History & Future

Our History

Trinity School for Ministry is an evangelical seminary in the Anglican tradition. In this fractured world, we desire to be a global center for Christian formation, producing outstanding leaders who can plant, renew, and grow churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. To this end we are forming Christian leaders for mission.
Trinity School for Ministry was born in the renewal movement of the 1970s. In 1975, the Rt. Rev. Alfred Stanway, a retired Australian missionary bishop, answered a call from members of the Fellowship of Witness to be Trinity’s first Dean and President. He moved to the Pittsburgh area and set up an office in his home, using his garage for the library. Bishop Stanway had been recommended by John Stott, J.I. Packer, and other evangelical leaders for his vision of renewal and his extraordinary ability to translate this vision into a lively Christian body. He called the Rev. Dr. John Rodgers, a professor and chaplain at Virginia Theological Seminary, to be the senior professor.

Classes began in 1976 with a small faculty and 17 students—none with sponsoring bishops—meeting in rented classrooms at a local college. Two years later, the seminary purchased an empty Presbyterian Church in Ambridge, PA and the abandoned supermarket across the street. These buildings were then converted into a campus.
Trinity has grown steadily to over 280 students in our residential and online programs. More than 1,200 Trinity alumni, both lay and ordained, serve both domestically and around the world. We now have a faculty of thirteen and numerous adjunct professors.

Our student body continues to increase, more and more bishops are ordaining Trinity graduates, and the seminary has received millions of dollars in gifts from a growing number of parishes and individuals. Trinity also has twenty-one alumni and three former members of the faculty who have been elected as bishops. In 2010, the Most Rev. Hector “Tito” Zavala was elected as the Primate of the Southern Cone, making him the first Trinity alumnus to oversee a province of the Anglican Communion.

Our Future

Goals for the Future

In recent years we have seen a significant increase in the amount of student loan debt that burdens our graduates as they leave the seminary and go to the places where God has called them. This debt can be debilitating on a family’s finances and it can also limit ministry options. To counter this, we have instituted the Justyn Terry Future Leaders Scholarship Fund. This fund is for undesignated, spendable scholarships and it has allowed us to offer need-based, full-tuition scholarships to our students. It is our intention to expand upon this program allowing us to train and deploy even more workers into God’s harvest.

To better accommodate these future generations of students, we desire to expand upon and improve our present campus. The projects include both a new chapel and an up to date apartment building to replace our aging housing facilities.

Finally, we are looking into various ways that we can expand into other areas of the country. Presently, we offer both online classes and week-long intensive classes as a way to provide a theological education to those who are unable to relocate. We believe, however, that residential training is the best option as we form Christian leaders for mission. Because of this, we are looking into the possible development of extension sites around the country that could provide residential training without moving students from their homes and ministries.