Monday, September 10, 2012

New Sponsoring Church to Join GPTS Oversight Group


It was with great joy and satisfaction that we recently received an official agreement from Sovereign Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church (OPC) to enter into a Sponsoring Church Court relationship with Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The Hickory, N.C. church is the first in several years to take this step of commitment to GPTS, bringing the total to 13 churches, presbyteries or denominations. The seminary Board of Trustees is expected to ratify this covenant when it next meets in November.

We are frequently asked about the denominational affiliation of Greenville Seminary, but because of our unique position with regard to the general church we sometimes struggle to answer that question. The terms “non-denominational” and “undenominational” do not properly describe us, since we are committed to and closely aligned with a number of denominations. Sometimes the term “trans-denominational” comes to mind, but that too is not a completely accurate descriptor of our position vis-à-vis the church.

“Independent” is perhaps the least appropriate term to describe us. True, we were founded more than 25 years ago by an ad hoc group of individuals concerned about the future directions of the church and committed to the historic confessions of our commonly held Reformed and Presbyterian faith. We are a board-governed institution, but we have always been committed to the principle of the accountability of seminaries to the so-called "courts" of the church. This combination of self-governance and commitment to accountability has given rise to our unique relationship to sponsoring church denominations, presbyteries and local church governing bodies.

Sovereign Grace will be entering into this fraternity of twelve church bodies who have previously pledged to hold us to fullest faithfulness to the Word of God and the particular system of doctrine which Presbyterianism has derived from the sacred Scriptures of the Christian faith. We look forward to welcoming them among our overseers and anticipate a long and fruitful relationship as we labor together for our Lord’s Kingdom. For a list of sponsoring church courts and information about this accountability arrangement, go here.

GPTS is also accredited by the Association of Reformed Theological Seminaries (ARTS). More info at artseminaries.org.


Sovereign Grace Church's senior minister is Pastor Cody Ray. Member Ronnie Morgan serves as GPTS's "Ambassador" at the church.