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Mid-America Reformed Seminary

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(14 total votes)


(15 total votes)
Mid-America Reformed Seminary
Mid-America Reformed Seminary

Mid-America Reformed Seminary is an intentionally-small, residential-only seminary in Dyer, Indiana.


1. Historical Reformed Theology

Mid-America Reformed Seminary is deeply rooted in the Reformed tradition, with close relationships to confessional Reformed and Presbyterian churches and denominations, including the United Reformed Church and Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Students with a Neo-Kuyperian perspective will find a home here, as will students who share the Reformational passion for the centrality of the preached Word in the life of the church.

The Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dordt, and the Westminster Confession drive course instruction and institutional affiliation. The Seminary’s four core distinctives (Commitment to Scripture, Confessional Approach, Gospel Focus, and the Relationship with the Church) are a helpful snapshot that captures the beating heart of Mid-America and show how its Reformed convictions play out in the life of the Seminary and the Church.

2. Spiritual Formation

With an intimate six-to-one ratio of students to faculty, students at Mid-America Reformed Seminary will benefit from more than a cursory interaction with the experts who teach—rather, students will be deeply integrated into the life of the Seminary, with plenty of opportunities to fellowship and learn from the faculty, as well as each other.

The Seminary is committed to the spiritual formation of its students, and therefore to this point has remained intentionally residential-only. They want students on-campus regularly to learn and grow together, to challenge each other and be challenged, and to worship together in chapel. With opportunities like the “Holy Soles” running group and accountability groups, the opportunities to experience discipleship abound.

Chicago Skyline3. Chicago Amenities

The Seminary is 40 minutes from Chicago, 20 minutes from beautiful Lake Michigan, and only 7 minutes from the legendary micro-brewery Three Floyds (home of “Dark Lord”). Dyer is a family-friendly community with ample jobs and good schools located in Indiana. Study during the week, then head up to Chicago in less than an hour on a weekend for some notorious deep-dish pizza, to admire “the bean,” or to discover one of its many coffee shops or art exhibits!

Mid-America Reformed Seminary Logo

Degrees Offered

Mid-America Reformed Seminary’s flagship degree is its 112 credit Master of Divinity (MDiv). With a high emphasis on biblical languages, practical ministry internships, and gospel-centered preaching, this is the ideal degree for future pastors. At $280/credit hour, Mid-America’s MDiv. is on the far more affordable side of the spectrum.

Their second degree is the Master of Theological Studies. Ideal for lay-teachers in the church, women’s ministry directors and teachers — it is aimed at teachers who will not require or seek ordination. While similar to the MDiv. program, the MTS takes less time to complete, and has two concentrations for prospective students to choose from: biblical studies or historical/theological studies.

For both degrees, financial aid may be available from the institution.

SuccessfulStudent.orgAdmissions & Transfer Information

Students must have a prior undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.67 to apply to either program, in addition to being a professed Christian. Mid-America Reformed Seminary does not require GRE or other standardized testing scores to apply.

Mid-America Reformed Seminary does accept transfer students from other seminaries. Students must submit prior transcripts for evaluation. Courses must be at the graduate level with a grade of B or higher. Students in the Master of Theological Studies program may transfer in up to 16 semester units.

For the Master of Divinity program, students must complete a minimum of 36 semester units through Mid-America Reformed Seminary. The admissions team strongly recommends prior coursework in Greek.


Mid-America Reformed Seminary has accreditation membership with The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Mid-America Reformed Seminary previously held accreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.

Mid-America Reformed Seminary Campus

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11 Reviews

1) I attended on-campus.

2) I studied everything from systematic to biblical theology, homiletics (how to preach) to catechetics (how to teach).

3) I pursued a Master of Theological Studies (which is distinct from the MDiv., in that its primary aim is to ground its students in a theological/biblical education, but not priming them for the ordained pastoral ministry. However, between the MTS and the MDiv., many of the classes overlap, particularly in the exegesis classes.

4) I attended from Fall 2015 – Spring 2018 (graduation being in May of this past year [2018]). Normally, the MTS is drawn out in 2 years (if you’re enrolled full-time that is), but I stretched it out to 3 years.

5) My advice to prospective students would be to fully embrace and look forward to the communal aspect of Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Not only will this benefit you in your studies as brothers growing in holiness together, but it will prepare you for engaging congregations of God’s people as you prepare for pastoral ministry, both during the school year and the summer practicum.

I began my on-campus studies at Mid-America in 1997 and graduated in 2000 with an MDiv. Our family of six thoroughly enjoyed out three years in Chicagoland. The churches were wonderfully supportive of us during my studies and we loved the cultural and recreational opportunities available in the region. I am very thankful for the theological and pastoral training that I received at Mid-America as it left me well equipped to begin full time ministry. After 18 years of full time parish ministry, I struggle to think of changes that I would make to the education I received. I highly recommend Mid-America
George Koopmans,
Medicine Hat Christian Reformed Church

I graduated with a MDiv. in 2011 at MARS, and am now serving in the Reformed Churches of New Zealand. MARS is a rigorous training institution equipping well for the spiritual challenges of pastoral ministry. Aside from its academic rigor, the practical component of training was incredibly helpful. It’s supporting community was a rich blessing to us “country bumpkins” from New Zealand.
I would highly recommend this institution to others training for pastoral ministry.

I was a student at Mid-America Reformed Seminary from January of 2014 to May of 2018, graduating with an M.Div. I took most classes in person, but a few were handled online. The kindness and flexibility of professors in allowing the variety and enabling me to fit courses into breaks was outstanding and very helpful to me.

History, Hebrew, and the Old Testament courses are taught with an infectious delight and enthusiasm. New Testament courses are taught with logical rigor and thorough concern for orienting considerations. I especially appreciated the attention to needed philosophical background in relevant courses, such as ethics and parts of dogmatics. The professors are knowledgeable, pastorally minded, and compassionate towards students. It is a very supportive environment, and communicating with the professors is easy. Mid-America is a school of piety as well as academic training.

Incoming students will probably get the most out of their education if they already have a general grasp of the contents of the Bible, an overview of systematic theology, and a sense of the contours of church history (e.g., in preparation for attending read through the Bible five times {including the material in a good study Bible at least once}; Geerhardus Vos, “Biblical Theology”; Louis Berkhof, “Systematic Theology” {including “Introductory Volume”}; and Justo Gonzalez, “The Story of Christianity”). That way the lectures and readings can help them to go deeper and grasp the details more quickly. It’s also essential to be quite organized in order to keep up with everything. Breaks are good for getting a head start on the reading for what comes next.

One area of some weakness is that certain positions of our Reformed antecedents are not given a full and sympathetic presentation in class. In my opinion it would be good for students to be helped to appreciate why certain ideas ever had a considerable following, even if it should be right that today’s Reformed churches have largely rejected them. That understanding approach even to mistakes characterizes much of the teaching, but falters somewhat when it comes to certain positions of no mean Reformed pedigree (e.g., exclusive psalmody or establishmentarianism).

Another outstanding feature of Mid-America is its environment, surrounded as it is by healthy Reformed and Presbyterian churches. On the one hand this means that many chapel guests bring excellent messages to the students, but even greater than that is the benefit of worship and fellowship in a living, believing, and loving congregation during the time spent in seminary. It was a joy to study there, and I remain very grateful for the institution and its work.

I received my M.Div. from Mid-America in 2004, and I have been deeply grateful for the education I received — especially the practical, hands-on experience that was emphasized. There are a few places where you can go to become an ivory-tower theologian. But Mid-America has a unique focus on having ministers preparing ministers to minister … and that’s what the church needs!

I graduated from Mid-America’s 3 YR MDiv. program in 2011. The seminary prepared me well for the candidacy exams and pastoral ministry. I appreciated the emphasis on trusting in the scriptures as God’s Word and the 60+ opportunities to exhort in the churches while studying – a testament of the seminary’s close integration with the local church.

Seminary life is fraught with spiritual warfare but looking back that was a sign that significant, if dark and difficult training was taking place. God be praised for answering prayer and carrying through! The seminary flexed with me for making my family a priority and we had a few babies born in Canada and I was able to study long distance for a few weeks on different occasions.

Get ready by gearing up for intense spiritual struggle and prepare your mind for engaging original languages and deep philosophical and theological concepts. And ready yourself for an opportunity to grow in the mind of Christ our Savior…humbly serving his church as you do!

I attended MARS from 1992-1995 graduating with a M. Div. degree. This was the best seminary for me by far. I found that the focus on preparing Ministers of the Word and the Ministerial Apprenticeship Program were everything that I needed to prepare me to be minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot recommend MARS enough to those who are considering a seminary education. The professors are first rate as well as the staff. The fellowship among my fellow students was a plus.

The three years of education I received at Mid America Reformed Seminary served to teach me the many careful steps one must take when seeking to faithfully exegete the the Word of God so as to make the ancient words of Scripture speak to us today. In addition to an academically rigorous program (I still consult my notes to this day and on occasion consult with my professors for help!), the practical training that was required in order to graduate proved to be extremely–and equally–valuable. The Ministerial Apprenticeship Program that required me to watch, listen to and observe experienced pastors do the work of shepherding and heralding, and which required me to do some of the same, proved to be indispensable and highly formative. May God continue to bless MARS as she moves forward!

I graduated from Mid-America Reformed Seminary in May of 2015. I received excellent training from the hands of top-notch biblical and theological scholars who had an evident love for the church of Jesus Christ. They were not just academicians, but pastors who had spent many years in the trenches of pastoral ministry and are now concerned to train pastors who can teach, preach, counsel, and shepherd the flock of God. I would heartily recommend MARS to anyone interested in becoming a pastor in the Reformed tradition.

I completed an M.A.R. from one seminary and then received my M.Div. from Mid-America in 2005. Because of the earlier education, I did not need to attend Mid-America full-time, and they kindly accommodated my unique situation of commuting to classes. Even with commuting, my wife and I developed many relationships which continue to this day.
I greatly appreciated the education at Mid-America for many reasons but two especially stand out: (1) the professors’ constant application of classroom material to preaching reinforced the preaching method taught in the homiletics classes. (2) the professors’ common rootedness in the mainstream of confessional Reformed thinking helped to examine various viewpoints while avoiding hobby-horses.

I attended Mid America from 2004-2007 and I graduated with an M. Div. My wife and I rented a home near the seminary and I usually rode my bike to classes each day. It was the preparation for the ministry that I needed.

I can see even more clearly now how God used MARS in my life to shape me and equip me to be a pastor. This took place with face to face interaction with students and professors. I found that my professor took the time to talk with the students and work through any theological or exegetical questions we had. I learned much from them. The Ministerial Apprenticeship Program, where the students spend their summers on internships, was a temendous blessing as well.

Advice I would give to future students is to use your time in seminary to its fullest. Get involved in one of the local congregations (URC, OPC, PCA, etc.) and flourish there. MARS is committed to the scriptures as summarized in the confessions and that is the foundation you want for theological training.

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