The Master's Seminary

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Gold TMS Logo.jpg
MottoOmne Verbum Inspiratum, Omne Verbum Praedicatum
Every Word Inspired, Every Word Preached
TypeTheological Seminary
PresidentJohn F. MacArthur
DeanIrvin A. Busenitz
Academic staff
Location, ,
CampusUrban (Los Angeles)
AffiliationsThe Master's University
Grace Community Church

The Master's Seminary (TMS), the graduate seminary division of The Master’s University and Seminary (TMUS), is located on the campus of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Its accrediting institution, WASC has it currently placed on probation.[1]

Probation Status[edit]

As of July 18, 2018, The Master's University and Seminary was placed under probation by its accrediting institution, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[2] According to the letter sent by WASC to its president John F. MacArthur, WASC found TMUS in violation of multiple standards of accreditation, including competing loyalties among its board of directors, a lack of operational integrity, and a pattern of unethical treatment among faculty and staff. In addition, WASC's visiting team observed and received reports of a climate of fear, intimidation, bullying, and uncertainty among significant numbers of faculty and staff.[3] Furthermore, WASC released a statement stating its "extreme concern" that TMUS may be in violation of required reporting responsibilities under the Clery Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.[4] TMUS has less than two years to take action to fix the problems WASC discovered, otherwise TMUS' accreditation will be withdrawn. [5]


It was founded in the fall of 1986 under the leadership of John F. MacArthur. In March 1998, the seminary completed construction of its own facility on the church campus. The 32,000 square foot building houses the seminary administrative and faculty offices, library, studio facilities, and smaller class and seminar rooms.

The Master's Seminary first received WASC accreditation in 1988 and in 2009 received an eight-year reaccreditation. The seminary is organized around four degree programs: Master of Divinity, Master of Theology (added in 1992), Doctor of Theology (added in 2000), and Doctor of Ministry in Expository Preaching (added in 2004). The last three programs were added after a process of substantive change and subsequent WASC approval.

The Master’s College (TMC) began as Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary in 1927. In 1959, the campus relocated to Newhall, CA. In the 1950s, an undergraduate program was developed. During the process of acquiring accreditation from WASC in the early 1970s, it was decided that the original seminary would separate and relocate (becoming Northwest Baptist Seminary in Tacoma, WA). The college remained and became Los Angeles Baptist College. After MacArthur became president of the college in 1985, the name of the school was changed to The Master’s College. The central college campus remains in Newhall (now incorporated as the city of Santa Clarita), while TMS has been located on the church campus from its beginning.'"[6]


Theologically, The Master's Seminary is conservative and evangelical, affirming biblical inerrancy, a Reformed view of soteriology, and a Dispensational, premillennial position in eschatology. They have an extremely thorough doctrinal statement, which covers all aspects of their beliefs in a systematic fashion. All members of the Board of Directors, Seminary Administration, and Faculty must annually sign a statement affirming complete agreement with the doctrinal statement. The belief system is incorporated in the instructional tenets of their programs, emphasizing intense study of the Biblical languages in preparation for expository preaching.[7]

The Master's Seminary library[edit]

The seminary library began in 1986 with 7,000 volumes. The collection has been built into a major biblical and theological studies collection of over 350,000 volumes. The library collection is available online through the Voyager and Primo Systems of Ex Libris. The library provides access to a wide variety of research databases including ATLA, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG), Early American Imprints, Ad Fontes LIbrary of Classic Protestant Texts, and others.

A view of the English Bible Collection room, including a wall poster of the History of the English Bible

The collection also has a room dedicated to the history of the English Bible and has examples of the Bibles in English from the era of 1523 to 1611. The collection includes a 1611 King James Bible, the so-called "He Bible", several editions of the Geneva Bible, along with originals and facsimiles of The Wycliffe Bible (1382), the Tyndale Bible (1523), the Coverdale Bible (1535), Matthew's Bible (1537), the Great Bible (1539), and the Bishops' Bible (1568). Recently a 17th-century Torah scroll was donated to the seminary and will be on display in the library in the near future.

Torah scroll in the TMS collection
King James Bible, 1611, "He" Bible. A typographical error in Ruth 3:15 had the text read, "and he went into the city" instead of the proper "and she went into the city." The error was corrected in a subsequent printing in 1611.

The Master's Seminary Journal[edit]

Begun in 1990, The Master's Seminary Journal (ISSN 1066-3959) is a publication of the faculty of The Master's Seminary. It is published semi-annually and contains articles dealing with the Biblical text, theology, and issues related to pastoral ministry. It also contains reviews of current books and significant articles relating to these issues.[8]

The Master's Seminary Journal (MSJ) is indexed and abstracted in all of the leading research tools including: Elenchus Bibliographicus Biblicus of Biblica, Christian Periodical Index, Guide to Social Science & Religion in Periodical Literature, New Testament Abstracts, Old Testament Abstracts. It is also indexed in the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Religion Database and it is also included in the full-text ATLASerials.

An annual lecture series by the seminary faculty, "The Richard L. Mayhue Lecture Series" (named in honor of the former dean) is presented in chapel services in the spring and then published with full research documentation in the fall issue of the journal.

Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series[edit]

Since 1990 the seminary has hosted their Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series, a course taught by a visiting professor noted for expertise in a particular field of biblical or theological studies. Notable lectures include:

Notable faculty[edit]

Related ministries[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°13′14″N 118°25′17″W / 34.22056°N 118.42139°W / 34.22056; -118.42139