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About Us

A Seminary with Heart

Wesley Biblical

Wesley Biblical Seminary exists to train men and women to be effective ministers of the gospel. Our founders wanted to “teach the few to reach the many.” For forty-five years we have been equipping students with the knowledge and skills to communicate the gospel to a world that needs a Savior. Students graduate from WBS with hearts passionate about God’s will, minds trained to understand God’s word, and lives ready to serve in God’s mission.

WBS is the rare seminary that affirms both the inerrancy of Scripture and the necessity of holy living for every Christian. In an increasingly pluralistic world, the Church needs leaders who are committed to the truth of Scripture and who can set an example with their lives. You can become that kind of leader at WBS.

Our Mission

Wesley Biblical Seminary exists to educate and train men and women who, in fulfillment of the Church’s mission, will live and proclaim Trinitarian faith, promote the Spirit-filled life, and in full commitment to the absolute authority of the Bible, actively make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Core Values

Be Relational
We have an irrational priority for people. When we put people first, God will bless the rest.

Be Committed
We are fiercely loyal to Jesus and His calling. We recklessly abandon our talents to His cause.

Be Innovative
We relentlessly search for the better way. The mission stays the same, but the methods change.

Be Bold
We trust God enough to take big risks. We refuse to limit God with small thinking.

Be Excellent
We always bring our best. Excellence honors God and changes the world.


Dr. Ivan C. Howard
Dr. Eldon Fuhrman
Dr. Harold G. Spann
Dr. Robert Lawrence
Dr. Harold Spann
Dr. Ronald Smith

Dr. James L. Porter
Dr. John Neihof
Dr. John Oswalt (interim)
Dr. Matt Ayars

The founding of Wesley Biblical Seminary grew out of the need for adequately prepared pastors within the Methodist and related traditions in the Deep South. In 1974, under the leadership of Dr. Ivan C. Howard, the founding president, a group of interested persons representing historic Methodism participated in the establishment of a theological seminary committed to graduate educational ministry. On July 22, 1975, Wesley Biblical Seminary was incorporated as an independent, non-profit educational institution with its charter, bylaws, and statement of faith duly adopted at the first board of trustees meeting on September 20, 1975. The seminary continues to be governed by a board of trustees composed of ministerial and lay leaders who represent the rich diversity of the seminary’s constituency.

Dr. Eldon R. Fuhrman served as president from 1977 to 1985, Dr. Harold G. Spann from 1985 to 1995 and 1997 to 1998, Dr. Robert Lawrence from 1995 to 1997, Dr. Ron Smith from 1998 to 2010, Dr. James L. Porter from 2010 to 2013, and Dr. John E. Neihof, Jr. from 2013 to 2019. Under Dr. Spann’s administration the seminary became debt free and relocated to the former premises of Broadmoor Baptist Church on Northside Drive in the heart of Jackson, Mississippi. Under Dr. Smith the seminary reached its largest on-campus enrollment and began an online program. Under Dr. Neihof the seminary launched the Shepherd Project, through which online students around the world are receiving a first-class theological education, established a cooperative relationship with Monte Maria Church in Mexico City, and relocated to County Line Road in Ridgeland, obtaining a more efficient and economical base of operations. Following Dr. Neihof’s sudden death in March of 2019, Dr. John N. Oswalt was appointed Interim President and held the position until April 1, 2020 which is when Dr. Matt Ayars’s term began as the eighth president of the seminary.

Over the years Wesley Biblical Seminary has had the privilege of welcoming students from many denominations and backgrounds. Its first-class faculty is committed to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, including Spirit-empowered holy living, and to training for ministry that prepares people to witness for Christ in the world and disciple believers. Those interested in such preparation will find a warm welcome and congenial environment at Wesley Biblical Seminary.