September 12, 2019
Wesley Biblical Seminary is training more students than at any time in its 45-year history. This fall, 153 students are enrolled in Graduate Certificate, Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry programs.
“Wesley Biblical Seminary is touching the lives of more students this fall than ever before in its history,” said Dr. John Oswalt, interim president. “We are excited about helping men and women become deeply Christian disciple-makers.”
Like many seminaries, WBS had struggled with enrollment for several years, particularly following the 2007 recession. But over the last two years–through a mix of new programs, leadership, and course formats–enrollment has begun steadily growing. This semester’s enrollment record is the culmination of 4 straight semesters of enrollment growth.
“We are constantly seeking out new approaches to training pastors and Christian leaders locally, nationally, and around the world,” said Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer, vice president for academic affairs. “We expect that the seminary will keep growing as we follow God’s leading to train the few to reach the many.”
In addition to the growth in the Graduate Certificate, MA, MDiv, and DMin programs, a number of students are also enrolled in non-traditional programs at WBS. This semester 78 students enrolled to audit courses. An additional 60 students are participating in the brand-new Wesley Institute, which teaches the entire Bible to participants across the 9-month program.
Between WBS’s for-credit programs and other educational opportunities, the seminary’s faculty and staff are serving 291 students.
These students are from all around the world, attending both on campus and via real-time video courses. Students enrolled in WBS programs come from 25 states and 17 countries.
“WBS is a truly global seminary,” Lohrstorfer said. “Our students are serving in amazingly varied ministry contexts. They bring their unique experiences to their classes where they are trained and formed by WBS faculty. It is an amazing experience.”
WBS innovative approach to seminary education has allowed it to serve more people than ever before. The seminary’s reach is truly global and expanding, but the experience is still personal and transformational.
“There is a new excitement about our mission,” Oswalt said. “This unencumbered sense of mission is contagious and is drawing students to us.”