Why TMS?

The Living Laboratory of the Local Church

You wouldn’t trust a doctor who didn’t train at a hospital. If you did, you’d be putting your life in the hands of someone who’d never seen an actual patient in an actual hospital. In the same way, you shouldn’t entrust the care of your soul, or your family’s, to a pastor with no local church experience. You want someone who was trained in the church and trained by pastors. That is why TMS is strategically located on a local church campus. It’s the most practical, most effective place to train men for pastoral ministry.

Unfortunately, many seminaries today operate independently of a local church, an arrangement unheard of throughout most of church history. The school at Antioch, Calvin’s college, and Spurgeon’s seminary all trained men for pastoral ministry on a local church campus. TMS stands with those schools, and countless others since the first century, who believed theological training was best carried out under the ministry of the local church.

As a result, TMS students take all their classes on the campus of the local church. They sit under the preaching of their professors on Sunday mornings, then they step behind the scenes the rest of the week and learn how the sermon was prepared. They learn pastoral counseling from those who spend their weeks counseling in the church. They serve in internships and lead Bible studies and engage in evangelism through the vibrant ministry of Grace Community Church.

 

A United Faculty of Pastor-Theologians

A seminary is no more nor less than its faculty. At TMS, we have the privilege of not only studying on the campus of a local church, but under the men who lead it. We enjoy a doctrinally united faculty of pastor-theologians. Each year our faculty re-sign our robust doctrinal statement because we see no separation between sound doctrine and faithfulness in ministry.

At TMS, our aim is to produce men of clarity and conviction, not confusion. Our professors encourage students to ask questions and seek to understand alternative views, but by taking a united stance, our faculty are demonstrating that doctrinal issues—of eschatology, soteriology, ecclesiology, etc.—matter. These views should not be presented as a buffet of equally acceptable options from which to pick and choose.

Men who aspire to lead congregations must seek to understand these issues, and then to declare their conclusions with boldness. Our aim is to produce such men.

 

Expository Preaching of the Inerrant Word

The Master’s Seminary holds to the conviction that all Scripture is inspired by God. It is infallible, inerrant, and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16-17). As such, we believe that “the only logical response to inerrant Scripture is to preach expositionally . . . in such a way that the meaning of the Bible passage is presented entirely and exactly as it was intended by God” [1].

“Expository preaching is the proclamation of the truth of God as mediated through the preacher” [2]. It is the result of an exegetical process that begins with the biblical languages and the tools of sound interpretation and ends in the pulpit. As a result of this process, “the expositor is equipped with a true message, with true intent, and with true application . . . His message is God’s intended message” [3].

Our faculty of pastor-theologians train students in this exegetical process, equipping them to preach the mind of God as declared in His inerrant Word. They demonstrate how Hebrew exegesis makes preaching more precise; how church history adds depth and weight to sermons; how counseling helps to apply the Word to hurting people; and how theology helps them to love, with all their minds, the God they preach.

 

A Heart for Global Missions

 We desire to see every tongue, tribe, and nation reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. At TMS, all students—even those not called to the mission field—are taught to be churchmen who support the global proclamation of the gospel. Students who are called to the mission field have unique access to on-campus resources that can help prepare them for future ministry.

The Master’s Seminary shares its building with The Master’s Academy International, a fellowship of training centers established and run by our alumni. TMAI began in 1992 when leaders of the Baptist Union from Ukraine invited TMS graduates to help train their pastors. Today there are fifteen training centers in fifteen countries. The training centers support indigenous church leaders by providing the tools to plant and pastor Bible-centered, Christ-exalting churches.

Grace Ministries International is a ministry of Grace Community Church that sends out missionaries—many of whom are TMS graduates—who provide leadership training, church strengthening, church planting, and Bible translation around the world. GMI is committed to the inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of Scripture. As such, GMI looks to God’s Word alone in determining its theology of missions.

 

Equip for Gospel Ministry

In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul says, “The things that you have seen in me, the things you have heard from me, entrust these things to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” That is The Master’s Seminary’s model. We are entrusting the truth from one generation of church leadership to the next.

Paul goes on to describe the minister of the gospel as a soldier, farmer, and athlete. Those illustrate both the great reward for faithfulness, and the hard work that goes into all gospel ministry. A soldier trains, an athlete trains, and a farmer works hard. The minister of the gospel is also called to rigorously equip for his calling.

Paul ends with an exhortation to “remember Jesus Christ.” That is the heartbeat of our training at TMS. We seek to train up the next generation of faithful men who remember that the Lord Jesus is the one whom we worship, the one whom we serve, and the one we aim to please.

If you are ready to take the next step in equipping for gospel ministry, schedule a call with our admissions team. We would love to answer your questions, pray for you, and serve you in any way we can.

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[1] John MacArthur, “The Mandate of Biblical Inerrancy: Expository Preaching,” The Master’s Seminary Blog,  March 21, 2017, https://blog.tms.edu/the-mandate-of-biblical-inerrancy-expository-preaching.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.