About Liberty Theological Seminary

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Coming Alongside the Local Church in Its Quest to Fulfill the Great Commission

Through the launch of the Liberty Theological Seminary, the John W. Rawlings School of Divinity demonstrates its commitment to graduate-level training to prepare students for ministries in the local church and its sending ministries. We are committed to preparing and equipping the next generation of ministry leaders for what lies ahead. The seminary functions under the leadership and direction of the School of Divinity as the graduate ministry preparation arm of the school’s overall mission.

Our History

Liberty University (then Lynchburg Baptist College) was founded in 1971 to help achieve Dr. Jerry Falwell’s vision to provide Christian education that trained students to win others for Christ. At the heart of the college’s curriculum were Bible classes.

After the college reached university status, the Bible Department became the School of Religion. In 1973, Lynchburg Baptist Theological Seminary was created to provide professional, graduate-level training for students desiring graduate theological education as they prepared for Christian ministry. 

In 2015, Liberty University’s Board of Trustees approved the merging of the School of Religion with the Seminary turning it into the John W. Rawlings School of Divinity.

Since then, the School of Divinity has provided quality, well-rounded education, based on academic excellence, emanating from the belief that Christian education should be superior, not inferior, to that provided by other schools. The School of Divinity remains committed to the principle that a person’s most effective ministry will be in conjunction with a local church, and the vision of the School of Divinity is to equip Christians to reach the entire world through aggressive New Testament church evangelism.

Liberty Theological Seminary Distinctives

We are characterized by commitment to the core doctrines of the faith and providing significant experiences to develop practical ministry skills.

Our faculty are committed to modeling both scholarship and practice for students. Graduates are grounded in the knowledge of God’s Word, a desire to impact the world for God’s kingdom, and the skills to engage the culture with the Gospel.

Evangelism is a core value throughout our seminary curriculum. Every faculty member and student is expected to manifest compassion for the lost and a desire to see their salvation.

The Liberty Theological Seminary is committed to the local church, and prepares graduates to enter into leadership positions in the local church and para-church organizations via a robust apprenticeship training program that is integrated into the classroom curriculum.

Our Mission

In step with the John W. Rawlings School of Divinity, the Liberty Theological Seminary exists to come alongside the local church in its quest to fulfill the Great Commission. In accordance with the mission of Liberty University, the Liberty Theological Seminary provides graduate and post-graduate programs that train students for ministry in the local church and its sending ministries. The Liberty Theological Seminary offers programs designed to equip people for lay ministry, global leadership, church leadership, and advanced scholarly research to support the mission of the church.

As a Christian community, the Liberty Theological Seminary seeks to cultivate spiritual growth and faithful service to Christ and His church. As an academic community, the Liberty Theological Seminary seeks to impart knowledge and necessary skills to men and women for service and leadership in local church ministry. As a service community, the Liberty Theological Seminary seeks to respond to the needs of local churches as they participate in worship, global evangelism, discipleship, and scholarship.

Goals & Objectives

In keeping with their stated mission, the Liberty Theological Seminary and the John W. Rawlings School of Divinity strive to achieve the following institutional goals:

Personal Goals

  • Commitment
    We seek to provide an environment in which students are encouraged to strengthen their commitment to Christ, certify their call to service, and develop an abiding love for God and His Word.
  • Lifestyle
    We seek to develop a lifestyle of actively communicating the Christian faith through personal integrity, evangelistic witness, and responsible scholarship.
  • Social Responsibility
    We seek to foster an awareness of the Christian’s responsibility to be a productive member of society and to be responsive to the needs and concerns of diverse cultures.

Academic Goals

  • Knowledge
    We seek to develop cognitive skills for ministry and scholarship through rigorous interaction with the biblical text and disciplines related to professional vocation.
  • Understanding
    We seek to provide theological, historical, and intellectual understandings necessary for a self-conscious, critical, and Christian response to the world.

Vocational Goals

  • Relationships
    We seek to develop communicative, administrative, and relational skills necessary for professional competence.
  • Ethics
    We seek to provide opportunities for students to explore the moral dimensions and ethical implications of their chosen vocation.
  • Evangelism
    We seek to cultivate sensitivity to others and a concern for world evangelization through local church ministries and vigorous defense of the gospel.
  • Church Growth
    We seek to develop biblical and scientific expertise in establishing, developing, and sustaining growing churches and ministries.