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Recommended Reading List

Recommended Reading List

The following recommended reading list is provided by the faculty of Westminster Seminary California for the purpose of enhancing preparation for graduate theological studies at WSC. The list is intended as a general guide that will expose prospective students to a variety of ideas related to biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral theology. Though many of the books below are required reading for WSC courses, there are no expectations that incoming students will have read each book prior to beginning his or her studies at WSC.

The list is divided into three levels of difficulty under each subject area:

  1. Introductory - Offers a general introduction to concepts accessible to readers with limited prior knowledge of the subject matter
  2. Intermediate - Provides a more challenging approach to the issues and ideas of each topic, yet accessible to most readers with some prior knowledge of the subject matter
  3. Advanced - Addresses more profound theological questions and arguments, intended for readers with a good deal of prior knowledge of the subject matter

Bible Content and Interpretation

  1. Reformation Study Bible (Ligonier)
  2. Edmund Clowney, The Unfolding Mystery (P&R); Michael Horton, Introducing Covenant Theology (Baker)
  3. Gerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology (Banner of Truth); Dennis Johnson, Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures (P&R)

Reformed Confessions and Catechisms

  1. Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms; Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort
  2. A. A. Hodge, The Confession of Faith (Banner of Truth)
  3. Zacharius Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (P&R)

Philosophy, Apologetics, and Prolegomena to Theology

  1. Diogenes Allen, Philosophy for Understanding Theology (Westminster John Knox)
  2. Cornelius Van Til, Defense of the Faith (P&R); Louis Berkhof, Introduction to Theology, found in Systematic Theology (Eerdmans)
  3. Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Prolegomena (Baker); Michael Horton, Covenant and Eschatology (Westminster John Knox)


  1. R. Scott Clark (ed.) Covenant, Justification and Pastoral Ministry:  Essays by the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California (P&R); John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Eerdmans); Michael Horton, Putting Amazing Back Into Grace (Baker)
  2. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Eerdmans); John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 vols (Westminster John Knox)
  3. Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, vl 1, vl 2, vl 3, vl 4 (Baker)  ; Horton, Michael S. The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Zondervan)

Church History

  1. W. Robert Godfrey, Reformation Sketches (P&R)
  2. Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity (Scribner Book Co.); D. G. Hart, Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America (P&R)
  3. Bengt Hagglund, History of Theology (Concordia); Philip Benedict, Christ's Church Purely Reformed: A Social History of Calvinism (Yale University Press)

Spiritual Growth and Calling

  1. W. Robert Godfrey, Unexpected Journey (P&R); J.I. Packer, Knowing God (IVP)
  2. Edmund Clowney, Called to the Ministry (P&R)
  3. Charles Bridges, Christian Ministry (Banner of Truth); Charles Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (Christian Heritage)

Preaching, Worship, and the Church

  1. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Zondervan)
  2. Michael Horton, A Better Way (Baker); D.G. Hart and John Muether, With Reverence and Awe (P&R)
  3. Edmund Clowney, The Church (IVP); Samuel Logan, ed., The Preacher and Preaching (P&R)

Evangelism and Missions

  1. Ernest Reisinger, Today's Evangelism: Its Message and Methods (P&R)
  2. J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (IVP)
  3. R.B. Kuyper, God-Centered Evangelism (Banner of Truth)

Christian Counseling

  1. David Powlison, Seeing With New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition through the Lens of Scripture (P&R)
  2. Dennis E. Johnson and Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Christ (Crossway)
  3. Alfred Poirier, The Peacemaking Pastor: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Church Conflict (Baker)

Contemporary Cultural Issues

  1. J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Eerdmans); Michael Horton, Where in the World is the Church? (Crossway)
  2. David VanDrunen Living in God's Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture (Crossway); D. G. Hart, The Lost Soul of American Protestantism (R. Laurence Moore)
  3. R. Scott Clark, Recovering the Reformed Confession: Our Theology, Piety and Practice (P&R)

Research and Writing Skills

  1. William Strunk and E. B. White, The Elements of Style (Allyn and Bacon); Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book (Simon and Schuster);
  2. William Zinsser, On Writing Well (Quill Press) Joseph Williams, Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (Longman); Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (Gotham)
  3. Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (University of Chicago)