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Meet A Student/Graduate

Austin Britton

Austin Britton
Why did you decide to attend WSC? 
When I began researching seminaries, I was advised to research Westminster Seminary California by a close friend who had recently graduated from there. In addition, I was advised by my pastor, who is also a graduate of WSC, to look into WSC. So my first encounter with WSC was through positive word-of-mouth “advertisements.” However, I was not sold on WSC by word-of-mouth influences alone. There were other schools and seminaries I was interested in attending. Yet the decision to attend WSC was confirmed for me when I came to visit the school for a “Seminary for a Day” function. This visit allowed me to meet the faculty, get a taste for the instruction by sitting in on some classes, and gave my wife and I the opportunity to see Escondido and get a better idea of what it would take to move out here.
After the experience of visiting Southern California wore off and I began to seriously reflect on enrolling at I realized that their commitment to teaching the original languages of Scripture, devotion to the Reformed witness to the faith, top-notch faculty of pastor-scholars, and their love for the unadulterated gospel were unmatched by any seminary in the United States. This is ultimately why I chose to attend WSC. 
You recently completed a summer internship with a local OPC church. What did your internship experience lead you to appreciate about your education thus far at WSC? 
My summer internship led me to appreciate how WSC’s education is primarily geared to prepare men fit for pastoral ministry. How did my internship do this? Well, by allowing me to apply what I have learned in every field of study to which I have been exposed thus far in my training. The internship demanded the synthesis of biblical theology, language study, church history, systematic theology, apologetics, and practical theology. And guess what? My seminary education did not fail me at any point. I realized the tools needed to do ministry are given in abundance by WSC. Graduates from this school do not leave unequipped. 
What is your future plan?
Right now the plan is to seek a year-long pastoral internship either in the OPC or PCA and pursue licensure and ordination in the respective denomination.
What advice would you give to prospective students as they consider where to pursue graduate theological education?
I would advise prospective students to try and discern as best they can what their goal is in pursuing a theological education. Westminster Seminary California exists to serve the church by primarily focusing on training men for ordained ministry. Secondarily, WSC has many graduates who go on for more advanced degrees and thus serves as good preparation for a career in the academy. If these do not sound like your goals, WSC might not be the best place for you. If you simply have nagging theological questions or a desire to grow more in your walk with the Lord, save your money and pursue these things at your local church. Seminary is not some “higher-form” of church (no such thing exists); it rather is more like boot camp. Seek teaching, edification, and answers from your local pastor and elders. However, if the above goals of pastoral ministry and/or a career in the academy sound like one of your goals, there is no better place to be trained for these things than WSC. 
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