How to Avoid Liberal or Apostate Seminaries, Pastors and Churches

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Liberal or apostate seminaries, pastors and churches are now greater in number than churches and seminaries that are biblically sound, and it’s only going to get worse.

Finding a Seminary

I tried finding the top rated seminaries in the U.S. but found a mixed bag of very liberal seminaries and a few sound ones (like Moody Theological Seminary), but there was a problem.  What they use to rate as “top” often has little to do with their statement of beliefs or what they believe about Jesus and the Bible. They may rank high due to price or staff-student ratio, or some other factor, but the most important question about any seminary is their stance on biblical doctrine. Do they believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, suffered and died at Calvary, and was raised on the third day? Do they believe in creation?  Do they believe in the Trinity?  If they waver in their beliefs in these bedrock truths, or in their belief about the Word of God as being without error, then I would look elsewhere for a seminary or a church. Today, you’ll find far more liberal seminaries and churches in America than sound ones (like Grace Theological Seminary). When the liberal seminaries are training pastors, they too become liberal and their congregations become like the Church of Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22).

Moody Theological Seminary among the best seminaries in America.

Apostate Seminaries and Pastors

If you have pastors that have come out of a liberal seminary, their biblical convictions will not be as clear to their congregation.  Their own sermons may be a “hope so” instead of a “know so.” They may not even believe in eternal security, for they themselves are not secure in Christ.  They are more worried about filling the parking lot and the offering plate than filling heaven. They might actually be seeking followers instead of making disciples who are more like Christ. We have surely slipped our doctrinal moorings in the seminaries and churches today. They leave out the essential teachings such as repentance, confession, salvation, holiness, sanctification, and other such doctrines and instead, they teach on what makes their congregation feel good about themselves. Clearly, liberal seminaries that teach that the Word of God has errors or mistakes in it will produce wimpy sermons that are not life changing. Now, we are battling more apostasy with the New Apostolic Reformation, as if the first one wasn’t enough.


A couple of seminary professors were almost arrogant in their beliefs about the Bible and Jesus Christ. One even said he doubted the resurrection was an actual, historical fact. Another seminary professor said that the “story” of Adam and Eve and Creation were just a metaphor for how God created life. Some even lean toward evolution! That’s too liberal for me. If they can water down the Bible to meet the needs of the world, they’ll do it (and have!). They don’t care as much about whether something is true or not as they are with, “Does it work” or will it draw people. If something like programs and activities work to draw people, then it must be right, but the problem is, they are not actually seeking Jesus Christ for eternal life. They are seeking activities. Some churches even have tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pools, and yes, one even had a bowling alley! One church I attended had an enormous band and orchestra with a huge sound system and as I walked in, they handed out ear plugs. Right then and there, I knew I was in the wrong place because they didn’t worship Christ. The people worshipped the music and the band instead.

Faith Once Delivered

If you are a professor, pastor, or even an elder or deacon, you must necessarily believe that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). Teaching these things is essential, so “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:17). This gave Paul every reason to warn Timothy to Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim 4:16).

Contending for the original teachings of Jesus Christ is what changed Jude’s mind about what he was going to write about.  Jude said he intended “to write to you about our common salvation [but] I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). It was necessary because “certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4). This is why not only pastors but believers are told “to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them” (Rom 16:17). Avoid them and their teachings.


Seminaries are producing liberal pastors who don’t even believe the Bible is true, so how can they expect to pass those beliefs on when they themselves don’t even believe in God’s Word? We have slipped our doctrinal moorings and have drifted into error and apostasy. With the larger acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, some seminaries may go out of business and seek seminaries that accept this as permissible. Liberal pastors and seminary professors care less about what is true and more about, “Does it work?” Instead of, “Will it fill the pews,” maybe we should think, “Will it fill the Book of Life?” If you’ve never trusted in Christ, today is the very best of days to believe (2 Cor 6:2), because tomorrow may be too late (Rev 1:7) or may never come for you (Heb 9:27). Believe on Him today and you can be saved (Rom 10:9-13).

Here is some related reading for you: How Can Christians Recognize Apostasy?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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