Recommended Reading List

IntroductionFuture students often ask “what books should I be reading while preparing for the seminary journey?” That’s a great question! Most importantly, you should be carefully reading God’s Holy Word. Beyond this, take a look at our abbreviated list of pre-seminary reading that RTS faculty have assembled. The list is not required reading but is merely intended to provide a great start on some key areas.

Many of the books included are required texts for courses taught at all of the RTS campuses. Most emphasize historic doctrines of grace, scriptural authority, true piety and a biblical view of church, ministry and missions. These form the theological foundations of RTS. Some advanced works serve as comparison readings for healthy theological dialogue from within our tradition.

We trust that as you begin reading these pre-seminary selections you will later peruse works from the recommended reading list on our website. These authors will challenge you to devote yourself fully to serving God’s kingdom with a mind for truth and a heart for God.

A Great Start

Knowing God– J. I. Packer
Over the past several decades J.I. Packer’s classic has revealed to over a million Christians around the world the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God. Now more than ever, next to Scripture, this could be the most significant book you will read this year, or next.

Intended to introduce: Systematic theology
God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible– Vaughan Roberts
Does the Bible sometimes seem like a confusing jumble of books, authors, and stories? Roberts’s excellent overview takes a wide-angle view of Scripture, showing how the various parts of the Bible consolidate into one united theme – the kingdom of God. With this encouraging tool guiding you, you’ll be reading God’s Word with new confidence and understanding.

Intended to introduce: Biblical story & message
The Call– Os Guinness
Os Guinness goes beyond our surface understanding of God’s call and addresses the fact that God has a specifi c calling for our individual lives. Why am I here? What is God’s call in my life? How do I fi t God’s call with my own individuality? How should God’s calling affect my career, my plans for the future, and my concepts of success? The Call is for all who desire a purposeful, intentional life of faith.

Intended to introduce: Calling & discernment

Additional Suggestions

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction - Eugene Peterson
Intended to introduce: Spiritual life
If God Already Knows, Why Pray? - Doug Kelly
Intended to introduce: Spiritual life
Reading the Bible with Heart & Mind - Tremper Longman III
Intended to introduce: Biblical interpretation
Salvation Belongs to the Lord - John Frame
Intended to introduce: Systematic theology
Called to the Ministry - Edmund P. Clowney
Intended to introduce: Calling & discernment
Building a Christian Worldview - Andrew Hoffecker & Gary Scott Smith
Intended to introduce: Philosophy
Truth in All Its Glory: Commending the Reformed Faith - William Edgar
Intended to introduce: Reformed tradition
Church History in Plain Language - Bruce Shelley
Intended to introduce: Church history (in the West)
Apologetics to the Glory of God - John Frame
Intended to introduce: Apologetics

Extended List

Click to view the Extended List.