Theological Distinctives

God’s church is a place of wild diversity and local churches also have distinct personalities, so we wanted to outline a few theological distinctives that make WestGate Church unique. We don’t expect every church or every Christian to adhere to these distinctives.  But they’re how we see things.


Sexuality and Gender

Our staff and elders worked together to rewrite WestGate Church's official position paper on Sexuality and Gender.  We think it's more clear, and is a good starting point into conversation about this important topic.  

Women and Ministry

Our staff and elders worked together to rewrite WestGate Church's official position paper on Women and Ministry.  We think it's more clear, and is a good starting point into conversation about this important topic.  

Helpful Resources

Because this webpage could never be an exhaustive work articulating our beliefs, we recommend the following books for further study.  These 15 works have been uniquely important in the theological life of WestGate Church, helping us understand and interpret the Bible (our central source of authority) and its central message more thoughtfully, with more precision, and with more historical and cultural context.


  1. Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller

  2. Making Sense of God by Tim Keller

  3. The Reason for God by Tim Keller

  4. How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Douglas Stuart and Gordon Fee

  5. The Bible Project by Tim Mackie (a series of videos)

  6. Who Is This Man? by John Ortberg

  7. Soul Keeping by John Ortberg

  8. Bad Religion by Ross Douthat

  9. Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey

  10. Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey

  11. The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

  12. The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

  13. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

  14. Skeletons in God’s Closet by Joshua Ryan Butler

  15. Unstoppable Force by Erwin McManus

  16. Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne


Resources for Further Study:

Women’s Role in Ministry:

Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy by Ronald W. Pierce, Gordon Fee and Rebecca Groothuis
Discussions surrounding the roles of men and women--whether in the church, the home or society at large--never seem to end, often generating more heat than light. Such debate is still important, though, because this issue directly affects every member of Christ's body. What we believe the Bible teaches on these matters shapes nearly all we do in the church. In addition, these questions deserve further thought and reflection because neither side has won the day. In an effort to further discussion, Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis (general editors), with the aid of Gordon D. Fee (contributing editor), have assembled a distinguished array of twenty-six evangelical scholars firmly committed to the authority of Scripture to explore the whole range of issues--historical, biblical, theological, hermeneutical and practical. While dispelling many of the myths surrounding biblical equality, they offer a sound, reasoned case that affirms the complementarity of the sexes without requiring a hierarchy of roles.  Here is a fresh, positive defense of biblical equality that is at once scholarly and practical, irenic and yet spirited, up-to-date and cognizant of opposing positions.

Note: Taken from "Discovering Biblical Equality" edited by Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis. ©2004 by Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis. Distributed and used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove  IL  60515-1426.


FAQ Video: Is Christianity Unfair to Women
by John Ortberg

Senior pastor of Menlo Park Church John Ortberg leads a FAQ by addressing where women should stand in church. 


Featured Scriptures:
Genesis 2:18; Psalm 33:20; Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 3:12, 16; Exodus 15:20; 2 Kings 22:14-15; Judges 4:4; John 4:27; Luke 8:1-3; Luke 10:39; Acts 22:3; Acts 1:14; Acts 2:17-18; Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 14:31; Acts 18:18; Romans 16:1-2, 7; I Corinthians 11:2-12; Ephesians 6:5; 1 Corinthians 11:10; Galatians 3:28.

Is there a Biblical basis for women being invited to full participation in the Church?
by NT Wright

NT Wright, a leading New Testament scholar, the former Bishop of Durham in the Anglican Church, and the lead Research Professor for New Testament Studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland - explains how he thinks the full counsel of the New Testament makes the case for full inclusion of women into the life of the Church.

You can read his whole essay here, or watch a brief snippet from an interview.


Sexuality and Gender

Responding to the Transgender Revolution  by Robert S. Smith

The phenomenon of transgenderism not only provokes reactions, but inevitably raises questions – questions about what is real and questions about what is moral. The reality question boils down to this: Is it really the case that a person can be born with “the wrong body,” or is the person who feels this way simply confused at the level of their mind? The morality question follows on from this, but has numerous faces to it, as well as various legal implications. Perhaps understandably, differing answers to these questions tend to polarize people. This essay explores how we can we understand the transgender revolution from a Biblical perspective. 

The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender
The Center equips leaders with theologically sound and accessible resources, and helps leaders shape the people entrusted to them. To do this, The Center provides resources in the form of adult and student small-group learning experiences, two-day leaders forums, pastoral and academic papers, private theological and pastoral consultation, and other avenues such as blogs, videos, podcasts, speaking, and webinars.

Grace/Truth 1.0: Five Conversations Every Thoughtful Christian Should have about Faith, Sexuality and Gender by Preston Sprinkle.
Grace/Truth 1.0 is a five-week small group learning experience that introduces Christians to LGBT+ people, the language to use and avoid, a theologically faithful view of marriage and sexuality, and practical guidance on how to embody the love of Christ toward sexual and gender minorities. This learning experience is designed for Bible studies, discussion groups, elder teams, pastoral staff, or any other small group of Christians who desire to engage questions of faith, sexuality and gender with both grace and truth.