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Senior Spotlight: Class of 2022

Alex Hewitson, Master of divinity

Alex is a senior in the Master of Divinity program at Westminster Seminary California, originally from South Africa. Although crossing oceans and continents to come to WSC was a leap of faith, Alex says it was worth it: “The sacrifice and financial risk associated with dedicating three to four years for full-time, in-residence education may seem daunting. What I can assure prospective students is that the Lord will provide for you in whatever he calls you to!”

Where are you headed after your time at WSC?

I plan to return to South Africa, to church plant and to lecture Biblical languages and theology at a Reformed Bible college. In the near future, I also plan to begin work on a PhD in Old Testament. 

How do you feel your time at WSC has prepared you for what you're going to do next?

I am so grateful for the seminary’s conviction that careful reading in the original languages is key for understanding God’s word. The rigor of the program has given me the tools to support life-long learning, and the confidence that I will be able to serve Christ and his Church faithfully through the ministry of the Word.

What is one thing that has stood out to you about your education or the community here? 

Our professors are extraordinary scholars, but they are also pastors. When I first arrived at seminary, I was most excited about a life of preaching. That excitement still remains, but having learned so much about ministry from our professors’ pastoral demeanors, I desire to spend my life encamped as a shepherd among God’s people.


Richy Brasher, Master of divinity

A California native, Richy is finishing his Master of Divinity here in Escondido before continuing his work with the US Army: “Upon graduation, I will begin serving as a pastoral intern at the Escondido OPC while continuing to work as an Army Reserve Chaplain Candidate at Camp Pendleton. Lord willing, in another year I will have completed the OPC’s ordination process and the Army’s Chaplain training. My desire is to then apply to be a full time, Active-Duty Army Chaplain. From there, my adventurous wife and kids and I are prepared to go wherever the Lord sends us… via Uncle Sam.”

How do you feel your time at WSC has prepared you for what you're going to do next?

WSC hasn’t prepared me much to meet the Army’s Push-Up or Sit-Up requirements, but when it comes to being able to preach and teach God’s Word while keeping Christ at the center, this school has exceeded my expectations. Learning Greek and Hebrews felt a bit like drinking water from a firehose, but in the end it was worth it. I received a strong linguistic foundation, a broader understanding of Church History and the philosophical underpinnings of the Modern Mind, and most importantly, a coherent theology of Redemptive History. Altogether these have given me a growing confidence as I field the many questions I get from Soldiers with questions about Jesus.

What is one thing that has stood out to you about your education here?

I would feel remiss if I did not mention the blessing that campus housing has been. It would not have been financially possible for me to be a full-time, in-residence student without the Village apartments. Additionally, without being face-to-face with my teachers and peers, I would have missed out on the relationships and conversations that helped move all this theology from my notes to my heart. My wife and kids would also not have benefited from chapel devotions, class audits, and the beautiful Christian friendships we made along the way.

Any closing thoughts?

One final thing I would like to mention, which began to change me from my very first day of class, was the patient and gracious way all my professors handled class questions. Students at WSC come from a variety of denominations, and ministerial students can have strong opinions. Prior to coming here, I had a kind of prickly way of evangelizing and debating God’s Word, and frankly, I thought my attitude was bold and justifiable. Watching every one of my professors take the time to understand the questions posed to them, and then give a kind, knowledgeable response, made me understand what the heart of an ambassador of Christ looks like.


Cassady Gilmour, Master of arts in Biblical Studies

Cassady joined the WSC community all the way from Charlotte, North Carolina. Of her time in the Biblical studies program, Cassady says: “One of the most important ways it has prepared me is by giving me a confidence in God’s Word and––though I say this with humility and more than a little holy fear––my own ability to rightly read and interpret His Word and apply it to my own life, as well as the lives of those He has called me to love and serve. What does this not prepare me for? If His Word is a lamp unto my feet and will continue to be for all of my days, then the knowledge and wisdom that I have gained from my time at WSC have equipped me for any path these feet may tread. I can’t imagine a greater gift.”

Where are you headed after your time at WSC?

In a sense, I’m not headed very far at all. In the Lord’s kindness, I plan to continue supporting WSC’s work for Christ, His Gospel, and His Church by serving the Enrollment Department in the areas of recruiting, admissions, and alumni relations. My husband, Stephen, and I are very grateful for this opportunity for me to work alongside such godly and supportive coworkers who daily model for me how to take the gospel seriously but not ourselves.

How do you feel your time at WSC has prepared you for what you're going to do next?

I genuinely feel that my time at WSC has prepared me for the rest of my life, whatever the Lord may have in store. As I reflect on the ways that I have been not only educated, but truly formed over the course of these last 2.5 years as a student at WSC, I can’t help but give thanks to Him for bringing me here. My life does not look anything like I expected it would when I started seminary, and of course there have been some exciting surprises and some not-so-exciting surprises (hello, global pandemic) along the way, but my time at WSC has prepared me for these changes and more in countless ways.

What is one thing that has stood out to you about your education here?

The value of humility––both before God, our Creator, and our fellow humans (creatures). If you would have asked me in early 2019 what the most important character trait or fruit of the Spirit is in a seminary student, I can guarantee that I would not have said humility. I probably would have said something like righteousness or justice, or perhaps discernment––maybe even love. But as this season of studenthood draws to a close, I am absolutely convinced that humility is one of the most––if not the most––valuable things that a Christian, and especially a student of theology, can possess. This has been modeled for me time and time again by WSC faculty, staff, and fellow students throughout my time here, and it is one of the most important lessons that I hope to carry with me into my future life and ministry.

Any closing thoughts?

The last thing I’d like to say is, simply, thank you––to all of the people who have made WSC home, and most especially to the Lord for bringing me to this wonderful place in His kind providence. I haven’t deserved a single one of the many gifts that I’ve been given during my time here, and so in return all I can do or say is simply: thank you.


Christian McArthur, Master of divinity

Originally from Pensacola, FL, Christian will be finishing his M.Div this spring, taking ordination exams and––Lord willing––accepting a call at Providence OPC in Temecula, CA.

How do you feel your time at WSC has prepared you for what you're going to do next?

WSC has equipped me with the tools for faithful exposition and proclamation. Though I have much to learn, I feel a new level of confidence in handling the Word of God with care and precision. Through study of the original languages, systematic theology, church history, and practical theology, I feel prepared to approach the Scriptures in conversation with the church, particularly the Reformed Tradition, all to the ends of proclaiming the good news that our sins are forgiven on account of Christ and we have right standing before God our Father who is in heaven. 

What is one thing that has stood out to you about your education here? 

One of the reasons I chose Westminster Seminary California was the ability to learn in community. I desired personal access to professors and close relationships with fellow students. As I prepare to graduate, I am more convinced of the importance of these things–the importance of learning in community. I am grateful that WSC has provided that opportunity. 

Any closing thoughts? 

God is faithful. As I consider the last years of seminary, the Lord has not only provided a rich theological education, but the opportunity to grow in reliance upon him for all my needs. My family and I had no idea how we were going to make seminary work financially. As we look back, we are not quite sure how it worked. What we do know is we have lacked nothing. In fact, we have been blessed in abundance in every imaginable way. He who did not spare his own Son has graciously provided for all of our needs. We are so grateful to the Lord!

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