Wesley Biblical Seminary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Wesley Biblical Seminary
MottoWBS - the difference.
Religious affiliation
Multi-denominational Protestant
PresidentMatthew Ayars
DeanChris Lohrstorfer
Academic staff
5 full-time
Location, ,
United States

Wesley Biblical Seminary is a multi-denominational Protestant graduate school of theology in Ridgeland, Mississippi. The seminary's history and teachings align with Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. It was founded in 1974 and serves men and women who come from thirty denominations from all across the United States and other countries. WBS has its main residential campus in Jackson and a virtual campus made up of students from around the globe.

History and governance[edit]

The founding of Wesley Biblical Seminary grew out of the need for adequately prepared pastors within the Methodist tradition in the Deep South. In 1974, under the leadership of 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-level educational ministry in the Deep South. 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 is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of ministerial and lay leaders who represent the rich diversity of the Holiness tradition. The diversity of the board reflects that of the student body in being composed of both men and women and being interracial, international, and interdenominational in background. The seminary depends primarily upon gifts and pledges of concerned individuals, groups, and local churches for operational, capital and endowment funding.


  • Ivan C. Howard, 1974–1977
  • Eldon R. Fuhrman, 1977–1985
  • Harold G. Spann, 1985–1995
  • Robert Lawrence, 1995–1997
  • Ronald E. Smith, 1998–2010
  • James L. Porter, 2010–2013
  • John E. Neihof Jr, 2013–2019
  • John Oswalt, 2019–2020
  • Matthew Ayars, 2020–Present


The seminary offers the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Ministry degrees. All of these degrees are available online and are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°24′00″N 90°06′41″W / 32.400120°N 90.111362°W / 32.400120; -90.111362