Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Morton H. Smith Chair in Systematic Theology

The heart and soul of a seminary is its faculty. Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is proud of its distinguished professors and lecturers, who are recognized not only for excellence in teaching, but also for their commitment to building a vibrant educational community deeply rooted in the Word of God.

Dr. Morton H. Smith, professor of systematic theology (emeritus), exemplifies this excellence and is regarded by the seminary, its students, faculty and alumni as highly worthy of having an academic chair named in his honor. Dr. Smith has taught Biblical and Systematic theology at the college and seminary level for nearly 60 years. He was instrumental in the founding of the Presbyterian Church in America and served that denomination as stated clerk for 15 years. He was moderator of the PCA General Assembly in 2000. In 1966, he was instrumental in the founding of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss., and in 1987 he joined others in creating Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he served as dean of faculty until 1998. He served as pastor in Maryland in the mid-1950's and later taught at Belhaven College, Reformed Theological Institute, Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary and Covenant Theological Seminary.

The GPTS Board of Trustees recently announced the retirement of Dr. Smith, who turns 90 in December, from active teaching.

Creation of the Morton H. Smith Chair in Systematic Theology is part of Greenville Seminary’s faculty support and development program. To ensure that Greenville Seminary continues to offer strong academic programs, we seek to honor our distinguished teacher/scholars' commitment to dedicate their lives to the service of Christ in this institution.

Endowed academic chairs are important tools for recognizing and rewarding outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service to the seminary. Our Systematic Theology Program is a vital and fundamental component of our Divinity and Master of Arts studies. For this reason, the seminary is committed to ensuring that the finest theologians and scholars available serve in this discipline and are compensated commensurately.

Excellent teachers model lifelong learning by maintaining active scholarly interests and pursuing creative work. As professors publish their work, they add to the body of knowledge and invigorate their teaching, while elevating the prestige and standing of Greenville Seminary.

A gift of $1 million will fully endow a permanent academic chair, providing a competitive salary and benefits package as well as support for the chair-holder's scholarly research, travel, and professional development.

A special web site has been created with full information about the Morton H. Smith Chair in Systematic Theology and options for financial support. Go here.

How to Give

To donate to the Morton H. Smith Chair in Systematic Theology, write your check to “Greenville Seminary Smith Chair in Systematic Theology Fund 4085” and be sure to add “Fund #4085” to the memo line or an accompanying note. Mail your contribution to:

GPTS Smith Chair Fund #4085
PCA Foundation
1700 North Brown Road, Suite 103
Lawrenceville GA 30043

Tell the PCA Foundation if you with your gift to be anonymous.

The Greenville Seminary Systematic Theology Program

Building on the work done under Exegetical and Historical Theology, the Systematic Theology curriculum focuses on the great doctrines of the Bible one by one, while at the same time dealing with their inter-relatedness. Whereas in Exegetical Theology, the doctrines are examined in their redemptive-historical context, Systematic Theology deals with the same doctrines in a topical manner, traditionally known as the “Theological Encyclopædia.”

Description: 3 hrs. A survey of the system of Christian thought using the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms as the guide to this survey. Readings are required in Calvin’s Institutes as well as catechism memorization.

Description: 3 hrs. A study of the introductory matters of Systematic Theology, including the idea, task, and method of theology. The biblical doctrines of revelation, canonicity, and inspiration of Scripture are examined in detail, as well as the doctrine of God, the Trinity, and the decrees of God.

Description: 3 hrs. The purpose of the course is to teach the doctrines of creation, the creation of man, the imago Dei, the fall, and the effects of sin on creation.

ST 41 Christ and Salvation (Christology)
Description: 3 hrs. The purpose of the course is to teach the doctrines of the plan of salvation, the covenant of grace, the person and work of Christ, and the ordo salutis, with the application of salvation from regeneration to assurance.

Description: 2 hrs. The doctrine of the Church; examination of the unity of the people of God throughout the history of redemption; the nature of the church and its mission; the order of the church and its offices.

Description: 2 hrs. An examination of the biblical teaching on the “last things.” Death, the intermediate state, heaven, hell, judgment, and “the new heavens and new earth.”