RTS was established to provide serious, realistic training for ministry so that people would be won to Christ and built up in the faith, resulting in healthy, growing churches and a perceptive application of the Bible to all facets of life.
Since the Bible is absolutely and finally authoritative as the inerrant Word of God, it is the basis for the total curriculum. Students are equipped with the necessary skills to understand and teach the Scriptures, developing above all a burning desire to know and do the will of God as revealed in the Old and New Testaments, for the essence of Reformed theology is a willingness constantly to conform all of life to the Word of God. Our primary distinctives are a commitment to historic Reformed theology and the Bible as God’s inerrant Word.
The seminary recognizes that there are evangelical and Reformed brothers and sisters in Christ within various denominations and Christian organizations who hold views concerning doctrine, missions, and evangelism different from its own distinctives. While committed to fulfilling its purpose and distinctives in these areas, the seminary resolves to maintain openness to and appreciation for Christians in differing denominations and organizations in a loving and winsome spirit, thus contributing to the purity and the unity of the Christian community and witness.
RTS is free from denominational control. All who are associated with it, however, are individually under the jurisdiction of the various church courts of the denominations of which they are members. To ensure that the original purpose and doctrinal distinctives of the seminary are maintained, each member of the Board of Trustees, Cabinet, and faculty is required initially and annually to subscribe to the following Statement of Belief and Covenant as set forth in the seminary’s by-laws:
“Believing that there is but one only, the living and true God, and that there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; and that these three are one and the same in substance, equal in power and glory, and with solemn awareness of accountability to Him in all that we feel, think, say and do, the undersigned engages in and subscribes to this declaration:
1. All Scripture is self-attesting and, being truth, requires the human mind wholeheartedly to subject itself in all its activities to the authority of Scripture complete as the Word of God, standing written in the sixty-six books of the Holy Bible, all therein being verbally inspired by Almighty God and therefore without error.
2. Reformed theology as set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms as accepted by the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America as its standard of doctrine at its first General Assembly in 1789 is the system of doctrine taught in Scripture; and, therefore, it is to be learned, taught and proclaimed for the edification and government of Christian people, for the propagation of the faith and for the evangelization of the world by the power of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. And I do solemnly promise and engage not to inculcate, sanction, teach or insinuate anything that appears to me to contradict or contravene, either directly or implicitly, any element of that system of doctrine.
4. NOW THEREFORE, the undersigned in the presence of God, states and signifies that he consents, agrees, and binds himself to all of the foregoing without any reservation whatsoever, and that he further obligates himself immediately to notify in writing the trustees should a change of any kind take place in his belief and feeling not in accord with this statement. Amen.”