to Excellence
January 19, 2012
Westminster’s Continuing Commitment to Excellence in Theological Education
January 20, 2012
For over eighty years, Westminster Theological Seminary has been blessed of God to carry out its teaching mission, investing the riches of the Scriptures in the lives of literally thousands of people around the world. By God’s provision and grace, we intend to continue our vital ministry of Reformed theological education.
Founded in 1929 at the heart of America’s darkest financial hour, the Lord saw fit to bless Westminster, and he has sustained us through years of ebbs and flows in financial provision. There has been no time in the last 50 years of Westminster’s storied history that has been without prayerful dependence on God’s people to give. But now in 2012, the reality of a lean economy has brought unprecedented pressure. Like other non-profit organizations in this country, Westminster has suffered significant downturn in contribution income and faces looming challenges. In order to sustain our Westminster legacy, we must face this economic situation with honesty, implementing the appropriate austerity measures.
Seeking to act prayerfully and wisely, we have reduced our staff size and carried out other strategic cost-cutting initiatives, including a seminary wide reorganization. These painful reductions serve not as bailing measures on a sinking vessel, but rather deliberate steps to ensure the ongoing integrity of Westminster’s flagship theological education. As President Lillback put it, “Westminster is called by God to prepare leaders in His worldwide Kingdom. In fact, in the last two years, our student recruitment has remained strong and our new M.Div. student enrollment has been at a record level. We are deeply committed to this task of training leaders. To that end, we continue to use wisely the resources our Lord has graciously provided for us. Our hard decisions today express our long term commitment to assure that Westminster flourishes tomorrow.
Moreover, these actions have not reduced the size of our faculty. Thus in the years to come, we will continue to fulfill our mission to educate gospel-driven leaders to impact our world with the unchanging truths of God’s Word.”
We are tremendously grateful to the Lord for the faithfulness of the Westminster staff and faculty, which have served the institution through the years, and we remain thankful to those who continue to serve with God-given call and commitment. Students at Westminster continue to receive the historically rich, biblically and theologically rigorous, and strategically relevant Reformed theological education. Now in 2012, even with the financial challenges, we find ourselves well positioned to carry out our seminary mission on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ: to form Christian leaders to proclaim the whole counsel of God throughout a changing world.