When the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA made the reorganization of Princeton Seminary final in June, 1929, certain former directors and faculty members of the seminary and a group of Presbyterian laymen and ministers, mostly from Philadelphia and vicinity, met to discuss the launching of another theological institution, Presbyterian in doctrine and of high scholarship, which would carry on the traditions of Princeton Seminary before its reorganization. The initial meeting took place on June 17, 1929, in New York City at the University Club by invitation of the Rev. Walter D. Buchanan, D.D., pastor of the Broadway Presbyterian Church, New York City. Presbyterians from five or six presbyteries who were present at this meeting passed the following resolution:

Resolved, That this group will support the loyal members of the former Board of Directors of Princeton Theological Seminary in any step they may see fit to take (1) Toward preventing by legal means the misuse of the Seminary’s funds or (2) Toward the formation of a new seminary if they decide that it is necessary.


It was the Rev. Charles Schall, D.D., pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Wayne, Pennsylvania, who first conceived of the idea of a new seminary after the destruction of Princeton and started influences which made the idea a reality. He had luncheon with two elders in Philadelphia, T. E. Ross and F. M. Paist, and discovered that they and many other elders in Philadelphia were willing and eager to launch a new seminary in the fall of 1929 if that were possible. At the Arts Club in Philadelphia eight elders and Drs. Wilson, Machen, and Allis met for luncheon and discussed curriculum, professors, location, and a budget for the proposed seminary. Sufficient funds were pledged at that meeting for the first year’s expenses to encourage further efforts to make the plans an actuality. Following this luncheon seventy-eight men, composed of former Princeton directors, faculty, and students, and Presbyterian ministers and elders, met at the central YMCA, Philadelphia, July 18, 1929, at which time a temporary executive committee was formed and the seminary was definitely launched.2

The executive committee chosen consisted of ministers: Maitland Alexander, Roy T. Brumbaugh, Walter D. Buchanan, Samuel G. Craig, Charles Schall, and Frank H. Stevenson, and elders: Roland K. Armes, Edgar Frutchey, Frederic M. Paist (chairman), James L Rankin, T. Edward Ross, James F. Schrader, John L Steele, and Morgan H. Thomas, with Drs. Robert Dick Wilson, J. Gresham Machen, and Oswald T. Allis in an advisory capacity. Westminster Theological Seminary was selected as the name for the new institution.

Among those who later joined the board of trustees, the name of the Rev. Clarence E. Macartney, D.D., a former moderator of the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, is the most prominent, although many others who were well-known pastors of large Presbyterian congregations and laymen of influential positions in the professional and business world also consented to serve. Westminster Seminary began its first academic year on September 25, 1929, with an enrollment of fifty students.

This meager description of the founding of the institution does not portray the faith, courage, work, and real heroism of that small band of men who actually launched the seminary in less than four months after the reorganization of Princeton. Drs. Wilson, Machen, and Allis spent the entire summer in speaking, writing articles, preparing the curriculum, securing professors, and carrying on a large correspondence in order to secure the opening of the institution in September of that year. The Rev. Paul Woolley, registrar, labored tirelessly in preparing the student rooms and the classrooms at 1528 Pine Street (which had been placed at the disposal of the school, rent free, by Dr. Allis), and in answering multitudinous questions about the new seminary. The laymen on the executive committee also did yeoman service, particularly in securing funds.

No report of the organization of Westminster would be proper without special mention of the tremendous work which was accomplished by the Rev. Frank H. Stevenson, D.D., who became president of the board of trustees, and who was the guiding spirit in the administrative policies of the seminary. His large experience as an executive served to prepare him in a peculiar way for the task of steering the ship through the rough seas of the worst financial depression that this country has ever seen, and which overtook America only one month after Westminster was founded. Much credit must be given to him for guiding the seminary in a remarkable way, so that the infant institution remained free of debt It was he who had published the article, “A Pastor Looks at Princeton,” which was one of the most incisive and well-written discussions of the entire controversy. He had been a member of the board of directors at Princeton and before that of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, as well as the successful pastor of the Church of the Covenant, Cincinnati. He came to his position as president of the board of trustees of the new seminary bearing the scars of battle and prepared for the task which confronted him. His untimely death at the age of fifty-one in 1934 was a severe blow to the young and struggling institution.

The faculty at Westminster Seminary was composed of four professors from Princeton: Robert Dick Wilson, who was chosen chairman of the faculty, J. Gresham Machen, Oswald T. Allis, and Cornelius Van Til; the Rev. R. B. Kuiper, who had been a graduate student at Princeton under B. B. Warfield, and a pastor in Reformed churches for nearly a quarter of a century, and three recent graduates of Princeton: Allan A. MacRae, Ned B. Stonehouse, and Paul Woolley, who had pursued graduate studies in Europe. A year later Mr. John Murray, who had taught at Princeton Seminary, joined the faculty.

Professor Robert Dick Wilson was considered to be an outstanding scholar in the Old Testament, especially in Semitic studies, and a great defender of the faith. Dr. J. Gresham Machen had come to be regarded as one of the leading exponents of historic Christianity. He, more than any one else, was the central figure of the controversy at Princeton and the theological leader of the conservatives. Dr. O. T. Allis had been the editor of the scholarly Princeton Theological Review, and in this position had gained an international reputation for his exact and thorough grasp of orthodox Christianity. Dr. Cornelius Van Til, who had taught only a year at Princeton in the department of apologetics, has since attained a place of prestige in that field of theology. Professor R. B. Kuiper now holds the chair of practical theology, and from his abundant experience in the pastorate and his unique gifts as a preacher, is teaching the young men to become faithful ministers of the Word of God. The four young men who were added to the faculty were brilliant students at Princeton and give promise of a large future in theological scholarship. Two others, the Rev. Edward J. Young and the Rev. John H. Skilton, were later made members of the faculty in the departments of Old and New Testament respectively.

Westminster Seminary is independent of ecclesiastical control, but it is not interdenominational or nondenominational in character, for it is committed to the Westminster Confession of Faith as the system of doctrine taught in the Bible and to the Presbyterian form of church government. Yet it welcomes students from many church bodies, and since the seminary was founded they have come from thirty-four different denominations.

Why was Westminster Theological Seminary founded? The catalogue of the institution states,

Westminster Theological Seminary was founded in 1929 to carry on and perpetuate the policies and traditions of Princeton Seminary as that institution existed prior to its reorganization by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

The need for the new seminary is due ultimately to a long process of defection from the Christian faith which has been going on in the Protestant churches of the world during the past one hundred years; but the special occasion was found in certain recent events in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.


In an address at the opening exercises of Westminster, September 25, 1929, Dr. Machen said among other things,

No, my friends, though Princeton Seminary is dead, the noble tradition of Princeton Seminary is alive. Westminster Seminary will endeavor by God’s grace to continue that tradition unimpaired; it will endeavor, not on a foundation of equivocation and compromise, but on an honest foundation of devotion to God’s Word, to maintain the same principles that old Princeton maintained. We believe, first, that the Christian religion, as it is set forth in the Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Church, is true; we believe, second, that the Christian religion welcomes and is capable of scholarly defense; and we believe, third, that the Christian religion should be proclaimed without fear or favor, and in cleat opposition to whatever opposes it, whether within or without the church, as the only way of salvation for lost mankind.


In this pronouncement Dr. Machen laid down the platform upon which the seminary appeals for support and upon which the professors teach.

Westminster Seminary, in other words, is more than a protest against the trend toward modernism at Princeton Seminary; more than an institution set for the defense of the gospel; and even more than a seminary to carry on the traditions and policies of the old Princeton. It is a lighthouse of Christian learning. The seminary and its graduates are fired with a zeal to teach and to preach that men must believe in the God of the Bible if they are to know God as their heavenly Father, and if they are to have a consistent, logical, and reasonable view of the world. The seminary assumes the offensive in the warfare against paganism in its many forms. It is not content to find a way of escape from intellectual difficulties in religion by succumbing to the modern day emphasis upon individual experience as the norm for Christian thinking and living. On the other hand, by painstaking, accurate, and thorough scholarship it ventures to maintain that the Bible is true, that the Christian gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and that the Christian position is the only intellectually honest one.

The seminary’s short history has demonstrated that the founders were determined to keep the institution devoted to the Westminster Confession as the system of doctrine taught in the Bible and to the Presbyterian form of church government. The professors have always taught the students to preach the gospel and to be equally vigilant in maintaining it in the councils of the church. As a result of this consistent teaching, the seminary has been much attacked, and two crises have developed within its board of trustees and faculty.

When the seminary came into being, much was said and written about the main conflict between paganism and Christianity, and little by comparison was stated concerning the Presbyterian character of Westminster and the need for upholding the full and consistent view of Christianity as set forth in Calvinism. Men like Dr. Machen made it abundantly plain that Westminster was not only orthodox, but definitely Reformed in its doctrinal basis. On the other hand, the general defense against modernism placed the conflict on a broader basis, and the distinctively Calvinistic character of Westminster was not strongly emphasized. A glance at the past ten years of Westminster Seminary will show that the failure to keep foremost the high biblical stand of the institution as a seminary of the Reformed persuasion led to serious misunderstandings.

When Westminster was organized three different groups of men were appointed to the board of trustees. No one knew at the time that this situation obtained, but the ensuing events have made it evident.

First, there were thorough-going Presbyterians who were resolved to maintain true doctrine regardless of cost. These men were ministers and laymen of the Presbyterian Church in the USA who felt the need of making a good witness for the gospel, not only from the pulpits of the church but also in the meetings of presbyteries, synods, and general assemblies. They were aware of the presence of ministers in the church who controlled much of its ecclesiastical life and who were opposed to the Westminster Confession of Faith. Consequently, the seminary had been formed, at least in one respect, with the hope of sending consecrated and courageous young men into the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in the USA to stem the rising tide of unbelief. This group of trustees, as well as members of the faculty, was convinced that if that course failed, true Presbyterianism must be preserved in some other way.

A second group in the board of trustees and faculty, also ministers and laymen of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, was equally determined to supply loyal ministers for the church, but, as it developed, they were not willing to pay the price of pursuing another course of continuing a true witness to the Reformed faith if the first method of reforming the church failed.

A third group in the board of trustees was composed of ministers and laymen of the same church who were opposed to modernism in the church and wanted to train faithful ministers of the Word of God. These members were non-denominational in their convictions rather than definitely Presbyterian. At the outset all members of the Board appeared to be of the same mind with the first group, but the two crises which developed required decisions, and the above divisions appeared.

Efforts were made in 1933, particularly by certain members of the faculty of whom Dr. Machen was the leader, and members of the board of trustees of the seminary, to reform the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the USA.5 When these efforts failed, a mission society, independent of ecclesiastical control and named the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, was formed. Three members of the faculty and nine members of the board of trustees of the seminary became members of that mission society. The general assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA issued a mandate in 1934 ordering members of the Presbyterian Church in the USA to resign from the Independent Board or suffer discipline. The members of the seminary faculty and board of trustees refused to resign from the Independent Board. This created dissension within the seminary family because some of the seminary board and one member of the faculty, led by Dr. Samuel G. Craig, felt that the Independent Board and Westminster Seminary should continue as separate institutions, and that sympathy with the seminary did not mean agreement with the establishment of the Independent Board. On the other hand, men like Dr. Machen were convinced that while the seminary and Independent Board were separate and distinct organizations, nevertheless the seminary’s whole life and purpose were in hearty agreement with the attempt to reform the church and with the establishment of the Independent Board. In fact, Dr. Machen and the others argued that to take any other position would be to defeat the very reason for the organization of the seminary. If the seminary did not stand like a flint against the encroachments of modernism and unbelief in the church and was not willing to encourage its graduates to take the consequences of such a position, then the institution had no reason to exist.

The Rev. Samuel G. Craig, D.D., was editor of Christianity Today, which journal had been launched in May, 1930, when The Presbyterian, of which Dr. Craig had been editor, asked him to resign because of his vigorous protests against the reorganization of Princeton Seminary. The masthead of the first issue of Christianity Today declared it as “A Presbyterian Journal Devoted to Stating, Defending and Furthering the Gospel in the Modern World,” and the editorial in the same issue stated among other things as its conviction, “that it is the duty of Christians to bear clear-cut witness to the Christian faith against all who oppose it, whether within or without the church.” Contrary to this avowed purpose, so it seemed to Dr. Machen and many others, the paper had later on vigorously opposed the work of reformation within the Presbyterian Church in the USA, as represented by the Independent Board and the Presbyterian Constitutional Covenant Union.6 Consequently, the seminary had to make its position clear as to which group, Dr. Craig and his followers or the faculty, represented the seminary’s attitude in the church crisis.

At the regular fall meeting of the board of trustees held on October 22, 1935, the faculty presented a resolution asking the board to declare its position: was the seminary to continue in the vanguard of the gospel and the fight against modernism, or was it to lag in the rear of the battle and carry on the struggle in word only? The board finally upheld the faculty and voted to urge all those on the board opposed to the faculty to resign in order to allow the institution to continue.7

It is evident from this unique and generous resolution that it was the desire of those members of the board of trustees who were opposed to the faculty to preserve the witness of the seminary, rather than to have their opinion prevail and force most of the faculty to resign. Dr. O. T. Allis, a member of the faculty, was out of agreement with the other members of the faculty and resigned, stating, “I am taking this step voluntarily in the hope that the Seminary may be saved or at least be enabled to continue.”8

Dr. Craig was the only member of the board of trustees who opposed this action in a vigorous way, and in order to make his protest formal he sent a long letter to each member of the board setting forth his reasons for disagreeing with the faculty. He presented five considerations which led him to vote against Dr. Macartney’s resolution and that of the faculty. (1) It misstates the occasion and purpose of the establishment of Westminster Seminary. (2) It misstates the cause of the division that has been introduced into the affairs of the seminary. (3) It misrepresents the present editorial policy of Christianity Today and the present attitude of its editor. (4) It demands that the seminary identify its interests with those of the Independent Board and the Presbyterian Constitutional Covenant Union. (5) It contains a threat to wreck the seminary unless the demand just referred to is granted.9

At a specially called meeting of the board on January 7, 1936, thirteen members of the board and Dr. O. T. Allis of the faculty presented their resignations, and a statement was adopted by the board for release to the papers, which declared that the seminary would pursue its original purpose and policy of teaching and defending the Word of God.10

The Alumni Association of the seminary came to the defense of the institution and at its annual meeting on May 11, 1936, passed without a dissenting vote the resolution: “The Alumni Association hereby records its hearty approval of the present administration and policy of Westminster Theological Seminary.”11

The departure of these thirteen members of the board of trustees and one member of the faculty was a serious loss to the seminary. It is a matter of regret that these men, some of whom were the conservative leaders of the Presbyterian Church in the USA and men of large abilities, were unwilling to go the whole way in the attempt to reform the church. It is to be hoped that they will eventually see their mistake and once more support the seminary in a wholehearted fashion.

This ended the first great crisis in the life of Westminster and stamped it as an institution which would brook no compromise with modernism, and which was resolved to instill in the students a militant and aggressive attitude against unbelief in the councils of the church as well as from the pulpit. The original purpose of the seminary had been upheld and its consistent testimony to the truth had been kept clear.

A second crisis within the board of trustees and the faculty occurred in 1937. This time it concerned the question of the distinctively Presbyterian character of the institution. Was it to be only a generally evangelical seminary, or was it to continue its original principles and stand for Presbyterianism, or Calvinism, as the system of doctrine taught in the Bible?

Mr. John Murray, professor of systematic theology at the seminary, began a series of articles on the general theme, “The Reformed Faith and Modern Substitutes,” in the December 16, 1935, issue of the Presbyterian Guardian. In this series, which extended over a number of months, he dealt with such subjects as “The Limited Atonement,” “Arminianism,” “Total Depravity,” and “Modern Dispensationalism.” In considering the last named topic, he attempted to prove that dispensationalism of the Scofield Reference Bible type contradicts the teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith. He exposed the false distinction between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven in the New Testament made by Dr. Lewis Chafer, which implies that entrance into the kingdom of God is by the new birth, while entrance into the kingdom of heaven is by works. Mr. Murray made it plain that premillennialism as such was not under discussion, but simply some of the errors which had become attached to it.12

Dr. O. T. Allis, a member of the faculty, also wrote an article on this subject in The Evangelical Quarterly for January, 1936, defending the same point of view as that expressed by Mr. Murray. Another article added to the emphasis on this subject. After the First General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America, now the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, professor R. B. Kuiper wrote a description of the formation of the church for The Banner (Christian Reformed), which was reprinted in the Presbyterian Guardian, in which he stated,

The General Assembly had the privilege of examining several graduates of Westminster Seminary for licensure and ordination. It would have warmed the cockles of the heart of any Christian Reformed minister to hear how closely they were questioned about the two errors which are so extremely prevalent among American fundamentalists, Arminianism and the Dispensationalism of the Scofield Bible. The assembly wanted to make sure that these prospective ministers were not tainted with such anti-reformed heresies.


These articles brought protests from certain members of the board of trustees of the seminary and a number of good people who had supported Westminster under the impression that it was a non-denominational institution. In fact, it was the knowledge that the thoroughgoing Calvinistic principles of the seminary were not sufficiently well-known which prompted the articles to be written by Mr. Murray. The criticisms which followed revealed only too clearly that the fears of the seminary leaders were well-grounded.

Another issue, quite irrelevant to the whole question and which obscured the real basic differences of doctrine, was the subject of Christian liberty, particularly concerning the drinking of fermented beverages, and the discussion of the so-called separated life, which sets up certain man-made standards apart from the Bible hand judges a Christian’s spirituality by his conformity to these norms.14

Professor Allan A. MacRae, Ph.D., assistant professor in charge of the department of Old Testament at the seminary, sympathized strongly with these criticisms and sent in his resignation to the board of trustees, in which he stated that the teaching at Westminster Seminary was now directed against fundamentalism and premillennialism instead of modernism, that the faculty vigorously defended the use of fermented beverages, that the students were being taught to accept views in opposition “to the great stream of Reformed, Evangelical Christianity in this country,”15 and that the seminary had “passed into the hands of a small alien group.” Ministers Roy Talmage Brumbaugh and Harold S. Laird, and elders Roland K. Armes and F. M. Paist resigned from the board of trustees for the same reasons.16

In protest, the above-named trustees and the Rev. Carl McIntire, with Dr. MacRae as chairman of the faculty, formed Faith Theological Seminary at Wilmington, Delaware, in September, 1937, which seminary is wedded to premillennialism and the so-called separated life. The seminary claims to be committed to Presbyterian doctrine, but the presence on the board of trustees of one Baptist, the Rev. David Otis Fuller, D.D., of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and one independent fundamentalist, the Rev. William R. McCarrell, D.D., of Cicero, Illinois, makes it clear that the institution is an inter-denominational one.17

The unwarranted attack by Dr. MacRae brought a quick response from the faculty and the students of Westminster Seminary, both of whom denied the allegations of intemperance at the institution and the statement that the seminary denied liberty of view with respect to the second coming of Christ.18

This division in the board of trustees and the faculty resulted in the Presbyterian and biblical witness of the seminary being firmly maintained. Fortunately, the seminary weathered the storm and continued on its course as an institution devoted to the Westminster Confession of Faith as the system of doctrine taught in the Bible, and more determined than ever to pursue its original purpose of teaching young men to insist upon loyalty to the Word of God in the administration of the church, as well as in proclaiming it each Sunday from the sacred desk.

The attack on Westminster Seminary from without was more bitter and very widespread. The hierarchy of the Presbyterian Church in the USA exerted tremendous efforts to still the voice of the institution. On August 1, 1934, the general council of the Presbyterian Church in the USA sent a letter to all ministers and sessions of that church, signed by the moderator of the preceding general assembly, and stating among other things that “The Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions is a continuation of a divisive movement in the Presbyterian Church which five years ago resulted in the establishment of an independent seminary and which, if not stayed, will result in the formation of other independent Presbyterian agencies.” The import of this is evident: Westminster Seminary is a harmful divisive movement which is threatening the future of the Presbyterian church.

This official letter is moderate in comparison with other and more drastic measures which were taken to suppress Westminster. For example, Mr. Calvin Cummings, a graduate of the seminary, was denied licensure in the Presbyterian Church in the USA because he refused to pledge blind allegiance to the official Board of Foreign Missions. There is nothing in the constitution of the church which requires such a vow for licensure, yet the Presbytery of Baltimore demanded that pledge. Advice that it should do this had been given by the stated clerk of the general assembly. No other interpretation of this action is possible than that a pope had suddenly appeared among Presbyterians who was bent on crushing the evangelical cause in the Presbyterian Church in the USA.

The Rev. Henry W. Coray, a graduate of Westminster Seminary and the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in West Pittston, Pennsylvania, applied several years before for appointment as a missionary under the official board of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, but he was denied this privilege. He then applied to the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions and was appointed to go to China. What happened? The Presbytery of Lackawanna refused to dissolve the pastoral relationship between Mr. Coray and his church because he was being sent out by the Independent Board, and declared that if he persisted his name would be erased from the roll of presbytery, which is equivalent in this case, as far as the Presbyterian Church in the USA is concerned, to excommunication. His name was actually erased from the roll of presbytery on November 12, 1934. In other words, a Presbyterian minister

was not to be allowed to preach Christ unless he would become a slave of the hierarchy of the church. There were many other cases of highhanded methods. The reaction to this kind of propaganda and tactics resulted in sympathy for the seminary and an increased resolution on the part of the professors and the board of trustees to go straight on in the endeavor to teach the truth, no matter what persecution should arise.

A great and unexpected blow fell upon the seminary on January 1, 1937, when its leader, the Rev. J. Gresham Machen, D.D., Litt.D., passed away while on a missionary trip to North Dakota to present the cause of the Bible against modernism in the Presbyterian Church in the USA. He died as he had lived, fighting for the faith without compromise.19

Prior to this, two of the founders of the seminary had died: in 1930 the Rev. Robert Dick Wilson, Ph.D., D.D., LLD., a member of the faculty, and in 1934 the Rev. Frank H. Stevenson, D.D., the first president of the board of trustees.

After the death of Dr. Machen, the J. Gresham Machen Memorial Fund was announced in March, 1937, in order to raise funds for the purchase of a campus and buildings, and to secure the necessary $500,000 endowment, which sum is usually required by the state of Pennsylvania before an institution can grant theological degrees.20 Up to this time the seminary had been housed in rented quarters at 1526 and 1528 Pine Street, Philadelphia. As a result of this campaign a beautiful twenty-two acre estate, located on the edge of Philadelphia and containing five buildings, was purchased in June, 1937, as the seminary campus. The main building was dedicated as the J. Gresham Machen Memorial Hall at the opening exercises on September 29, 1937.21

In 1938 the board of trustees approached the State Council of Education asking the council to recommend that the state courts give Westminster Seminary degree-granting power even though the half-million dollar endowment was not at hand. The state council made a thorough investigation of the seminary’s academic standards and found them very high and fully warranting the power to grant degrees. The council voted unanimously to approve Westminster’s application to grant the Th.B. degree, and the court approved the recommendation and the necessary charter amendments. Ordinarily the endowment is necessary but under certain circumstances, when an institution is receiving financial support equivalent in value to the endowment from members and congregations of religious organizations, this may be substituted for the endowment. Westminster Seminary satisfied the State Council of Education of Pennsylvania that such financial support was being received. At the tenth anniversary celebration and commencement exercises on May 9, 1939, nearly 100 of the 162 graduates of the past ten years who held the regular certificate of the seminary received their Th.B. degree. This brought to a successful conclusion the aims of the Machen Memorial Fund, and served as a fitting climax to the tenth anniversary celebration and a proper memorial to such a great theologian and Christian statesman as Dr. Machen.

This recital of the essential facts of the history of Westminster Theological Seminary must have impressed the reader with the unique character of the institution and with its exceptional resiliency. Few institutions have been subjected to such abuse, criticism, and vigorous attacks both from within and without. It places in bold relief the utter devotion of the seminary to the Bible regardless of persecution, and also the enduring qualities of the truth of Christianity under the most adverse circumstances.

Controversy in behalf of the truth against the trend of the times in the church as well as in the world has sharpened the knowledge of the gospel among the followers of the seminary, and has better prepared all those associated with the cause to fight the good fight of faith and to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. For the past three years the unity of purpose among the board of trustees, the faculty, and the students of the institution gives promise of a large place of usefulness in the future.

The seminary’s reputation as an institution which is committed to the Westminster Confession of Faith is now firmly established, and its scholarly presentation of the truths of the Bible has attracted students not only from many states, but from a number of foreign countries as well. Its graduates are located in twenty-three states and ten foreign lands where they are ministers, professors, and missionaries.

While Westminster’s course has been rough and stormy, yet throughout the past ten years it has always held to the conviction that the Bible is true, that salvation is only by the grace of God apart from the works of man, and that the Christian conception of life is the only logical, consistent, and reasonable one. The uncertainty, doubt, and anxiety in the world today makes such a seminary a ray of hope, for from its halls come ministers of the gospel who preach not their own philosophies, but speak the authority of the Word of God, “Thus saith the Lord!”

  1. The Presbyterian 99 (October 3, 1929), 8. 

  2. See Appendix, note 3. 

  3. Catalogue of Westminster Theological Seminary, 1937-38, 14. 

  4. J. Gresham Machen, “Westminster Theological Seminary: Its Purpose and Plan,” The Presbyterian 99 (October 10, 1929), 8-9. 

  5. See chapter six for details. 

  6. See chapter twelve. 

  7. See Appendix, note 4. 

  8. A letter by Dr. Allis to members of the board of trustees, October 28, 1935. 

  9. A letter addressed to the members of the board of trustees of Westminster Theological Seminary by Dr. Craig, October 26, 1935. 

  10. See Appendix, note 5. 

  11. Presbyterian Guardian 2 (June 1, 1936), 107. 

  12. John Murray, “The Reformed Faith and Modem Substitutes,” Presbyterian Guardian 2 (May 18, 1936; August 17, 1936), 77-79, 210-212; 3 (January 9, 1937), 139-141. 

  13. R B. Kuiper, Presbyterian Guardian 2 (September 12, 1936), 225-27. 

  14. See chapter twelve for a full discussion of these subjects. 

  15. Letter by Dr. MacRae to the Rev. Harold S. Laird, secretary of the board of trustees of Westminster Theological Seminary, April 26, 1937. 

  16. Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Trustees of Westminster Theological Seminary, May 11, 1937. 

  17. Catalogue of Faith Theological Seminary, 1938-1939, 3,10. 

  18. See Appendix, note 6. 

  19. See chapter eight. 

  20. Edwin H. Rian, “The Machen Memorial Fund: its Objectives,” Presbyterian Guardian 6 (May 1939), 89. 

  21. Presbyterian Guardian 4 (November 1937), 197.