The Right Direction
its formation in 1985, the Evangelical Theological College of Wales
soon established a reputation for providing sound theological training
for Christian ministry. Today, numerous former students of many
nationalities are engaged in frontline gospel work around the world.
The change of name to Wales Evangelical School of Theology in 2007 in no
way signalled a break with our past but, rather, a renewed vision for
our future. We are acutely aware of the potentially disastrous effects
of ‘equipment failure’ in the spiritual field of battle. These few
points indicate what WEST has to offer serious Christian warriors –
those God is calling and gifting to become true leaders in tomorrow’s
The right doctrine
WEST is Reformed in its doctrinal stance – and so are all its
lecturers. We believe in the glorious, sovereign grace of God – and
wholeheartedly agree with the great Puritan confessions in their high
assessment of the Word of God.
Being utterly Bible-centred ensures a safe and secure environment
in which to develop the sophisticated theological discernment church
leaders now require. Also, our distinctively Welsh heritage of
Calvinistic Methodism ensures that we are alert to the common tendency
to divide Word and Spirit. This means that we are equally suspicious of
both charismatic excess and arid intellectualism. We look to establish
an integrated framework of biblical, systematic and historical theology
from which we can move on to consider the issues of the day – be
they theories of the atonement, open theism, the ‘new perspective’,
emerging church, covenant and law or whatever. Above all, we teach
people to think biblically.
The right aims
Because WEST exists primarily to provide vocational training that is
truly biblical, we know that we must encourage our students to love God
with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
Therefore we deliberately aim to integrate the academic, the
practical and the spiritual. Churches need pastors who are competent
theologians, who have learned what leading a church of real people is
all about and who have a heart for mission! Above all, churches want
godly, prayerful men who have been taught how to handle the Word of God
accurately, how to preach it with passion and how to apply it closely to
their hearers. Preparing gifted men to be able to preach effectively in
a wide variety of contexts lies at the very heart of our agenda at
Our primary purpose is to serve Bible-centred churches. We do this not
only by supplying the ‘end product’ of trained leaders but also by
trying to cultivate the closest possible links with our students’ home
are also grateful for every opportunity to visit churches and discuss
how prospective leaders in their midst might best be recognised,
nurtured and supported.
The right people
is no typical WEST student, although there are certain characteristics
we are always looking for in our careful admissions procedure.
Essentially, we want men and women with a clear testimony to the
saving grace of God in their lives, who are keen to develop their gifts
and are strongly committed to following the Lord’s leading. Because such
an ethos pervades the student body, the spiritual value of our campus-based
fellowship is immense and lasting. That is why well over 90% of our
students find employment in full-time Christian ministries – a fact that
registers strongly with churches looking for future leaders.
WEST has been blessed with a faculty of the highest calibre, some with
international reputations in their area of expertise. Visiting lecturers
bring a wealth of pastoral experience to the subjects they teach. We
also benefit at regular intervals from the contributions of eminent
theologians from far afield.
The right options
It is only possible to give an impression of the sheer variety of courses available at WEST.
Beyond our basic Correspondence Course, we offer degree schemes
at every level, as a Partner of the universities of Wales Trinity Saint
David and Chester. Students undertaking initial training generally
follow the comprehensive three year BA (Hons) in Theology. Those who already possess a good non-theological degree may opt for our unique, and highly attractive, two year Binary Course. All courses, apart from the Graduate Diploma in Theology , are delivered both on campus and by distance learning, and on a full or part-time basis. At Masters level, we offer an entirely new MA in Contemporary Church Leadership, while our highly regarded Master of Theology (MTh) continues to draw students not only from the UK but from the United States and other parts of the world.
WEST’s stature in the field of theological research speaks for itself, with approximately forty PhDs currently underway.
Evangelical students are attracted by the knowledge that they can
pursue their chosen topic with the constant support of a supervisor who
shares their doctrinal perspective. All academic research conducted at
WEST has to demonstrate its usefulness to the Church at
The right location
our name suggests, WEST is not situated in the south-east of England,
even though one of our local bays describes itself as ‘the nearest
surfing beach to London’!
In fact, we are set in a beautiful part of South Wales, within
easy reach of dramatic hills and valleys, ruined castles and a stunning
coastline. Despite this, we enjoy excellent road, rail and air links
with the rest of the country.
The School itself is located on a seven acre site in the delightful grounds of Bryntirion House. Library and IT facilities are
everything you would expect of a front rank theological seminary. Every
study bedroom has full internet access. All in all, we believe we
provide an ideal lifestyle setting for serious theological
The right cost
Higher education is inevitably expensive, and those seeking to
prepare for Christian ministry have little prospect of future financial
This is yet another extremely practical reason why studying at
WEST makes such good sense. All our fees are easily accessible on the
website, and there are no hidden extras. We
invite you to compare our prices with those of similar institutions.
Please also bear in mind that the general cost of living in this part of
South Wales is significantly lower than in many other parts of the
The right plans
At WEST, we are constantly striving to improve the quality, relevance and delivery of our training.
One recently established feature of the BA programme is the women’s
studies track. Holding to complementarian principles, which recognise
the biblical distinctions between the roles of men and women in the
Church, this track offers a rare resource for women who wish to prepare
for ministries which are governed by Scripture – though definitely not
bound by tradition!
As the profile of WEST has grown higher and more distinct on the
evangelical scene in the UK over recent years, we have been delighted to
see that this has been reflected in student recruitment, both in terms
of quantity and quality. We are deeply humbled and very grateful – but
far from satisfied. Our longing is that God will give us an ever-growing
number of men and women whose godliness, zeal and hunger to equip
themselves for Word-centred ministry will soon lead to spiritual
transformation in our land.
We have many plans to develop our faculty and facilities – which we must
surely do, if the Lord continues to encourage and use us. Please pray
along with us that these plans may be fulfilled, as faithful churches
increasingly come to recognise the strategic nature of our work, endorse
the vision and invest in WEST!
I rejoice in the increasing partnership between Reformed Anglican and
Free churches. But if biblical non-conformity should shortsightedly
refuse to support and invest in its own training institutions, then it
will soon discover that it has colluded in its own demise. I believe
that WEST is superbly placed in every respect to help meet the dire need
for fully-trained preachers and pastors within our constituency. That
is why I am here. If you share this passion, then I would love to hear
from you. If you are sensing that WEST may be ‘the right direction’ for
you, then come and spend a day with us and find out more.
Wales Evangelical School of Theology