The Master Seminary (TMS) began because of a demand from young men at Grace Community Church (GCC) who wanted theological training. At that time, they were filling church vans and commuting daily to Talbot Seminary, which was the only option in the area.
Eventually, there were so many students—almost a hundred—that Talbot allowed us to start an extension campus at GCC and sent their faculty to us. We were part of the Talbot Valley Campus for nine years. But when the dean of Talbot Seminary resigned, Dr. Irv Busenitz, who had been part of the extension’s faculty, felt it was time to start a new seminary. On March 31, 1986, he met with Dr. John MacArthur regarding that possibility.
We started The Master’s Seminary in the fall of that year with ninety-five students and four full-time faculty members: Dr. Irv Busenitz, Dr. Marc Mueller, Dr. Charles R. Smith, and Professor Donald G. McDougall. Dr. Richard Mayhue served as dean and Dr. MacArthur as president. In 1988, we received regional accreditation with The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
As we look back, we see God’s hand bringing together a group of men and knitting their hearts together. Our founding members were united in sound doctrine and committed to the same quality, integrity, and vision for the seminary. They were wholly dedicated to investing in the young men who trained at TMS.
Our product is simple: we produce preachers. That was and is the uniqueness of our seminary. Our job is to produce one product, an expositor of God’s Word.
We have always believed that expositors are born out of sound theology; the result of an accurate view of Scripture, a solid hermeneutic, and comprehensive understanding of the original languages. Expositors are also produced within the local church. When our students walk out of the classroom, they step onto the campus of Grace Community Church where they are daily called to put into practice the truths they are being taught.
But none of this is possible without the personal discipleship between faculty and students. As expositors, we are held to a higher standard—one that requires a life of personal holiness. Who better to encourage and exhort our students than the very men with the character and experience to equip them for ministry?
One word sums up the treasure that is entrusted to the men who come to TMS: faithfulness. Above all else, our preachers are faithful to God’s Word. Over 1,500 graduates now faithfully preach the Word of God in forty-five countries and six continents. A growing number of international students are training at TMS in preparation for service in their home countries.
Today we have over five hundred current students and twenty-two full-time faculty. We remain faithful to our founding vision of producing preachers as we continue to entrust our students with the truth entrusted to us.
In the years before we were The Master’s Seminary, Dr. Busenitz’s office was located at the rear of our chapel. Every time he would walk into that dark chapel, he would pray that someday God would fill it with men studying for ministry. Over the years, God has answered that prayer wonderfully. Our constant prayer is that He continues to do so.