Eugene S. Callendar, BD 1950

Eugene CallendarEugene Callendar, the first African-American student at Westminster, speaks about his experience: “Westminster helped me to see that there are a lot of souls on the modern Jericho roads. Westminster helped me enter into the suffering of others where it hurts. Right now! Right here! To God be the Glory! May we never forget that Jesus deliberately selected a Samaritan in the popular parable.…It did not have to be a Samaritan. Jesus could have chosen a Roman army captain, a Greek stoic teacher, a Jewish prophet, a nephew of Herod, or a playboy from a royal family. But he chose a Samaritan. He must have intended to show that race and class have nothing to do with love and compassion.…That is one of the riches that the Christian community has to offer the world.”

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Peter W. Smuts, PhD 1996

Peter SmutsDr. Peter W. Smuts, who grew up in Apartheid South Africa, has taught hermeneutics, New Testament interpretation, and undergraduate-level Greek at the Bible Institute of South Africa since completing his studies at Westminster Seminary. “I am truly grateful to God for the opportunity to study at WTS, a privilege few South Africans have had,” and “I have learned that our students must not only be taught the truth, but must also be inspired by the truth to obey it. It is exciting to see God's Word transforming the thinking and the lives of the students and equipping them for Kingdom service around the globe.”

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David A., MDiv 2003, and F. Allan Story, Jr., PhD 1994

David StoryDavid comments on Westminster: “I have been asked before what I learned at Westminster. My answer is, ‘The gospel!’ Did I learn hermeneutics, rich church history, incredible systematic theology, apologetics and more? Of course. But more importantly, Westminster taught me the gospel in a deeper, simpler, and more profound way than I knew it before. The gospel was the center of every subject and every class. Now, as a campus minister, this affects every sermon I preach, every conversation I have with a student, every Bible study I lead, and hopefully, the way I live during the day and sleep during the night. In campus ministry, I am not hoping simply to teach a student another important truth, but with every truth to point them to Christ, who is their greatest need in every situation.”

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Geoffrey Thomas, BD 1964

Geoffrey ThomasPastor Thomas of Liverpool, England, encountered a vast array of Biblical teaching at Westminster. John Murray’s Christian commitment, his books Redemption Accomplished and Applied and Principles of Conduct, and the vitality of his lectures were all influential for Geoffrey. E. J. Young’s Introduction to the Old Testament was particularly helpful, especially when he was at Cardiff dealing with Old Testament critics. For Rev. Thomas, Westminster was not only about doctrine, exegesis, and history; it was a communal experience involving his friends and mentors. "I am so thankful to God for what I learned in Philadelphia forty-four years ago.”

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Click here to hear his message "The Word of the Cross" in our audio archives

Paul R. Wells, BD 1972

Paul WellsIn 1972, Paul and his wife, Alison, met with evangelist Gene Boyer at Westminster regarding opening a theological seminary in southern France. With Ed Clowney’s encouragement, the Wells went to Aix-en-Provence, north of Marseilles, to lay the groundwork for Faculté Libre de Théologie Reformée. During those early years, Wells enjoyed the Reformed commitment and fellowship of his faculty colleagues Peter Jones and William Edgar until they left for other ministries.

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Click here to listen to Dr. Wells' recent lecture, given at the third annual Richard B. Gaffin Lecture

Mary Wai-Yi Tse, MAR 1981, ThM 1989, PhD 1998

Mary Wai-Ye TseMary Wai-Yi Tse is currently a faculty member at Alliance Bible Seminary in Hong Kong. Dr. Tse’s fondness for Westminster Seminary becomes obvious when one considers that she earned three degrees on three separate occasions. Following her move from Toronto to Philadelphia for her first degree, she moved from Hong Kong to Philadelphia two times for further study so that she could teach the Bible to Chinese Christians. She comments that her “training at Westminster Seminary has surely laid a good and solid foundation for my ministry in the past, the present, and the future.”

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Anjov Ahenakaa, MAR 1990, PhD 1997

Anjov AhenakaaDr. Ahenakaa, minister in the Nongo u Kristu Ken Sudan Hen Tiv (NKST) denomination in Nigeria, believes that his academic experience at Westminster has given him insight into biblical and theological matters, but he thinks the seminary classes especially improved his Bible preaching. When the NKST presented an evangelism conference in 2000, Anjov chaired the committee that organized the program, and he believes that his Westminster classes gave him some of the tools he needed for this project. The aim of the conference was to design an evangelism master plan in conjunction with a socio-economic development program by the government. The impact of Westminster upon him was both academic and spiritual—through the academics and doctrine learned in education he has been able to encourage Nigerian Christians in their faith as they grow spiritually and face times of difficulty.

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These stories written by Alumnus Dr. Barry Waugh (Ph.D.)