Skip to main content
Building our Community
Building our Community

 

 

 

 

The Lord calls people into christian leadership and leads them to our seminary for training. Our vision for the future is to place Westminster Seminary California in a position to enhance their education by providing quality learning facilities, financial support, and on-campus housing for those men and women who are called to serve.

The average age of our graduate-level students is 30. The majority are married, and more than a third of WSC students have children when they move to California to begin their studies at WSC. These young families are challenged to find suitable and affordable rental property near the campus. The residential village will provide beautiful, safe, affordable housing within walking distance to the classrooms and library.

This residential village will enhance the already vibrant community of faith that has been the hallmark of WSC where students thrive on face-to-face education and where the mentoring relationship with their pastor-professors produces hearts and minds toward Christ.

As students live, learn, and grow together in their knowledge of Reformed theology and love of the Lord, they will experience what we have always believed and practiced at Westminster California—that iron sharpens iron—that students learn best face-to-face in the classroom and students confirm what they believe peer-to-peer, in a community of faith.

 

Click a student photo to read their story

 

john kong
2nd year M.div. student

antonio coppola
3rd year M.div. student

KEVIN WANG
2nd year M.div. student

jonathan cruse
3rd year M.div. student

EVAN GEAR
4th year M.div. student

Michelle Mcintyre
2nd year M.A.T.S. student

 


JOHN KONG | 2nd year m.div. student
from taipei, Taiwan

JOURNEY TO WSC:

I was raised in Taiwan but went to the United States for college and ended up working on Wall Street for almost 7 years before deciding to go to WSC. The first few years I was enjoying the benefits that came with the job, but after a while I realized that the glamour was meaningless and I was not doing anything significant with my life. Growing up, people had always asked me if I wanted to be a pastor when I grew up, because my dad was a pastor. I had never seriously entertained the idea, but I also had never fully dismissed it. However, the next few years’ work relocated me to Singapore, London, and then Taiwan; so I put the thought of seminary on hold. Eventually, after much prayer and searching, I finally realized that finance was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and God's call to serve Him full-time stirred overwhelmingly in my heart, and that’s when I started looking at seminaries.

WSC was attractive to me mainly because my father recommended it. He was not an alumnus of the school, nor did he have any other connection, but he had read a lot of what the faculty wrote and so highly recommended it to me. I was interested in the academic rigor and solid theological training WSC had to offer, but I was concerned what affect that would have on me, if I would end up being proud because of all the knowledge I had gained. What has been incredibly encouraging to me, however, is that while all the professors are extremely knowledgeable and insightful in their respective subjects, they also are incredibly humble in their character and demeanor. That has been a great example for me, and comforting to see their humility not compromised by their intellect.

STUDENT-TO-STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS: 

My interaction with my fellow students has also been great. Because of the small size of the school, I have gotten to know most of the students, and it is always exciting and encouraging to hear how the Lord is working in their lives and the paths on which He is leading them. It has also been very practically helpful, both in terms of school and internships. For school, since I don’t come from a Reformed background, much of the vocabulary and concepts are new to me, and so being able to ask classmates after class to clarify some of the teaching, or just to study together in preparation for exams has been extremely helpful. For internships, going through the ordination process can be very daunting, and so asking upperclassmen how they did it makes it a little less unnerving.

CURRENT LIVING SITUATION:

Being a single seminarian, I live with another single seminarian, and it has been helpful as we get to know each other a lot better due to spending more time together. Whether it’s going out to eat at night or spending time together on the weekends, it has allowed me to get to know my classmate in a deeper way, to pray for him, to share with him, and to just enjoy fellowship with him.

EFFECT OF ON-CAMPUS HOUSING:

On-campus housing would be a huge benefit to my experience at WSC. The first would be convenience, not having to commute to classes would save a lot of time, and it would also make it easier to be involved in school activities. Second, it would build a closer feeling of community among students. It would be easier to study together, to get to know one another better, and to form friendships that might not happen if people weren’t living together. Finally, it saves a lot of hassle. Especially coming internationally, there were a lot of logistics to worry about besides school itself, like bank accounts, cell phone plans, transportation, health insurance, etc. Having on-campus housing would remove one of the biggest anxieties.

 


 

ANTONIO COPPOLA  | 3rd year m.div. student
from Durban, south africa

JOURNEY TO WSC:

Before I came to WSC, I was in full-time pastoral ministry in the Anglican Church in South Africa. In 2010, I attended a conference organized by the Anglican Church that took place in Mauritius (a tropical island in the Indian Ocean), where I represented my church. The conference was led by Dr. Peter Jones (former WSC professor) and his team from TruthXchange. Here I was exposed to Reformed theology and got to know Dr. and Mrs Jones. A few months later, they invited me to attend their annual TruthXchange think-tank in Escondido in 2011. It was during this time that I got to visit WSC for the first time. One thing led to another, and in 2014 I started my M.Div at WSC.

There are many great things about WSC. My main reason for choosing to study here was that it is a Reformed seminary. I wanted to be in a place where the truth of the gospel of Christ is faithfully taught and the Word of God is held in high esteem – and this is most certainly the case at WSC. Second, the faculty are excellent. I have learned so much from my professors – not only are they brilliant academics, but they also go out of their way to mentor and pastor us personally, grooming us to be pastors ourselves. And lastly, who doesn’t want to experience life in southern California of all places?!

STUDENT-TO-STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS: 

Being a small campus is definitely a plus in my opinion. The WSC community is quite tight-knit as a result, and I have had the opportunity to form some really solid friendships with fellow students. I love the diversity of the student body. We have students here from all over the world and representing very different church backgrounds. I have learned so much from other students and have really benefitted from the range of experience one finds here. It is also great to be together with others who are also called to the ministry and to be able to encourage and sharpen each other in this journey together as brothers in Christ.

CURRENT LIVING SITUATION:

I am fortunate enough to live with Dr. Peter and Rebecca Jones. They are both an incredible blessing to me and have pretty much become my American family! They are a source of great wisdom, so we have many enriching discussions over many a tasty meal.

EFFECT OF ON-CAMPUS HOUSING:

It would make life easier being on campus near all the action. I’m sure it would enhance the student community life and also make it cheaper for us to live out here.

 


 

KEVIN WANG  | 2nd year m.div. student
from Austin, Texas

JOURNEY TO WSC:

What stood out to me about Westminster Seminary California was its commitment to the Gospel, its commitment to the Scriptures, and its commitment to train pastors. Westminster’s commitment to the Gospel was evident in its confessional stance, teaching, and adhering to a system of doctrine, while engaging with other views critically and sympathetically. Westminster’s commitment to the Scriptures was evident in its emphasis on teaching the original languages, so students can exegete the Scriptures faithfully well into their professional lives. Westminster’s commitment to train pastors for the benefit of the Church was evident in how it kept the student-professor ratio low, so that professors can invest more in the training and growth of the students.

STUDENT-TO-STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS: 

Since arriving at Westminster, I have been blessed by the many fellow students I have met and become friends with. The smaller student body leads us to interact with all students and helps us appreciate our different backgrounds. The activities led by the students, like ultimate Frisbee, soccer, and cookouts help build a stronger sense of community, which can be easily lost in a pile of books. Most importantly, the way my friends and I have encouraged each other through difficult semesters and challenges of life has been vital to my education so far.

BENEFITS OF ON-CAMPUS HOUSING:

I have had the pleasure of sharing a living space with a fellow student, and thus have been blessed by this living arrangement. Living in the same housing allowed us to get to know one another well. Not only did we share conversations and meals together, but we were also able to help one another during times of need. For Westminster Seminary California to have student housing would bring these benefits to our student body on a broader scale. Individuals in need would be able to find help quickly. Friendships would not only be built but strengthened. I would love to see the blessings that I have had with my housemate extend to as many fellow students as possible through this housing project. 

Your investment in this program is an investment into the lives of the future leaders and pastors of the Church. On behalf of those who will be blessed by your contribution, I would like to say, “Thank you! Soli Deo Gloria!”

 


 

jonathan cruse  | 3rd year m.div. student
from Hollidaysburg, pennsylvania

August of 2014 was a whirlwind month. On the 16th, my wife and I got married in Philadelphia, after having met at a large church in the city where I was interning. However, we would not be staying in the city long. Two days later we packed everything we had in our tiny Honda Civic and made the 5-day trek to San Diego to start my 3-year MDiv program at Westminster Seminary California.

I look back on this time and think of it as an “adventure” in the truest sense. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We didn’t know anything about Southern California, nor did we have any friends or family out on the West Coast. We were really heading out all on our own, and so this trip was filled with both excitement and uncertainty. And yet even in the midst of all that there was one thing we were both completely certain of: this was the place to be. 

We had no doubt that I was called study at this place, with these people, under these professors. Even from such a far distance (some 3,000 miles!) I was drawn to WSC because of what I perceived to be a tightly-knit scholarly community, warm and approachable professors, and an institution that would have the resources to equip to rightly divide God’s Word and preach Christ from all of the Scriptures. Admittedly, these were high expectations my wife and I had of the school. However, every expectation was met, every conviction confirmed—and then some! Being so far from everything that we knew, we figured it would take a lot longer to acclimate and feel at home at WSC. That was not the case. Immediately upon our arrival the faculty opened up their homes to us, upperclassmen sought us out, pastors in local churches made it their aim to get us connected with Christ’s body.  

I am convinced that the community here is unlike any other. The seminary is a place where iron is sharpening iron daily, where the Word is handled with great reverence and respect, and where Christ and all that is in Him is consistently set forth. I can only imagine how these strengths of the school will be wonderfully enhanced with the student housing project that is under way. As I sit in the library and study, I can look out the window and see the foundation being laid for a living space that will further promote the school's distinctives. I am tempted to be jealous that there wasn't student housing available while my wife and I were here!

But, of course, that would be foolish. I have absolutely no reason to complain about my time here. I have been equipped--and that alone would be worthy of my life-long gratitude. But more than that, I and my wife have been adopted. We have been adopted into the family that is WSC. As we anticipate what lays beyond the horizon of graduation this coming spring, we don’t know a whole lot. But we do know that no sequel will ever compare to this adventure, and so we praise God for his kindness in bringing us here, and His continued kindness to this growing seminary.

 


 

evan gear  | 4TH year m.div. student
from Roanoke, Virginia

But if I could go anywhere I would attend Westminster Seminary California.

When I heard these words from my pastor I was focused on schools east of the Mississippi River; then suddenly as when a record comes to a screeching halt, I looked west. I looked to Escondido, California, and what would become my future home. My search was driven by a desire to find a school both faithful to the God of the Scriptures and academically rigorous. At the time I wanted to study church history and hopefully to teach. In addition, I had long wanted the chance to study the original languages of the Bible. In my research I found that Westminster Seminary California promised to meet all three of my wants. Little did I know, I would receive so much more being unaware of the riches of classical Reformed theology. I have feasted on these delights regularly, and to my spiritual good. Not only in formal classroom settings, but at home around a table with fellow seminarians, in the student lounge, praying together in the chapel, and one-on-one with the professors in their offices.

In time I realized that I had come here not to study history but that I might fulfill the call to the ministry. In the process of this situation my family and I have seen a lot of changes. We switched denominational affiliation, moved into a different apartment, and spent many months looking for a church. During that time the one constant that we had, both my wife and I (and our two girls), were our friends from seminary. We were encouraged and helped by them along the way, surrounded by a caring community when so many other things were unsure. We were able to pray with our friends, share our burdens, and even get a little help carrying our furniture. Needless to say our experience here has been one of deep joy, and the friends we have made will last a lifetime. For that I am thankful.

Coming all the way from Virginia in many ways made it difficult for us initially to find a place to live. When we finally did discover an apartment it was three times what we paid per month in Virginia and, we soon found out, had a little cockroach problem! In many ways our living situation has added stress that could easily be averted if the school were able to provide housing. So I can think of no better way to further enrich our experience than to bring the families and singles together in one place, where we might more closely share our lives together; where I might knock on a neighbor’s door for a cup of flour or for a little help on a difficult Hebrew translation. Not to mention I could simply walk up the hill to class or to grab a much needed book from the library. Unfortunately, I will not be here to experience it but I am happy to think of the many others who may.

 


 

michelle mcintyre  | 2nd year m.A.T.S. student
from Sacramento, California

The beginning of my desire to go to seminary was while I was in undergrad majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies. It was just something I really wanted to do. I heard about WSC from a few of my professors who had studied here, and through observation of their characters and their solid grasp of theological truth, I felt WSC was the best option for my seminary education. What was most attractive to me was that it seemed like a seminary that was both very grounded in orthodox Reformed theology as well as practical and down to earth. 

I have made some of my closest friends while attending WSC, usually while studying in the library. It seems like the library is the place most of the students congregate, and when people want to take a study break, we socialize. My other close friends have come from living together.

As a single student I have had the opportunity to live with a handful of the other female students, which has been a great and really fun experience. We end up becoming really close and doing a lot together, not only studying, but hanging out and exploring the rest of San Diego.

On-campus student housing would be really wonderful for building a deeper sense of community at WSC. We have a lot of little groups that bond on an acquaintance level, but for a truly united campus that is involved in each other's lives, on-campus housing could really help. One aspect that I think would be really nice is being able to come together for occasional meals. It would also mean being able to hang out with fellow classmates more outside of a campus/classroom setting.