Wesley Theological Seminary
The mission of Wesley Theological Seminary is to equip persons for Christian ministry and leadership in the church and the world, to advance theological scholarship, and to model a prophetic voice in the public square.
Wesley Theological Seminary’s origin was in the 1881 meeting of the Maryland Annual Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church. In 1939, with the union of the three major branches of Methodism, Westminster Seminary became one of ten schools of theology of the new Methodist Church. In 1958, the seminary took up residence at its new campus and was renamed Wesley Theological Seminary. In 1968 the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form The United Methodist Church. Simultaneously, Wesley Theological Seminary became one of 13 seminaries of the new United Methodist Church.
Wesley continues to celebrate its move to the city of Washington through these early years of the new millennium. In 2009, a new downtown presence and center of faithful learning opened with Wesley Downtown. At the 4500 Massachusetts Avenue campus, the revitalization of Oxnam Chapel in 2010 signaled the merging of traditional and contemporary liturgical space in an educational setting.
Wesley Theological Seminary embraces a renewed global vision of ministry, as we learn from the experiences of Christians in other lands, open to dialogue with all the world’s varied communities, and welcome cooperation with all who work for peace and justice.
Wesley Theological Seminary, seeks to ground learning in the scripture and traditions that provide the church’s identity in the gospel, and to prepare students for the practice of ministry. Therefore, every part of the curriculum is theological in character, and practically related to the church’s life.
The educational process is designed to bring classroom and field learning into complementary relationship. To accomplish this, the seminary actively collaborates with local churches, hospitals and agencies to provide contexts for the practice of ministry. Church officials, pastors and laity help in the training, supervision and evaluation of Wesley students.
The range of educational programs at Wesley displays an understanding that all ministers – elder and deacon, lay and ordained, professional and nonprofessional – are called to proclaim the reconciling and liberating gospel of Jesus Christ to a broken world. Beyond our degree programs, the seminary’s work of preparing persons for ministry is carried out in programs of continuing education for pastors, in lay certification programs, and through educational programs offered to the community at large. Wesley’s commitment is to equip the whole people of God for the work of ministry.