The mission of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary is to educate students who love the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word, equipping pastors for the ministry of the gospel and preparing others in the Church for effective service in His Kingdom, all within the framework of the historic Reformed faith.
The founding purpose of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary was to train pastors for the Gospel ministry within the sponsoring denomination. This fundamental purpose remains unchanged in the twenty-first century.
As God has provided opportunity, the mission of the Seminary has expanded to include the training of men and women from many Reformed and evangelical churches, and from various cultures and nations, for a variety of ministries, including missions, Christian education, youth and campus work, and other specialized fields of service.
Our instruction is guided by the theology and practice of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, a denomination which wholeheartedly embraces the historic Reformed faith, while stressing Christ's Kingship over every area of life.
Our training emphasizes scholarship in biblical studies, systematic theology, and church history; the cultivation of personal godliness and interpersonal skills; and the development of spiritual gifts - all with a vision for discipling the nations of the world.
Our educational setting is a multicultural urban environment, which provides both challenges and opportunities for ministry. Because the redemptive grace of God is the basis for ultimate answers to the personal and interpersonal problems around us, our ministry presents a message of reconciliation to God and to one another through the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Soon after the organization of the Reformed Presbytery (now called the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America) in 1798 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, steps were taken to establish a theological seminary for the education of its students of theology. A Constitution for the Seminary was adopted, a Board of Superintendents was appointed, and a Professor of Theology was chosen. Dr. Samuel B. Wylie of Philadelphia was the first professor when the doors of the institution were officially opened on May 15, 1810.
Prior to 1856, the Seminary was located in the cities where the professor also served a congregation as pastor. Philadelphia and New Alexandria, Pennsylvania; Coldenham, New York; and Northwood and Cincinnati, Ohio, all served as centers for theological training. In 1856, the Seminary was located in Allegheny, now North Side, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and continued in that location until 1924.
In 1923, our main building, Rutherford Hall, formerly belonging to Durbin Horne of the Horne Department Store, was purchased in the Point Breeze area of the East End of Pittsburgh. The three-story brick mansion has been renovated several times, including work in 1960-1961, when a chapel was added in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Seminary's founding. A two-story library wing was added in 1970, providing stacks, study carrels, and a library office. A Rare Books Room was completed in commemoration of the Seminary's 175th Anniversary in 1985. Another major renovation of the Seminary building was completed in 1999, providing more library, office, and classroom space, in order to meet the needs of our growing ministry. The Willson Center was purchased in 2008 to provide space for the Biblical Counseling Institute, library storage and student housing.
The Department of Education gave approval for the Seminary to grant the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree in 1971. The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) granted full accreditation to the Seminary in 1994. The Seminary has also been approved by the Department of Education and ATS to grant the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degrees. In November 2013, RPTS received approval from ATS for a comprehensive distance education program.
Since its inception, the Seminary has been under the direct control of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) and has been governed through a Board of Trustees elected by that body, which consists of ministers and ruling elders of the denomination.
The Seminary is committed to the inerrancy of Scripture and to the Reformed Faith as summarized in the Westminster Standards and in the Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. To look over these beliefs in detail, please click on the following RPCNA website link:
Convictions of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
The Seminary offers the Doctor of Ministry, the Master of Divinity, and the Master of Theological Studies degrees, which are approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and is approved to offer the following degrees: the Doctor of Ministry, the Master of Divinity, and the Master of Theological Studies degrees, along with comprehensive distance education. The Commission contact information is: