A Bold Vision for Community

Princeton Theological Seminary


A changing world demands change.

For over 200 years Princeton Seminary has stood at the forefront of theological education, shaping generations of Christian leaders for ministry around the world. Given the rapid pace of change in our culture, we must adapt so that we can best prepare today’s leaders to serve the church and the world of tomorrow. As society becomes increasingly fragmented and polarized, we must reimagine how we prepare students to minister across lines of difference and embody the gospel in a global context.

“Covenant Community” is our vision for thriving educational community that equips students in the service of Jesus Christ for the academy, congregations, nonprofit agencies, and other forms of public service. As we look to the future, Princeton Seminary is committed to being more intentional about residential life, rethinking the co-curricular experience, and integrating it more closely with the curriculum. 

The whole community experience will support the intellectual formation, spiritual nurture, and leadership development that are essential for ministry in the contemporary world. 

We are building on our historic strengths of outstanding scholarship and commitment to the church, while deepening the bonds of our community in order to provide a premier experience of leadership formation that meets the needs of students today.


Our Vision for Community

We believe in the transformative power of Christian community to shape leaders for the church.

Our concept of community is informed by the Reformed tradition and its emphasis on the study of Scripture, the life of the mind, and the centrality of Christ.

Princeton Seminary remains committed to residential education as an unparalleled experience for leadership formation. Community is vital to the learning experience because: 

  • Students learn not just from books and scholars but from one another. 
  • Students learn not just from a classroom environment but from living, eating, playing, and worshipping alongside people who are different from themselves.  

A diverse, ecumenical, international community is an essential part of the learning environment.

Christian traditions represented in our student body

Field Education sites around the world

languages spoken on campus


of incoming students are guaranteed housing

Building the Vision

Facilitating this vision for covenant community is a multi-year project, which includes reviewing our curriculum, supplementing our co-curriculum with cohort experiences and service opportunities, and renovating our facilities to best support our mission.

We will create the occasions for the intellectual formation, spiritual nurture, and leadership development that are essential for Christian leaders.

At the heart of covenant community are the values and practices that comprise our way of life together. Over the next several years, we will be reviewing and reimagining the student experience both outside and inside of the classroom. You can learn more about these developing plans in a working document entitled The Values and Practices of Covenant Community. This document represents the ideas and aspirations that have been part of ongoing conversations across the campus.



Our student housing will foster a transformative living and learning community.

In order to fulfill our vision of covenant community, we want to ensure that our campus facilities contribute towards the formative experience of living in a diverse residential community of learning. We are currently developing a campus master plan that will establish a framework for improvements to our facilities.  This planning will align our campus with our aspirations to create covenant community.  As our master planning progresses, more information will be available on this website.

500 years after the Reformation, the work of reforming continues at Princeton Seminary as we seek to remain faithful to our mission and to the God who calls us to this work.

President M. Craig Barnes describes the Seminary as a transformative community that practices the giving and receiving of grace. Listen to his sermon on Ephesians 4:1–6 from the Fall 2016 Opening Communion service.

Dr. Jacqueline E. Lapsley, Associate Professor of Old Testament, explores what it means to be part of a covenant community. Listen to her address from the Fall 2017 Opening Convocation service.


Share your thoughts

Please consider the following prompts and share your thoughts in the comments box below. If you would like a response, please include your email address. Thank you for your feedback!

  • What about this vision resonates with you?
  • Describe your experience of community at Princeton Seminary.
  • What hopes do you have for the future of community life at Princeton Seminary?

Founded in 1812, Princeton Theological Seminary prepares women and men to serve as faithful Christian leaders in the church, the academy, and the world. Learn more at ptsem.edu.