What sets RTS apart? What unique features of an RTS theological education attract students to the seminary? What are the features and distinctives of RTS that you can’t find anywhere else? We call these “The RTS Advantage.” No other seminary in the world offers this combination of benefits.
The quality and quantity of RTS’s faculty is unparalleled in graduate theological education. RTS has the largest, most widely-regarded and prolific confessional Reformed faculty in the world. The “secret sauce” of RTS is our people. That’s why we often say, “the faculty is the curriculum.”
No other seminary in the world offers this combination of benefits.Not all seminary curricula are the same. For at least the past decade or more, seminaries have been dramatically reducing course requirements and credit hours as a way to survive, but at the expense of what the students get out of their degree program. At a robust 106 credit hours, the RTS MDiv is the best bargain in all of graduate theological education. At RTS, we want to give you more for less.
RTS is one of the most trusted institutions in the evangelical world because of our commitment to the plenary verbal inspiration, infallibility, inerrancy, and sole final authority of Scripture, and to the Reformed theology of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. Every class at RTS is taught from this perspective. Biblical fidelity and confessional integrity have been hallmarks of our institution and its public reputation from the beginning. The trust that people from a wide diversity of personal and denominational backgrounds have in us because of this allows us to commend the Reformed faith, not only in confessional circles but beyond. Students who come to RTS can trust that what they will hear taught in every class is faithful to the Scriptures.
At RTS, we want to prepare “winsomely Reformed” servants of the Lord. The RTS ethos combines things that are unique in theological education in our time: a robust commitment to confessional Reformed theology with a winsome, happy, positive, posture. RTS was winsome before winsome was either cool or controversial! We love and care about truth, doctrine, theology and we also care about producing godly, loving, people who will serve the Lord and his church in such a way to commend the faith with their lips and lives, their conviction and character.
Some seminaries are winsome, but not Reformed. Others are Reformed, but not winsome. We want to be both. That’s why our motto is “A mind for truth. A heart for God. A life for ministry.” We want to model and commend embodied truth, love and mission. We want to graduate students who have theological backbone, tender hearts, and a bent to serve.
RTS is viewed as a flagship institution by those in leadership in theological education. While many seminaries are shrinking, struggling, and even closing, RTS has experienced consistent and remarkable growth. We want to serve our students well so that they serve God and the church well.RTS serves a young and diverse demographic of students from 40 denominations, 45 states (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico), and 34 countries, representing every continent. RTS has earned a reputation for biblical fidelity, confessional integrity, educational expertise, devotional emphasis, academic excellence, and global influence. Long appreciated for its emphasis on solid preparation for pastoral ministry, RTS is now viewed by many peers as at the helm of confessional Reformed graduate theological education.
At RTS, we are relentlessly focused on the well-being, education, preparation, godliness, and character of our students. We care about you — we are focused on our students because we care above all about God’s glory and the good of God’s people. We want to serve our students well so that they serve God and the church well. When it all boils down to it, seminary is the interaction and relationship between the students and the faculty (and your fellow students), so the quality and focus of the faculty is of utmost importance. At RTS, we believe that the more personal theological education is, the better.
No other confessional Reformed seminary in the world affords more seminary internships and church membership and ministry opportunities with more healthy local churches. The seminarian’s involvement in the life and ministry of the local church is not only essential to his or her personal spiritual growth, but also vital for future ministry. In our day and time, many young people come to seminary never having experienced life in a healthy local church.
Seminary, then, is a crucial time to be discipled in the place where Jesus taught that disciples are made: the church (Matthew 28:19-20). We want our students to graduate committed to a ministry of the ordinary means of grace, so they themselves need to experience that ministry while they are preparing for the ministry. We think that the seminary has a unique and crucial role and the local church has an irreplaceable role in preparing the future ministry of the church.
RTS is the most affordable seminary among our accredited peer institutions and yields the best “return on investment.” We give over $5.5 million in scholarships each year (far more than any other confessional Reformed seminary), our degree cost is lower than many of our sister institutions, and the cost of living at our main residential campuses is advantageous. RTS’s combination of academic excellence, affordability, financial aid is unrivaled.
We are concerned for the spread of the gospel locally and globally, “across the street and around the world.”RTS is one seminary with multiple campuses, in multiple cities, in multiple states. Together we are the largest Reformed seminary in North America, and among the top 5% of all seminaries in North America in size. But because we are distributed among eight campuses, all of our campuses, even the biggest, have a small family feel. With campuses in Jackson, MS; Orlando, FL; Charlotte, NC; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, GA; Houston; TX; New York City; Dallas, TX and online at RTS Global, RTS is not only in the most heavily populated regions of the country, but also closest to heaviest concentration of Bible-believing churches.
We are gospel-animated. We want to see the good news of God’s grace in Jesus Christ proclaimed and lived out, here and everywhere. RTS has always had a missionary orientation. We are concerned for the spread of the gospel locally and globally, “across the street and around the world.” RTS is focused not only on biblical faithfulness and doctrinal adherence, but also missionary boldness. Those aspirations are part of the RTS ethos. Though all of us who share historic, orthodox, Christian commitments are going to be sailing into stiff cultural headwinds for the foreseeable future, we expect the gospel to work, because it is the power of God unto salvation.
One of the things that RTS provides to all its students and alumni are resources that would be almost impossible to amass and access except for the provision of the seminary. RTS’s libraries, facilities, publications, the product and scholarly leadership of its faculty, and its global network of influence are monumentally important for the whole evangelical world, and amazing assets for students, professors, local pastors, visiting scholars, and others. These resources will be an ongoing benefit to our students when they become alumni, and will serve them well over the whole course of their ministry. Very few institutions can begin to match the kinds of resources that RTS generates.
RTS is well-known for our willingness to explore innovative ways to deploy educational technology to augment and supplement traditional theological study. Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allows us to offer maximum flexibility, quality, and support for all our students. This pays dividends for our students as they pursue the completion of their degrees. RTS’s experience, expertise and quality in residential, distance and hybrid learning, provides significant advantages and flexibility for our students.
So there you have it: The RTS Advantage. Twelve factors that set RTS apart from any and every other institution in theological higher education.