Where should you go to school to study Christian theology and apologetics? This question deserves more than the simple answer, “Go to such-and-such a school.” First of all, there is the question of what you hope to do with your education once you have finished. Do you want to be a pastor? A missionary? A lay Sunday school teacher? Be sure to contact organizations for which you would like to work and find out what qualifications are expected. Second, you need to decide what level of education you want: specifically, whether you wish to stop after a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. People seriously considering full-time ministry in any area related to apologetics should generally aim no lower than a master’s degree. Third, if you have a strong allegiance to a particular denomination, you may wish to attend a school sponsored by the denomination, or at least one that is well-represented in the student body. Attending nondenominational or interdenominational schools, however, or even a school of a different denominational affiliation, can be an enriching and broadening experience, so don’t rule out these possibilities too quickly. Consult a guidance counselor or your pastor for more help if you are having difficulty deciding.
Below are listed a number of schools which we believe offer quality education in biblical studies, theology, and other fields relating to apologetics. All of these schools hold firmly to the inerrancy of the Bible as well as essential Christian doctrine. This does not mean that evangelical students of other schools, even secular institutions, cannot become fine apologists. Many top evangelical scholars, theologians, and apologists have their advanced degrees from secular, liberal, or “neo-evangelical” schools. If you decide to go that route, you should of course be prepared to deal directly with severe challenges to your faith; but that can be a stimulating preparation for apologetics. However, if you are looking for schools that will give you solid, biblical teaching, then the list below will be of interest. It should be kept in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. If, however, you know of a school that deserves to be on this list, please let us know. If a school is in Southern California, its proximity to CRI is noted.
Although we generally recommend these schools, we do not endorse everything they teach. For example, most of us at CRI do not hold dispensationalism, which is taught at some of these schools. In general, the areas of disagreement are over aspects of eschatology and controversial matters relating to spiritual gifts. We encourage all Christians to read widely in theology and make up their own minds on such matters.
Nondenominational, dispensationalist school less than an hour’s drive from CRI; includes Talbot Theo. Sem. and Rosemead Grad. School of Psychology.
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod school in Irvine, Calif. less than half an hour from CRI.
Reformed Theological seminary
Independent, Calvinist school.
Talbot Theological Seminary
See Biola University.
Trinity International University
Evangelical Free Church of America school with an excellent academic and theological reputation.
Westminster Theological Seminary
Presbyterian, Calvinist school; has a West Campus a little over an hour from CRI.
BIOLA University, 13800 Biola Ave., La Mirada, CA 90639-0001; (562) 903-4750 or (800) OK-BIOLA.
Concordia University (formerly Christ College Irvine), 1530 Concordia, Irvine, CA 92612; (949) 854-8002.
Liberty University, 1971 University Blvd., Lynchburg, VA 24502; (804) 582-2000.
Master’s College, The, 21726 Placerita Canyon Rd., Newhall, CA 91321; (805) 259-3540.
Moody Bible Institute, 820 La Salle Dr., Chicago, IL 60610; (312) 329-4000.
Wheaton College, 501 College Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 752-5005 or (800) 222-2419.
Concordia Theological Seminary, 6600 N. Clinton St., Fort Wayne, IN 46825; (219) 452-2160.
Dallas Theological Seminary, 3909 Swiss Ave, Dallas, TX 75204; (800) 992-0998; (214) 824-3094.
Denver Theological Seminary, 3401 S. University Blvd., Englewood, CO 80110; (303) 761-2482.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 130 Essex St., South Hamilton, MA 01982; (800) GCTS-FAX or (978) 468-7111.
Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS; (601) 922-4988; Orlando, FL campus (407) 875-8388.
Southern Evangelical Seminary, Dr. Norman Geisler, Dean, Southern Evangelical Seminary
3000 Tilley Morris Rd.
Matthews, NC 28104
Talbot School of Theology: see above Biola University.
Trinity International University (was Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015; (847) 948-8980 (also has a college)
Westminster Theological Seminary (east) P.O. Box 27009, Philadelphia, PA 19118, (215) 887-5511 or (800) 373-0119; (NY City extension) Redeemer Presbyterian Church Offices, 271 Madison Ave., Suite 100, New York, NY, (212) 808-4460; (Dallas extension) (214) 373-7688; (west campus) 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92027, (760) 480-8474.
Moody Correspondence School, Chicago, IL (312) 329-4000 (Include DB150).
Southern Evangelical Seminary, External Studies Program (post-graduate level), Dr. Norman Geisler, Dean, 4298 McKee Rd., Charlotte, NC 28270; (704) 847-5600; www.sec.edu to DE210
*In this document the notation “accredited” indicates that the institution in question is accredited by an agency that we consider generally reputable, such as a governmentally recognized accrediting association, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) or the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). We will not be held legally responsible for this information, as it is the prospective student’s responsibility to confirm whether the particular institutions he or she is considering are accredited, by what agency, and whether that accreditation will serve his or her educational and vocational purposes. For example, a state college may require that units transferred into their programs come from regionally accredited institutions. A particular denomination may require that those preparing for ministry within that denomination attend an ATS accredited school. Some theological seminaries may have similar requirements for people who apply for teaching positions at their schools. Please note that accreditation does not indicate doctrinal orthodoxy in many instances.