Vision & Mission
Sir Walter Mildmay, who founded Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1584, is reported to have told Queen Elizabeth I, “I have set an acorn, which when it becomes an oak, God alone knows what will be the fruit thereof.” Emmanuel College became a hotbed for Puritan theology and preaching. We too have planted an acorn, which we hope will some day become an oak.
As a “church-based” institution, RBS operates under the oversight of the local church and the counsel of an advisory board, academic committee, and other likeminded churches. The seminary’s faculty primarily consists of instructors who not only have biblical knowledge and teaching ability, but also are qualified pastors engaged in pastoral ministry. Finally, RBS requires each student’s pastor to provide general oversight of his training and to serve as his mentor and proctor.
RBS exists to help churches train men who aspire to gospel ministry, as well as to provide further training for men who are already engaged in gospel ministry. Secondarily, as an extension of the local church’s teaching ministry, the seminary also provides further instruction for laypeople who desire to enhance their understanding of Scripture.
The doctrinal beliefs of the seminary may be summarized under four headings.
We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of both the Old and New Testaments of Holy Scripture (66 books) in their original autographs. We believe that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in all their parts and are, therefore, trustworthy and authoritative in all that they affirm concerning history, science, doctrine, ethics, religious practice, or any other topic.
We believe that salvation always has been and always will be through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone. We believe that this central message of Scripture has been most clearly and accurately expounded in the Reformed Confessions of Faith, especially, in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, which is the seminary’s confessional standard. An online version of the LBC can be found here.
We believe that baptism and church membership should only be bestowed upon those who make a credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We also believe that the local church is self-governing and under no other ecclesiastical authority except the Lord Jesus Himself.
Unity and Charity
Reformed Baptist Seminary is committed to presenting a biblical theology and vision of ministry which is in harmony with the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, but which also acknowledges legitimate diversity among Reformed Baptists on some issues and is charitable towards like-minded Christian brothers and sisters from other theological traditions.
The Local Church
As a “church-based ministerial academy,” RBS is committed to help pastors and churches train men who aspire after and show potential for the pastoral ministry, as well as laypeople, church leaders, and men whose aspirations to full-time ministry may still be tentative (Eph. 4:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:2).
For this reason an applicant must be a member in good standing of an evangelical church whose pastor(s) is supportive of his pursuit of theological training. If an applicant is already a pastor, it is assumed that the local church has already recognized the applicant’s gifts and graces and is supportive of his pursuit of more training.
RBS expects that the applicant will work together with his pastor(s) and home church throughout the course of his training. Practically, this means that the applicant can humbly receive the initial and ongoing assessment of his pastor(s) and church regarding his qualifications if he is pursuing the pastoral ministry. The applicant will also select one of his pastors to serve as his mentor-proctor to provide guidance and input on coursework, writing projects, preaching, and practical ministry. The mentor will also be responsible to proctor the student’s quizzes and exams. By working together with his pastor(s) and home church, the applicant will not only be following the biblical pattern for ministerial training (Eph. 4:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:2), but will be more effectively commending himself to the church (1 Tim. 3:1-7; 4:15), the world (1 Tim. 3:7), the Lord (1 Pet. 5:5), and his own conscience (Acts 24:16; Heb. 13:18).
RBS wants its current and prospective students to be assured of the seminary's commitment to educational quality and accountability. RBS is recognized by the Association of Reformed Theological Seminaries (ARTS) as an affiliate member.
As an affiliate member, RBS participates in and contributes to collegial and professional development activities of the Association, and is committed to the quality of education ARTS promotes. Affiliate status does not, however, constitute, imply, or presume ARTS accredited status at present or in the future.
Since the primary purpose of RBS is to train men to pastor churches and to provide a flexible theological program that does not require the student to leave his church or job in order to complete studies in residence at the seminary, we have chosen not to pursue accreditation at this time.
Nevertheless, RBS is committed to maintain high academic standards and to provide the student with a quality theological education equal to or higher than that offered by accredited institutions.
Benefits of Affiliate Member Status:
- Affiliates are encouraged to participate in the collegiality and accountability structure of ARTS.
- Affiliates are allowed and encouraged to attend, as non-voting members, all ARTS meetings, and participate in ARTS committees.
- Affiliates involved in theological education are allowed to develop academic relationships with any and all ARTS members. The Executive Director for ARTS Commission on Accreditation will help structure these academic relationships with other ARTS member schools.
- Affiliates desiring to become full ARTS members can seek assistance from the Executive Director for ARTS COA on how to proceed in progressing to full ARTS membership.
For more information about ARTS, click here.
Students who desire to obtain a graduate degree accredited by both ATS and ARTS should consider our PRTS Transfer Program. This program allows students to transfer up to 20 credits from RBS and complete either a M.A. or M.Div. degree at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. See here for more information.
RBSI is a ministry of Reformed Baptist Seminary that seeks to provide biblical training for pastors and ministerial aspirants who reside outside the United States and have neither the time nor money to pursue an extended, residential, formal theological education. Until Providence opens a door for them to receive a fuller education, RBSI meets the need of offering basic theological training to ground them in the great doctrines of Scripture. RBSI offers a version of RBS's Marrow of Theology program, giving students an introduction to sacred theology and a platform on which to build further theological studies.
Board Members & Overseeing Churches
Pastor Robert Briggs
Immanuel Baptist Church
2418 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Tel: (916) 444-6185
Pastor Greg Nichols
Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church
760 Peachcrest Court
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Tel: (616) 742-1137
Pastor Jeff Smith
Emmanuel Baptist Church
5391 Johnson Road
Coconut Creek, FL 33073
Tel: (954) 427-2011