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About Grace Theological Seminary

Our History

Grace Theological Seminary began as the result of an informal meeting of Christian leaders in June 1937.

Deeply concerned about the inroads of modern unbelief in higher education, a number of Brethren pastors and laymen in Ashland, Ohio, laid plans for founding an institution of higher theological education, where positive biblical standards of Christian faith and life could be established and maintained.

The founding board called Dr. Alva J. McClain to be president of this new institution, Grace Theological Seminary. He brought to this position his high attainment in scholarship and wide experience as a successful pastor and teacher. The seminary opened for its first semester in Akron, Ohio, in the fall of 1937, with a student body of 39.

Grace Theological Seminary’s clear Christian testimony and educational ideals aroused widespread interest among Christian leaders and schools throughout this country. The seminary moved to Winona Lake, Indiana, two years later at the invitation of the Winona Lake Bible Conference. After this change in location, the seminary experienced steady growth, even during the years of World War II. New degree programs were offered, regional accreditation was achieved, and graduates went out to serve the Lord as pastors, missionaries, teachers, chaplains and ministry leaders around the world. It was during this time, under the sponsorship of Grace Theological Seminary, that Grace College came into existence in 1948.

Into the 1950s and beyond, Grace Theological Seminary quickly earned a worldwide reputation for excellence in preparing men and women for ministry. Over the years, the seminary faculty members have authored scores of books, contributed many articles to scholarly and religious journals, and assisted in the production of Bible translations such as the New American Standard Bible, the New International Version, the New King James Version and the New Living Translation.

In 1991, a special consortium was held with Christian ministry leaders from across the United States. As a result, the mission and values of the school were redrafted based on the goal of translating the unchanging doctrinal foundation into the contemporary world in which graduates minister. Shortly thereafter, a major revision in the Master of Divinity curriculum was implemented, and the Doctor of Ministry program was added to provide professional education for pastors and other ministry leaders.

The seminary has the advantage of sharing a campus and administrative facilities with Grace College, an accredited four-year liberal arts college based on the authority of Scripture, having a strong Christian emphasis.

Covenant of Faith

Grace Theological Seminary embraces the following covenant of faith. It is recognized that every covenant is but a fallible human attempt to summarize and systematize the riches of God’s infallible divine revelation. Nevertheless, the Board of Trustees, administrators and faculty members at Grace Theological Seminary believe that it is essential to have a covenant of faith that sets forth the position of the institution with regard to the major biblical doctrines and also carefully specifies its theological distinctive. It is understood that students with various denominational backgrounds may not be in agreement with every statement, in particular with those students who relate to denominational practices. All applicants are expected to be in essential agreement with the basic doctrines it affirms.

Academic Catalog


Grace Theological Seminary is located in the town of Winona Lake, Indiana.

The campus is near the shores of Winona Lake, one of the largest of the more than 100 lakes in Kosciusko County.

The region offers numerous recreational attractions. With Chicago 120 miles to the northwest and Fort Wayne 40 miles to the east, easy access to these metropolitan centers is available by way of U.S. 30. Once the home of evangelist Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan, James Whitcomb Riley and Homer Rodeheaver, this serene community offers a wealth of history and tradition.

It was the site of the historic Winona Lake Bible Conference, which for several years operated under the auspices of Grace College and Seminary. Winona Lake is a part of the Greater Warsaw Area, an expanding community, and is an outstanding area for quality family living. Grace College, the four-year coeducational liberal arts college that shares a campus with Grace Theological Seminary, offers many opportunities for combined activities and facilities. Seminarians may participate in such activities as Symphony of the Lakes, plays, intramural athletics, outreach efforts and athletic events.

In addition to the seminary and graduate counseling building, seminary students are also welcomed to share college facilities that include a student union, dining commons, and a sports and recreation center. Winona Lake, Warsaw and nearby communities provide opportunities for affordable housing, part-time and full-time employment, and the kind of high community standards typical of the tradition of the Midwest. In addition, the region offers ministry opportunities through local churches, hospital chaplain assistantships, prison ministries and other organizations.


The Student Affairs Office produces a monthly Rent Guide. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you can email studentaffairs@grace.edu and request it be emailed to you OR visit the Student Affairs Office (Indiana Hall, first floor). The Rent Guide will give you an idea of the cost of housing in the area and contact information for those who want to specifically rent apartments or houses to Grace College & Theological Seminary students.