Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is an evangelical seminary community united around the gospel of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ which offers educational programs that prepare men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world in many global and vocational contexts, such as counseling, academic teaching and writing, pastoral leadership, and missional service in an increasingly diverse set of circumstances.
Preparing Students for Today’s Complex Ministry Settings
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) is an academic divinity school located in Bannockburn, near Deerfield, Illinois, USA. It enrolls more than 1,200 graduate students in professional and academic programs, including more than 150 in its PhD programs. From its earliest days as an institution, TEDS has embraced the responsibility and the privilege of being entrusted with the Gospel. Its sole mission is to serve the church and to ensure that the ministers of the Gospel arrive fully prepared for today’s complex ministry settings, whether in Chicago, or any other part of the United States, or in any of nearly 100 countries around the world where alumni from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School currently serve.
Quality Education for Aspiring Christian leaders
TEDS offers 19 post-graduate degree programs in a variety of disciplines. Four of those 19 programs are at the doctoral level (Doctor of Philosophy degrees in educational studies, intercultural studies, and theological studies; Doctor of Ministry programs in English and Korean).
A total of 15 degree programs at the master’s level are offered at TEDS. These lay emphases on theology, educational ministry, urban ministry, church history, Old Testament, New Testament, chaplaincy and ministry care, mental health counseling, archaeology and biblical languages, and intercultural studies.
The Master of Divinity program was revised in 2017 to allow students a deeper focus on their chosen area of specialty. It also provides a comprehensive overview of key areas such as theology, church history, education, and pastoral care.
Programs leading to a Master of Arts/Theological Studies, Master of Arts/Educational Ministries, and a Certificate in Christian Studies, all are available entirely online.
An Erudite Educator
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, is one of the most prolific educators at TEDS. He received the top honor in the theology/ethics category of the 2017 Christianity Today Book Awards. Vanhoozer’s book, “Biblical Authority after Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity,” was published by Brazos Press in 2016. The magazine’s editors selected one book for top honors and another for an award of merit in each of 12 categories. The 24 books chosen are “most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture,” according to the introduction of this year’s list of honorees.
Vanhoozer also received the 2015 Christianity Today Book Award in theology/ethics for “Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine”.
Vanhoozer previously served as a Blanchard Professor of Theology at Wheaton College and Graduate School (2008-11) and also as the Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at New College in the University of Edinburgh (1990-98), where he also served as a member on the Panel of Doctrine for the Church of Scotland. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
The main campus is located in Deerfield, Illinois, about 30 miles north of downtown Chicago. The school attracts students from scores of denominational backgrounds, and affiliates with the Evangelical Free Church of America.
In addition to the Deerfield campus, TEDS classes are taught at 10 extension sites in major U.S. cities such as Pittsburgh, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. TEDS classes meet at Trinity’s two South Florida campuses in Miramar and Kendall, and at the South Chicago campus in Dolton, Illinois.
Among many outstanding TEDS alumni, John Senyonyi (’92) is the Alumnus of the Year, 2017. Senyonyi serves as Vice Chancellor (President) of Uganda Christian University in Mukono, which enrolls more than 7,000 students and operates on five campuses. The late Festo Kivengere, an Anglican bishop sometimes called “the Billy Graham of Africa,” advised Senyonyi to study at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. At the time, Senyonyi was a mathematics scholar, but felt a call to theological education. He turned up with his wife, Ruth, on the Deerfield campus in 1989, and earned a Master of Arts in evangelism and theology before returning to Uganda in 1992.
Senyonyi chaired the Uganda Youth Forum, which brought together thousands of young people to hear messages of empowerment and encouragement and to avoid any exposure to becoming at risk for AIDS.
Exposures and Internships
TEDS provides internship opportunities and real-life exposures to its students. Field-based ministry experience is required in all TEDS academic programs. Students complete a prescribed number of service hours. Agencies or ministries receiving TEDS interns must agree to provide mentorship.
TEDS students established and maintain a campus group called Mosaic, which strives to advance the ministry of reconciliation and renewal by equipping students, developing resources, and creating new networks. Mosaic maintains an outreach to churches in northern Lake County, Illinois. The Mosaic Church Network connects students with diverse churches committed to healthy, mutually beneficial partnerships across divides of race and socio-economics. Pastors from this network speak and teach at Trinity, and faculty members speak and teach in northern Lake County churches.