Review of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois)Web Site:
Type: General
Relative Cost: Expensive
Tuition: $14,370
Size: Large
Students: 1229
Faculty: 49
Reputation: Influential
Denomination: Evangelical Free Church of America

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) is one of the largest evangelical Christian seminaries in the world and the educational ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). Located in Deerfield, Illinois, TEDS enrolls more than 1,200 graduate students in professional and academic programs, including more than 150 in its Ph.D programs. At the center of this school is the Master of Divinity program, preparing pastors, teachers, and missionaries for many kinds of service.

At present, Tite Tiénou is the Dean of TEDS and the professor of theology of mission.



Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is part of the Trinity International University (TIU). Trinity’s roots can be traced back to 1897 when the Swedish Evangelical Free Church began a 10-week Bible course and then soon developed into the Bible Insitute of the Swedish Evangelical Free Church of America. In 1884, the Norwegian-Danish Free Church Association has begun the Norwegian-Danish Department of the Chicago Theological Seminary. In 1910, the department withdrew from the seminary and established the Norwegian-Danish Bible Institute and Academy located first in Rushford, Minnesota, and then later in Minneapolis with the name Trinity Seminary and Bible Institute. Between 1946 and 1949 the Swedish school merged with the Norwegian-Danish school to form Trinity Seminary and Bible College, located in Chicago. Then during the 1960s, the seminary and the college (Trinity College) moved to its present Deerfield Campus. The seminary  was christened Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1962 and first began conferring the Master of Divinity in 1969.

Kenneth Kantzer became the founding Dean of TEDS from 1960 to 1978 and was the professor of biblical and systematic theology. Under the leadership of Kenneth Kantzer, he made Trinity a recognized center of evangelical scholarship, evangelism and biblical missionary training.

In 1995, Trinity College, Trinity College at Miami and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School were united to form Trinity International University. Today, TEDS is part of the Trinity International University family of schools, which includes Trinity College, Trinity Law School (in Santa Ana, California), and two regional campuses (South Chicago and Florida).

Trinity International University holds to the statement of faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). EFCA doesn’t have a doctrinal stance on Calvinism vs. Arminianism, pre-trib vs. mid-trib, immersion vs. sprinkling, worship style, or spiritual gifts. However, you will find that individual churches and individual believers, have opinions on these issues.  Each believer is free to decide what they think.



Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) is a broadly evangelical seminary dedicated to the development of servant leaders for the global church in a variety of vocations. TEDS embraces both orthodoxy and diversity of thought in theology and church practice. Dean Tite Tiénou tells new students every semester that TEDS is ‘pan-evangelical’ which means that the seminary embraces all evangelicals, of every variation. TEDS emphasizes on gospel-centeredness evangelical scholarship, and the authority and inerrancy of Scripture.

Faculty members represent diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well as diverse evangelical theological traditions. Dr. D. A. Carson is a popular research professor of New Testament in TEDS. He is a reformed evangelical and has written books on free will and predestination from a generally compatibilist and Calvinist perspective. Similar to Dr. Carson, Dr. Kevin J. Vanhoozer is a reformed evangelical and currently serves as a research professor of Systematic Theology in TEDS. On other hand, Dr. Grant Osborne is one of the few professors in TEDS who’s Arminian evangelical. Dr. Osborne has been professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School since 1977.

TEDS offers a range of more focused Master of Arts programs in Ministry, Educational Ministries, Intercultural Studies, Systematic Theology and other disciplines. Aside from Master of Arts programs, TEDS also offers degrees in Master of Theology and Master of Divinity. For the Doctoral Programs, TEDS offers Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies, Intercultural Studies and Theological Studies.

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School’s M.Div program is designed to give comprehensive biblical, theological, cultural and practical training for those desiring preparation for some form of Christian ministerial or academic leadership, all within the context of Trinity’s broadly evangelical ethos.

The Master of Divinity curriculum (94 hours total) is centered on four primary areas:

  • Scripture and Interpretation (35 hours)
    • Subject course include Biblical Theology and Interpretation, New Testament Greek Exegesis (7 hours), Elementary Hebrew (6 hours), Pentateuch and Hostorical Books,.
    • Theology and Tradition (20 hours)
    • Worldview and Culture (8 hours)
    • Ministries and Practices (31 hours)

Complete List of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School’s Master of Divinity Degree Program.

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School – Student Reviews:

  • “After researching and visiting seminaries across North America, I chose TEDS because it was the best mix of academic rigor and practical ministry training. TEDS is a place where students and faculty from diverse backgrounds learn together. TEDS students are involved in a wide variety of ministries, from church planting in the city, ministry to international students, and pastoring rural churches.”  – Andrew I.
  • “For students hoping to pursue ministry, there are many opportunities for placement and the required internships also provide an incentive to prioritize professional experience. All of these experiences are carefully mentored and my one-on-one time with faculty in these capacities has shaped me so much. he professors are so careful to value the personal growth of their students, praying for them and investing in their lives.” – M. Pierce


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