Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Internships: Rounding Out the Classroom with Practical Training

Internships are a significant piece of the seminarian’s experience. The seminary classroom component serves its very important purpose; but the opportunity to receive pastoral mentoring, wisdom from elders, and experience in the pulpit is not only necessary, it is vital to the growth and development of men called to serve in Christian ministry. Summer internships fulfill these roles and more.

Several Greenville Theological Presbyterian Seminary students had the opportunity this summer to participate in an intern program throughout the country. From New Jersey to California, Reformed churches heeded the call and took on the task of welcoming a seminarian to their local body for the summer months. Among them were Mike Myers and Chris Cashen, both students who were given the opportunity to serve as interns this summer.

Mike, Nate & Katy Myers
From Faith Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Elmer, New Jersey, Mike Myers wrote that his internship has been invaluable. “I have been able to preach every Sunday night, and will be preaching morning and evening on a number of occasions,” he said.

Mike was given the opportunity to take part — even take the lead — in counseling and discipleship of members. He said the Faith OPC family welcomed him and his growing family. Mike, an Army lieutenant, summarized his summer intern experience, writing, “Our experience here has been overwhelmingly positive. God has used this time to deepen in me a love for His Church and to help confirm for me that He is calling me to serve in the Gospel ministry.”

Chris & Grace Ann Cashen with daughters Katie and Anna
Across the continent, Chris Cashen was given the opportunity to serve as intern to Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Orange County, California. Chris said the congregation at Westminster graciously accommodated him and his entire family with a wonderful, fully furnished and equipped home for the summer. He said Pastor B.J. Gorrell, one of the first GPTS graduates, exposed him to many varied pastoral experiences, including pastoral home visits, and provided valuable “real-time” counsel throughout the entire summer. 

In June, the church treated Chris and his family to a week at “Family Camp,” where they were able to experience the interaction between various churches and individuals throughout the Presbytery of Southern California. Like Mike, Chris was given opportunities to teach, to lead worship, and to exhort during corporate worship at Westminster OPC, as well as at a retirement home situated next to the church.

Chris, an attorney, noted that “the members of the church, the elders, and the pastor of Westminster have been a blessing to me personally in so many ways . . . and also to my family. Not only was I able to experience the pastoral ministry from the inside, but my entire family experienced the love and fellowship of the larger body of Christ.”

Other students serving interships this summer are Lowell Ivey, New Jersey; Michael Hutchinson, Wisconson; Jeremy Logan, Ohio; Jeffrey Carter, North Carolina; Rob Dykes, South Carolina; and Bryan Prouty, Colorado.

Internships are not limited to summertime. Some churches in the Greenville area have made it a practice to use GPTS students for long-term internships. Fellowship Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Greer, S.C., for example, last year extended a full-year internship to Steve Walton, who will be followed shortly by student Stephen Cook when Mr. Walton, a 2012 graduate, leaves to take up his new ministry as an Army chaplain and church planter in Germany. Previously, Fellowship has previously provided internships to Brazilian students.

Joshua Sparkman has served for two years as intern at Greenville’s Second Presbyterian Church (PCA) under Pastor Richard Phillips and the pastoral staff.

He has taught classes, preached, visited the sick and shut-ins, helped lead a singles group, counseled, preached in prison, attended session and presbytery meetings, and assisted in worship.

“Weekly pastoral staff meetings have been of the greatest service in developing a love for [the] church. In these staff meetings I got to observe how mature God-loving men sought to take care of the local church,” says Joshua. “Secondly, I have had the privilege of spending one-on-one time, twice a month, with Pastor Paul Settle, who is currently helping me further develop a view of the pastoral ministry that expresses itself in love and service to God and His church.”

He adds, “One aspect I like most about Greenville Seminary's curriculum is how few ecclesiastical and pastoral classes there are, because the seminary desires the Lord to develop the students' pastoral heart and love for the bride of Christ in the context of the local church.“

Again, these experiences serve not only to supplement, but to round out a seminarian’s experience and training. Good pastors, elders, and churches are needed to fill this very important component of seminary education. If your church is interested in having an intern for the summer, or for a longer term, please contact Dr. Tony Curto, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687 or e-mail Registrar Kathleen Curto at

Convocation 2012-13 Kicks Off New Academic Year

Greenville Seminary will be welcoming at least 15 new students, including three new international students, for the Fall Semester which begins on August 20 with orientation and registration. The seminary's 26th annual Convocation will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 21st, in the Academy of Arts Auditorium adjacent to the seminary building. A reception will follow in the seminary's Student Commons. A welcome dinner for new students will be held on Monday evening in the Commons.

2011 grad Breno Macedo, rt., translates for Marty Martin in Brazil

This year's Convocation speaker is Marty Martin, pastor of Fellowship Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Greer, S.C. Pastor Martin, a graduate of Clemson University and Covenant Theological Seminary, is moderator of the Presbyterian Church in America's Calvary Presbytery in Upstate South Carolina. He recently returned from a three-week mission trip to Brazil, where several GPTS graduates are now ministering.

New on-campus students for the upcoming academic year include Santosh Bardhan, M.A., India; Richard Crandall, M.Div., Florida, Adam Harris, M.Div., Canada; Jennifer Loef, M.A., New Zealand; Jerry Shore, M.M.R.E., South Carolina; and Clarence Veld, M.A., Canada. In addition, two students formally studying through the GPTS distance/mentor program will be coming to campus as resident students: Tim Marinelli of Virginia and Tom Van Maanan of Canada. That brings the new on-campus student contingent to eight.

New students in the distance/mentor program are Roel Ophoff, M.M.R.E., California; Nathan Hoefer, M.Div., Minnesota; Kevin Easterday, B.D., Florida; Scott Creel, M.Div., Florida; Joel Montes, M.Div. Texas; Sam Ketcham, M.Div., Georgia; Matt Siple, M.Div., Georgia; Kelvin Driver, M.Div. Tennessee; and David Seithamo, M.Div., South Africa.

Full schedule of Orientation Week HERE.

Financial Report for July 2012

The tables below show our financial condition as of the end of July 2012, the first month of our 2012-13 fiscal year. Beginning this fiscal year, due to new accounting procedures, our monthly and fiscal-year-to-date financial reports will combine general fund and capital fund income and expenses.

Our July net income figure was $48,247 below what had been budgeted for the month. With the usually austere summer months upon us, please prayerfully consider how you might help provide the seminary with a solid financial foundation as we begin our new academic year this month.

JULY 2012
Expenses $102,178
Donation Income $44,912
Other Income $20,488
Total Income $65,400
Net Income -$36,778

Expenses $102,178
Donation Income $44,912
Other Income $20,488
Total Income $65,400
Net Income -$36,778

Goal $3,500,000
Received $2,921,392
Long-term Pledges Outstanding $589,861
Total Received and Pledged $3,511,253
Outstanding Obligations $35,000
Monthly Note $4,264
Remaining Mortgage $889,794

If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the  "Donate" button below. Whether or not you can contribute financially, here is another way you can help the seminary: Spread the Word! Do you know someone that would be interested in learning more about our organization or supporting us? If so, fill out the form here and an e-mail message with a link to our website will be sent to them. Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. 


Sharing in the Advancement of GPTS

Visit the GPTS Development Office web site for information on ways to support and spread the word about Greenville Seminary.

Confessing Our Hope Podcast

Our new GPTS "app" for smartphones and tablets provides a new avenue to access our podcast on the go. Get the app here or go to the iPhone App Store or your Android market place from you device. (Regrettably, the app is currently not available for the Amazon Kindle and some other Android-based devices. Listen to the GPTS Web-based radio broadcasts, with new interviews weekly! Visit Host William Hill's new Confessing Our Hope Blog for news and information about the broadcast as well as access to all program recordings. Podcasts can also be accessed through our mobile web site. See information about this site for your specific mobile device here

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Stevenson Accepts Call to Oklahoma Work

Jim Stevenson, a May 2012 Master of Divinity graduate of Greenville Seminary, has accepted a call to become the organizing pastor of Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Okla.

"We are thankful for this opportunity to serve in God's Kingdom," says Mr. Stevenson. "Prayers appreciated."

The fledging congregation has been worshiping together "in order to hear the faithful preaching of the Word and the whole counsel of God" since the end of April, Mr. Stevenson says. "It is a small group with a lot of potential for growth, and I am looking forward to serving as the organizing pastor for this congregation in Christ's church."

Jim and his wife Tricia have four children, Rachel, Bethany, Jacob, and Joshua, who have been active in Christian community theater productions in recent years. The Stevensons have been active members of the GPTS student body, Tricia serving as unofficial photographer for many campus events. They have blessed the seminary family with annual pancake breakfasts.

Jim has been a licentiate of the OPC's Presbytery of the Southeast since October 2011. He graduated from Geneva College in Pennsylvania in 1991 with a degree in mathematics education. He was a mathematics teacher at Lakeside School near Philadelphia for 11 years, and served in a variety of capacities, including director, at Camp Susque, a Christian camp near Williamsport, Penn. Jim has been a member of the Sessions at Trinity OPC in Hatboro, Penn. and Covenant Community Church (OPC) in Taylors, S.C., where they have lived while attending GPTS.

He hails originally from the Bronx in New York City and remains a fan of the New York Yankees.

Arabian Dawn: A Testimony

Greenville Seminary's unique course on Islam is coming up during the week including Sept. 11. The intensive course, taught by Dr. Anees Zaka, will be presented Sept. 10-14. Class times are Monday 6-10 p.m. and Tuesday-Friday 9-11 a.m. & 1:30-5:00 p.m. The public is invited to audit this class. Contact Registrar Kathleen Curto, 864-322-2717 ext, 302.

Dr. Zaka invites interested persons to view the video Arabian Dawn below as a means of seeing "the importance of having a course on Islam and an M.A. in Islamic Studies at GPTS." If you wish to share this video with someone, go here.

Arabian Dawn from Arab World Media on Vimeo.

Monday, August 6, 2012

We Love Our Volunteers

Greenville Seminary is a small, non-profit institution which depends extensively on the goodwill and largess of individuals and churches that share our theological heart and mission. We are grateful for the many supporters who have volunteered their time and talents, as well as their material resources.

Volunteer receptionists Sylvia Crider (l.) and Vicky Moody double their contribution by doing library work while staffing the phone desk in the Seminary's Reception Office and Bookstore. Other volunteers stuff envelopes, assist our database manager, plan and implement receptions, play the piano at chapel and seminary functions, do landscapting, serve on committees, and represent the seminary in their local churches and communities, among many other things.

Multi-faceted Volunteer Karlinda Moes
GPTS offers numerous opportunities for volunteer service. If you or your group wish to contribute your service (or goods) for the benefit of seminary operations or future development, we would be humbled and grateful to hear from you. Contact Administrative Assistant Gail Anderson (Tel. 864-322-2717 ext. 307) or Librarian Andy Wortman (ext.308) if you would like to help. More than likely, when you call that number, a volunteer receptionist or work-study student will answer. Let us here from you. Visit our web site for areas of service for which you may wish to volunteer.

New at Katekōmen

κατέχω - Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.... Hebrews 10:23

Check out new material in our online journal Katekōmen. Chief reviewer Ryan McGraw examines Dr. John Carrick's book, The Preaching of Jonathan Edwards. "Carrick's work is significant, not only for its historical interest, but because it dissects Edwards's preaching in a manner that sets him forth as a pattern of powerful rhetoric for contemporary preachers," says Pastor McGraw. Dr. Carrick is professor of homelitics at GPTS.

Also new is a lengthy article by Pastor McGraw on the importance of continuing education for ministers.

Friday, August 3, 2012

George Calhoun Honored

A memorial plaque honoring George M. Calhoun was recently mounted adjacent to the door of the seminary's Media Office.

Mr. Calhoun was the founder of the Mt. Olive Tape Library, a massive collection of recordings which Mr. Calhoun acquired over the course of some thirty years. The collection reflects the personal quest of Mr. Calhoun for a balanced education in Reformed Theology. The speakers included in the tape library have been scrutinized for their faithfulness to the Bible.

In 2006, the assets of the Mt. Olive Tape Library, Inc. were transferred to the care of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. They are no longer "tapes" filling an entire room at the seminary but are now digitized electronic files
available at the seminary's channel at The messages enable students and others to access some of the best Reformed preachers as they pursue their study of Reformed theology. Much of the digitizing was done by GPTS Media Director Jeff Downs.

The 10-year-old Greenville Seminary & Mt. Olive channel at SermonAudio now has more than 5,100 sermons and lectures (and now our podcasts), and is the most visited channel on the extensive SermonAudio web site.

Welcome to Chapel!

The Fall 2012 Chapel Schedule has been announced. Greenville Seminary invites friends from our local community and all visitors to our campus to join us for chapel services on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Each Tuesday, a pastor from the community or region presents a message from God's Word. We are truly blessed to have so many outstanding preachers in this area. On Wednesdays, GPTS President Dr. Joseph Pipa, Jr. preaches sermons in series from a book of the Bible. On Thursdays, a faculty member or student shares the Word.

Families and children are welcome, especially on Wednesdays, when Dr. Pipa usually has a candy treat to share with the kids. Chapel services are held in Room 209 on the second floor of the seminary building at 200 E. Main Street, Taylors, S.C.

Our Fall Semester Chapel Schedule can be found HERE.