Denver Seminary

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Jon Groce

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm planning to go to seminary next year, and I've been applying to Westminster Seminary California and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. WSC is cheap, reformed, teaches theology thoroughly, and close to home for me (the LA area), but it is a small campus with a rather inflexible curriculum, and the academic area I'm most excited about possibly studying later, NT, is relatively weak there. TEDS is expensive, not reformed, doesn't teach theology that thoroughly, and far from home, but it's a huge campus with vast resources, an amazing reputation, and NT there is very strong. The two schools are opposites in many ways, but what they have in common is academic excellence, solid coverage of languages, and a heart for the gospel.

Then there's Denver Seminary. Ordinarily, this school would be not at all worth considering; the curriculum cuts too many corners. But, since I will go in being able to test out of basic Greek and Hebrew, that gives me room to take advanced electives that would otherwise require me to spend way too much on tuition. Another area where I might stretch the curriculum is theology. The ordinary MDiv theology curriculum is a 2-semester survey plus a 2-credit elective: a squirt gun when compared to the fire hose at WSC. But I e-mailed them about attempting to test out of the 2-semester survey, and that is an option. If I did that, I'd be able to replace the quick survey with more in-depth classes designed for their MA Theology majors, and take entire semesters focused on one doctrine, just like they would at WSC.

So with the curriculum stretched, Denver Seminary is medium on expenses, decent with theology, reformed-friendly (they at least offer a class on reformed theology), close to family and friends I have in the area, and a decently-sized campus with a highly-flexible curriculum, and Craig Blomberg is a well-renowned NT scholar.

Here's what I'm still wondering: does anybody know people who have gone through Denver Seminary and would be able to comment on the experience? Any weird things I should know about? If I do a bunch of the advanced Greek, Hebrew, and theology they offer, do you think it could be a worthwhile compromise between WSC and TEDS?

Shawn Mathis

Puritan Board Sophomore
Greetings Jon,

Denver Seminary is out by the church I pastor. I do not know if they are "Reformed friendly." Much of your decision depends upon how strong you are spiritually. Just check out their website and ask the professors questions if you are able.

take care,


Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Jon, welcome to the PB. I have some thoughts for you but it may be best for you to hear from others here first. I will follow-up with you off board soon.


Puritanboard Brimstone

I know a couple guys who went to Denver. I visited when I was looking into seminary choices and I decided not to go. If you want a bastion of soft-core dispensationalism, evangelical arminianism and evangelical egalitarianism with it's "spiritual formation" program being decidedly mystical, then go for it.

My best friend went to TEDS. When I was in college I supervised a bunch of TEDS students at the place I worked and those interactions over the years was probably the best ever for my theological development. Many of the professors are Calvinistic if not actually Reformed - though at least two are ordained ministers in the PCA - and many more are "Reformed leaning" and even the "token Arminian" professor - Grant Osborne - is a gem of a man. You'd be hard pressed to find a man more charitable and gracious with those with whom he disagrees. I've been to his home multiple times and I can assure you that he is the embodiment of patience. And of course there is Carson. He rocks. If you're "lucky" enough to be able to take a class with him. In person he may at first seem impatient with you not "getting it," but that's just because he's so awesome that he's forgotten that the rest of us are mere mortals and have a learning curve. But after a few interactions with him you find that he is a deeply loving man who is simply not into frivolous smalltalk.

I can't speak to WSC. But beware the quasi-Lutheranesque take on Reformed theology. (Well, at least that's what some folks in some corners say about WSC... I'll let you judge for yourself.)

The fact of the matter is, there is no such thing as a "perfect" seminary. If WSC is cheap and close to home... why NOT go there?


Puritan Board Freshman
I live in Denver and have first hand experience with Denver Seminary. Actually, I am personal friends with, and serve on the same church Session, as the Associate Dean and Professor of Theology and Historical Studies (and head of that department). Also personal friends with the head of the Philosophy of Religion/"Christian Thought" department. Email me at [email protected] if you have any questions and want my opinion.


Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Just from what I have heard it sounds like Denver Seminary is getting a little liberal.
I have heard this from two unconnected sources, one of which went there. What exactly that means I don't know. I also saw a favorable review of some of Wright's books....


Puritan Board Freshman
I'll second what Ben said. Another advantage of going to a seminary in Chicagoland is the access to the other million seminaries. You'll be part of actschicago and well be able to utilize the libraries. Also, there's always some conference or lecture happening in one of the schools for you to attend!


Puritan Board Freshman
I went to Westminster Phillie in the 70s. One thing I enjoyed was the ability to take classes at other local seminries and get credit at WTS. Like the Augustinian Seminary (yes, Catholic) and the Reformed Episcopal Seminary.

Jon Groce

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm actually leaning more toward Denver Seminary. I spoke with some theology professors, and they are actually very much reformed themselves, but they don't teach in a way that slants toward reformed theology. They encourage students to hold to a wide variety of views, but if I want to know reformed theology better, I can still learn it from faculty who believe it themselves, and to me that's all I really need, even if I'm in an environment that is open to somewhat more liberal views. And like TEDS, Denver Seminary is close to some other schools. Most notable is Iliff School of Theology. Iliff is a United Methodist school and absurdly liberal, but they do offer Coptic (which really makes me competitive in the NT market), and it might help to get a taste of what heavily liberal Biblical scholarship is like. There are also some personal connections that incline me to prefer Denver as a location. Still, I may end up going to Trinity for ThM later on; it was really the specialization in NT that I wanted there anyway, and getting that is the very purpose of a ThM anyway.
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