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Western Seminary

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Trustworthy and accessible training for Gospel-centered transformation.

Western Seminary is a theologically conservative, trans-denominational graduate school that spans four west coast locations and an online learning community. Since 1927, we’ve trained men and women for strategic ministry roles in the pursuit of gospel-centered transformation. In that time, we’ve sent over 5,500 graduates to serve God and others in a variety of relevant ministry contexts. We’re training more of those leaders, thinkers, counselors and pastors even now. We are driven by the conviction that nothing compares to the biblical gospel’s ability to change lives.

So what makes us different?

  • Gospel-centered Transformation
    All training is built upon the transcendent and saving power of the gospel that our Lord has set in motion out of love. Each of our 12 certificate, master’s degree, and doctoral degree programs equips students for a lifetime of effectiveness in strategic gospel ministry. And for those who don’t need a degree, several personal enrichment training options deliver focused training with a smaller commitment of time and money.
  • Flexible Scheduling Options
    We specialize in serving students living rich and fast-paced lives that include careers, family, and ongoing ministry work. Ordinarily these admirable priorities might make seminary training impossible. But students like these can train effectively with innovative course scheduling like the Monday Track, Hybrid Ministry track, as well as over 80 courses or full degrees through our Online Campus.
  • Critical Ministry Experiences
    The greatest theological and ministry preparation happens when seminary training is paired with real experience. That’s why the majority of praxis-oriented degree programs require students to spend multiple semesters in mentored field ministry, intercultural ministry internship, counseling internship, and coaching practicum. Our students cannot help but engage in service during their training.
  • Real-world Practitioners
    The faculty at Western Seminary blend academic understanding and years of on-the-ground experience in their ministry contexts around the world. Stellar core faculty combine with guest professors to offer our students training that fosters enduring relevance, and genuine rootedness in God.

Our training programs include:


Graduate Programs
Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy
M.A. in Counseling
M.A. (Biblical and Theological Studies)
M.A. in Ministry and Leadership
M.A. in Global Leadership
Graduate Studies Diploma
Addiction Studies Certificate
Graduate Studies Certificate
Advanced and Doctoral Programs
Doctor of Intercultural Studies
Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
Master of Theology (Th.M.)

Personal Enrichment Programs
Certificate in Transformational Coaching
Lay Leadership Training Certificate
Advanced Studies Certificate


We’d love to learn more about you, and how you believe God is leading you in life and ministry. Request a seminary Viewbook packet or visit us so that we can hear your story, and help you explore if Western is the seminary for you!

Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

Western Seminary Online Campus
5511 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, OR 97215

Western Seminary Portland Campus
5511 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, OR 97215

Western Seminary San Jose Campus
469 El Camino Real, #205
Santa Clara, CA 95050

Western Seminary Sacramento Campus
290 Technology Way, Ste 200
Rocklin, CA 95765

Western Seminary Seattle Teaching Site
620 106th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Randal R. Roberts, President Ph: 503.517.1860

Denomination: Non-Denominational

2015-16 Data
Enrollment: 968
Full-time faculty: 22
Part-time faculty: 14 + 109 adjunct faculty

Approved Degrees:
Master of Divinity
M.A. in Counseling
M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy
M.A. (Biblical and Theological Studies)
M.A. in Ministry and Leadership
M.A. in Global Leadership
Doctor of Intercultural Studies
Doctor of Ministry
Master of Theology

Sacramento, CA
Santa Clara, CA

Teaching Site:
Bellevue, WA

Comprehensive distance education program: Yes.

Online Master of Divinity
Online M.A. (Biblical and Theological Studies)
Online M.A. in Ministry and Leadership


14 Reviews

  1. I am an almost-graduate of Western Seminary Sacramento Campus’s M.A. in Marital & Family Therapy program (Aug. 2017, God willing). The past 3+ year have been nothing short of transformative. Beginning this journey, I did not realize the narrow and undeveloped concept of what it meant to be a helper and healer in Jesus’ Name until meeting the challenges at Western. On all fronts of your person–spiritual, sexual, social, racial, cultural, ethical, theological, mental, physical, emotional–you are challenged to dig deep, confront, confess, and invite the Lord into these places for your own healing. You, a transformed person, become a transformational agent in the lives of others. The gospel-integrated training I’ve received in psychotherapy is unparalleled, even though I work alongside other Christian practitioners who attended secular schools; learning how to SERVE both ethically and professionally FROM our Christian faith is not always the same as being a Christian who does therapy. I cannot recommend this program enough for the Christian who seeks to advance the Kingdom in the area of mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

  2. I commuted to Western’s Portland Campus for the majority of my M-Div, the rest I accomplished online. The faculty at Western is what sets them apart, they have ample experience in the classroom but also in the church and mission field. I was especially appreciative of the theology department and the pastoral ministry classes. The small classroom size creates a great community, and allows for a more intimate classroom experience.

    I would highly suggest Western to anyone that wants training for ministry, if you are bound for the academy there may be better routes.

    • Hi Paul, just stumbled across this site and your review and was wondering where you commuted from? My family and I are considering moving to the area so I can attend classes in person. I’ve assumed that the Monday schedule might give me the flexibility to live as far as a couple hours away because I don’t think I would mind commuting that far just once a week. Can you tell me a little more about your commuting experience? Thanks! Blessings!

  3. I didn’t see any recent reviews of Western Seminary so I thought I’d share my experience. I was looking for a seminary that would be conservative in their values but still excepting of people across various denominational or nondenominational experiences. I have not been disappointed. Western is solidly conservative in their doctrine, and at the same time they are not rigid or judgmental in their approach to their students. I think this helps produce students who are faithful to the Scriptures and yet loving in their approach to others who might be slightly different than they are. The academics have been rigorous and high caliber. I’m just loving my time there. I’ve been enrolled in the Pastoral Care to Women program and would highly recommend it.

  4. I was just accepted as a Th.M. student at Western Seminary. In my experience, this seminary seeks to serve the greater church by educating gospel-centered Christ-followers.

  5. Came to Western in mid-career and completely enjoyed the time there. Now into my fifth year of first pastorate and am soooo pleased that I chose Western. About a year back, was at a luncheon with other pastors and a comment was made, “My seminary never prepared me for real ministry!” There was hearty agreement around most of the table. Then I spoke up: “My seminary definitely prepared me for real ministry; and helped me to realized that most of the problems in ministry were about me, not formal preparation.”

  6. There are many reasons I cherish my time at Western Seminary, but what stands out above all others is the character of those I spent the most time with. I was teaching at a Bible college and pastoring before attending Western. Those roles gave me a conviction to take professors…not subjects. That’s why I chose Western; I wanted to be instructed by men for whom theology was critical to daily life. That’s exactly what happened.

    I am now church planting in eastern Europe. I echo the comments of another alumnus who said he’s always surprised when people say their seminary training was only good for the classroom. I am deeply grateful that was not my experience. The mantra of Gerry Breshears is precious to me now as well, “Bring theology to life.”

    As an aside, I graduated from the distance education program with an M.A. in theology. I took me a little over two years.

  7. I am working full time and have gone to Western off and on for four years. Western has an excellent program and a wonderful staff. I also considered Fuller – and believe that I made the right choice for me and my family

  8. I considered myself a faithful follower of Jesus Christ before going to seminary. I studied the Word daily. I consistently spent time with the Lord in prayer. I tried to live out my faith in my law practice and in ministry at my church and through various missions ministries.

    Yet, the depth of Scriptural understanding and comprehensive theology at Western still blew me away. I really wished that I had attended Western years ago. I would have been so much better prepared for numerous issues within ministry and life. Every professor and every class has contributed to convincing me of the truth of Scripture and active work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saints. I look forward to finishing this summer and applying my Western education in full time ministry.

    I considered a number of other seminary options. I am thankful that God led me to Western instead. The professors have been tremendous and the students have been sharp and eager to live out their faith.

  9. I am a current student at the Portland, OR campus and am pursuing the MDiv program. I completed my first term at Western Seminary in April of this year, 2011. While it was a challenging experience, the lessons I learned are invaluable. Not just in book knowledge, but the spiritual lessons gleaned during my personal walk with the Lord throughout the semester have helped to equip my wife and I in our ministry for Him.
    The professors and staff whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know are all experts in their respective fields, and all have passion and experience in and for what they do. I appreciate how accessible and genuine they are. I’ve been to a few colleges before coming here, and I like not feeling ‘processed’. Authentic people + authentic education = authentic experiences and results.
    For someone looking for a bridge connecting higher education with a spiritual focus for Christ, it can be found here. I’m registered for this upcoming fall and am looking forward to the next round of what lays in store. I indeed recommend Western Seminary for those interested in the pursuit of such an education.

    – James Robinson –
    Philippians 4:13

  10. Graduated with my M.Div. in June 2011 from the SJ Campus. I am so grateful for the emphasis on Gospel-Centered Transformation. Along the way, I was challenged to live out God’s call on my life through training that affected my head (intellectually), my heart (emotionally) and my hands (practically).

    From courses on Interpreting Scripture to Growing Disciples Intentionally, from Leadership in the 21st Century to Coaching for Transitions and Change, I was able to exercise my ministry muscles at a pace that was flexible enough to continue working and serving in my local ministries.

    Of course the academics were rigorous and difficult, but this is to be expected, in fact, I’d say, it should be demanded of a graduate institution that is dedicated to equipping the best pastors, counselors and lay leaders for the cause of Jesus.

    Thanks to professors like Gary Tuck, Jeff Louie, Steve Korch, Dean Smith, David Eckman and Jeff Garner who understand the Bay Area’s unique culture firsthand, while promoting an uncompromising and unchanged Gospel message.

  11. I find myself perplexed each time I hear people (including seminary graduates) complain about the obscurity or irrelevance of seminary training. This is probably because my phenomenal experience at Western Seminary was such a relevant and humbling journey through studies of God, his Word and practical ministry skill.

    I am a Master of Divinity graduate, and I completed my training at Western Seminary Sacramento Campus in the early 2000?s. I was already involved in youth ministry when I began seminary, and was looking for a way to build scriptural understanding and leadership skills without having to leave my job. Classes were scheduled conveniently for folks with careers and families, which allowed me to hold down a full-time job while I made my way through. And the flexibility of my “open track” training allowed me to add church planting and coaching to my degree.

    What I hadn’t expected was such a pragmatic focus in coursework. The professors Western employs love God greatly, and they have a great grasp on how to put skin on the gospel. Many are pastors, missionaries, counselors, coaches, and church planters, in addition to those who are long-time professors who travel in from the Portland campus. These profs led class sessions and mentored field ministry with great passion and skill. They left me with a greater love for God, a desire to understand the Bible, and a growing desire to build the church (my wife and I lead an organic church with a heart for neighborhood-based multiplication).

    I can and do recommend Western Seminary to my friends time and time again.

  12. Western Seminary has been a wonderful place of learning. I completed a MA in Biblical and Theological Studies at the San Jose Campus and I am near completing the Master of Theology at the Portland Campus. Both places and faculties made for a place that is both challenging and caring, academic and faith-based.

    The gospel is very important to Western Seminary and it shows in the classes. This place is great at training pastors. Also, another key strength is the integration of the academic and the practical. I’ve heard people complain that what they learned in seminary didn’t transfer into the life of the church. I doubt many Western Seminary graduates would say this. When we leave we have our eye on the gospel and that gives us strength to serve the people of God.

  13. Both myself and Josh Fox on our church staff graduated from Western Seminary (San Jose). It was a wonderful experience for many reasons. For one, the faculty there were extremely caring and took time to meet with you whenever you needed coaching on what you were studying or to give advice or input. I had many a chats with professor Gary Tuck and asked him all kinds of questions over the years I was getting my Masters degree there. We still keep in touch and this Fall, Gary is being part of theological think tanks our church is holding. So the relationship with Western Seminary continued after we graduated.

    Another reason it was a great experience was that I left seminary having confidence in the Scriptures and was taught how to to approach the study of Scripture intelligently and prayerfully. I greatly appreciated that we were taught not only the seminary’s beliefs, but various theological opinions and where the various interpretations and streams of theological thought originated from. So it was not just a narrow minded or surface view, but we were taught systematic, historical and biblical theology and why we believe what we do, not just what we believe. I always was left class with a confidence in the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures – which in turn caused my heart to love God more and desire to walk in the ways of Jesus all the more.

    Currently 4 of our staff and interns at our church (Vintage Faith Church) are just beginning their studies at Western Seminary. I am thrilled to know they are learning and growing in their knowledge of Scripture and what that means for their lives and ministry as followers of Jesus and serving Him in our local church and community.

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