Western Seminary

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/7/2021. To update the information in this column, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


A theologically conservative, evangelical seminary committed to gospel-centered transformation. Students train for ministry by earning any of 12 master's degrees, doctoral degrees, or certificates that integrate specialized skills and disciplines with understanding of the Bible. Men and women from around the world study at campuses in Portland OR, San Jose CA, Sacramento CA, or online.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Western Seminary
5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97215

Website: westernseminary.edu

Phone: 503-517-1800

Email: info@westernseminary.edu

Organization details

EIN: 930429022

CEO/President: Chuck Conniry

Chairman: Gary Combs

Board size: 15

Founder: Walter B. Hinson

Year founded: 1945

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1983


The overarching purpose of Western Seminary is shaped by its Christian commitment:

All aspects of the seminary's operations therefore consciously aim at enhancing the reputation of the Triune God. Furthermore, these efforts must be consciously guided by God's inerrant word and empowered by His Holy Spirit to fulfill this high and holy calling.

Western's vision is to provide education that is thoroughly biblical in its conviction, faithfully conservative in its theology, passionately spiritual at its core, intensely missional in its focus, creatively flexible in its delivery, and warmly relational in its dynamic. In so doing, Western seeks to be both a proactive influence and an ongoing source of support for the body of Christ as it matures spiritually and increases in fruitfulness. To that end, special emphasis is given to grounding students in the classical dynamics of spiritual renewal through Gospel-centered transformation for both individuals and groups.

Mission statement

Flowing from this purpose is a more specific statement of mission:

Western Seminary serves as a catalyst and resource for spiritual transformation by providing, with and for the church, advanced training for strategic ministry roles.

To be most effective, Christian organizations must discern the distinctive contribution that God would have them make to His kingdom program. To try to do everything is both foolish and arrogant. Western, therefore, focuses its ministry upon providing degrees and programs for individuals who aspire to, or who currently serve in, strategic ministry roles so they can become agents of spiritual transformation in the lives of others. Recognizing the critical role that leaders play with respect to how effectively the Church fulfills its God-given mission, Western gives special emphasis to training pastors and related ministry leaders (whether vocational, bi-vocational or avocational).

While this ministry seeks to serve the Church, it is also done in active partnership with the Church because local congregations occupy a unique place of priority in the outworking of God's redemptive plan. Furthermore, biblical synergy results when the distinctive resources of the seminary and church unite in this equipping task.

Western also partners with selected parachurch ministries (particularly those organizations that value the local church and honor it in their ministry philosophy and practice) in the equipping of their staff.

Statement of faith

What We Believe:

All members of the Western Seminary community are united in trusting that God has spoken authoritatively in the inspired words of Holy Scripture. All confess, "Jesus is Lord," and live as faithful disciples of this gospel.

Western Seminary does not impart a particular doctrinal system or denominational creed to our students. Instead, we train our students to develop their own statement of faith which is grounded in the Bible. With this approach, our classes provide a stimulating learning environment in which students from diverse evangelical traditions wrestle together through theological issues, some of which are essential to our faith and others are matters on which we can agree to disagree.

We want our students to wrestle with Scripture as Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Lord, and we hope that the results are similar-that our students would come away from the experience having come to a closer knowledge of God through Christ and His Spirit, and going forward with a changed walk and a changed identity.

At the same time, we require all students to affirm the Statement of Faith of the World Evangelical Alliance as an expression of unity in the gospel.

Our core and adjunct faculty are required to affirm a teaching position that is more extensive than what is required of our students. Although our faculty personally affirms this lengthier position, our approach to teaching theology allows them to teach students who come from over 40 denominations and a greater range of theological perspectives. Our highest priority is to ensure that our students can defend their theological perspectives biblically.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating311 of 89428 of 111
Fund acquisition rating113 of 89413 of 111
Resource allocation rating791 of 89497 of 111
Asset utilization rating259 of 89421 of 111

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$1,950,354$2,154,250$1,644,677$1,601,801$1,722,617
Short-term investments$4,094,763$3,220,406$2,269,961$2,377,766$2,663,103
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$7,994,366$6,426,582$4,933,345$5,141,174$4,859,701
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$628,915$675,413$657,119$669,623$540,923
Other long-term assets$300,068$300,068$300,068$300,068$400,428
Total long-term assets$928,983$975,481$957,187$969,691$941,351
Total assets$8,923,349$7,402,063$5,890,532$6,110,865$5,801,052
Payables and accrued expenses$247,520$202,786$199,264$165,716$156,543
Other current liabilities$1,073,494$624,213$602,301$500,073$511,833
Total current liabilities$1,321,014$826,999$801,565$665,789$668,376
Due to (from) affiliates$102,278$485,458$253,757$247,843$317,982
Other long-term liabilities$145$145$155,212$672,704$711,887
Total long-term liabilities$853,412$871,435$817,810$1,351,317$1,029,869
Total liabilities$2,174,426$1,698,434$1,619,375$2,017,106$1,698,245
Net assets20202019201820172016
Temporarily restricted$3,259,254$3,084,476$2,155,915$2,030,131$2,081,881
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$6,748,923$5,703,629$4,271,157$4,093,759$4,102,807
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$2,705,999$2,673,219$1,147,776$1,112,440$1,320,165
Program service revenue$568,332$561,698$466,814$440,662$261,074
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$102,538$159,554$191,232$318,540$41,351
Other revenue$6,414,997$6,275,231$6,125,474$5,541,742$5,599,911
Total other revenue$7,085,867$6,996,483$6,783,520$6,300,944$5,902,336
Total revenue$9,791,866$9,669,702$7,931,296$7,413,384$7,222,501
Program services$6,281,455$5,773,392$5,459,097$5,260,276$5,174,369
Management and general$2,233,816$2,132,421$1,946,986$1,889,046$2,220,300
Total expenses$8,746,572$8,237,230$7,753,878$7,422,432$7,619,115
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)$1,045,294$1,432,472$177,418($9,048)($396,614)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$1,045,294$1,432,472$177,418($9,048)($396,614)


Compensation data for this ministry has not been collected.

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/7/2021. To update the information below, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Through the efforts of Walter B. Hinson, the Portland Baptist Bible Institute was organized in the winter of 1925. In 1926, efforts began to replace the Bible Institute with a graduate-level seminary to provide more adequate theological education in the Northwest. As a result, Western Baptist Theological Seminary was officially dedicated on October 4, 1927.

The purpose of the infant institution was reported by the Board of Trustees: "Looking across the years... we saw coming out of Western Baptist Theological Seminary, men and women schooled to preach and teach the eternal truths of God's Word and the redemptive love and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw pupils of sound teachers occupying pulpits and mission fields around the world."

In 1944 the Board of Trustees acquired the present five-acre campus in Portland, OR. Classes at the new site convened in the fall of that year. To make residential seminary education accessible to key cities on the West Coast, Western has also established two degree-granting campuses in Northern California. In 1985, the San Jose campus launched on the grounds of Calvary Church in Los Gatos, CA and later moved to Santa Clara location in 2010, before settling at its current home at Christ Community Church Milpitas in 2016. The Sacramento, CA campus was founded at Arcade Church in 1991, and moved to its current Rocklin location at Creekside Church in 2014.

Western's presidents have often been noteworthy and innovative leaders in theological education, including Dr. Earl D. Radmacher (president from 1965-1989), Dr. Bert Downs (president from 1998-2008), and Dr. Randal Roberts (2009-2021). In 2021, Dr. Chuck Conniry was selected as the 13th president of Western. He is committed to continuing the legacy of doctrinal fidelity and educational innovation that has been entrusted to him.

That willingness to find new and better ways to fulfill its educational mission has manifested itself in a variety of ways. For example, Western was one of the first schools to offer the Doctor of Ministry degree. In 1981, it launched an innovative video instruction program which quickly expanded to serve hundreds of students per year; today that program has become the Global Campus. More recent innovations include a unique approach to learning the biblical languages; establishing the Center for Leadership Development to provide affordable non-credit training for lay leaders; the Women's Center for Ministry that provides women with numerous fellowship and equipping opportunities; one of the few seminary-based Christian coaching programs; and increased scheduling and delivery system flexibility to make quality theological education more accessible to students whose circumstances require creative accommodation.

In terms of student head count, Western is today in the top 5% of the over 270 ATS-accredited seminaries in North America.

As we train men and women for effectiveness in present and future ministry, we are continually grateful for an impactful legacy under the Lord's leading. We will harken back to that same crucial gospel-commitment that birthed this school so many years ago.

Program accomplishments