Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary is the sole confessional Presbyterian seminary in England today. Our name grounds us in the history and the heritage bequeathed to us by the Westminster Divines whose great work and industry produced the Westminster Standards.
We are not, however, the first such institution in England. Westminster College, presently located in Cambridge, began in London in 1844 as the Presbyterian Church in England’s Theological College. In 1899, the College moved to Cambridge. In 1967 the Congregational Church’s Cheshunt College merged with Westminster College and since 1972 has been a training centre for the United Reformed Church. Sadly, the twentieth century witnessed a decline in confessional belief in England’s Presbyterian Churches. Hence no confessional Presbyterian Seminary has existed in England since the earlier years of Westminster College until the founding of WPTS.
WPTS was established in 2013 as a ministry of Gateshead Presbyterian Church. We are also connected to Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in the USA. Our first student, Revd Benjamin Wontrop, completed his studies at GPTS in 2016. WPTS’ first official M.Div. graduate was the Revd Nathan Hilton in 2018. In June 2019 we had our first commencement service where we celebrated the graduation of Florian Weicken. Yet our prayer is that this occasion would also mark the commencement of a new chapter in the history of confessional Presbyterianism in England.
Britain is now a missionary receiving nation. It is our hope and prayer that our Seminary can be at the forefront of raising up church-planting ministers who will establish confessional Presbyterian churches in places with little witness to the gospel of God’s sovereign grace. We also pray that our Seminary will be a blessing to the wider Church, as we sponsor the Reformation UK conferences and train men from other churches. In this way our Seminary aims to be a focal point for the reforming and revitalisation of the Church in the North of England and beyond.