Statement of Purpose
According to the Apostle Paul, we have an obligation to commit what we have learned to faithful men who will be able to also teach others (II Timothy 2:2). John Calvin understood this obligation as showing “how earnestly desirous he [Paul] is to transmit sound doctrine to posterity; and he exhorts Timothy, not only to preserve its shape and features, (as he formerly did,) but likewise to hand it down to godly teachers” (Calvin’s Commentary on II Timothy 2:2).
The Heidelberg Theological Seminary Association acknowledges this obligation and seeks to “hand down” to those men able to teach that historic, Reformed faith we have received and desire not only to preserve as to “its shape and features,” but to ensure it is transmitted to posterity.
Heidelberg Theological Seminary (HTS) has as its primary purpose the preparation of men for the Ministry of the Word who:
- Will serve as pastors and teachers in the Christian Church,
- Truly believe the Gospel as it is set forth in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and
- Love and are motivated to proclaim, apply, and defend the same as it is accurately and completely set forth in the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession of Faith, Canons of Dordt (commonly called the “Three Forms of Unity”) or the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Shorter Catechism, and the Larger Catechism (commonly called the “Westminster Standards”).
The Seminary as a secondary purpose has the desire to offer theological training for church officers and church members who desire to be refreshed or pursue further education by the means of Biblical, theological, apologetic, historical, and practical studies.
Men who will benefit from the training of the institution are those men who seek to serve the Christian Church in the pastoral office in denominations requiring a seminary degree as a prerequisite for ordination.
The tenor of education and research at the Seminary is guided by three convictions:
- Religion, as set forth in the Three Forms of Unity or the Westminster Standards, either of which has derived the whole of its teachings from the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, is true;
- Religion thus set forth is the Christian religion and should be intelligently and capably taught and defended in a scholarly manner,
- Final authority for all the teachings for faith and instruction in life is set forth in the Word of God, commonly called the Holy Bible.