Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Campus Life at GPTS

Greenville Seminary, founded in 1987, is blessed with a beautiful and functional facility in Taylors, a residential suburb of Greenville, South Carolina. The seminary's quiet and gracious home, opened in 2007, is on the campus of a once-abandoned public high school on Taylors's Main Street. In this brick and colonnaded home, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary seeks to realize our founders' vision to see an institution that focused on the historic Reformed faith without forcing men to incur debt in the process. The first is accomplished through our distinctives, the second through our tuition program.

Welcome to GPTS: The Entry Foyer
Greenville Seminary is set apart by both curriculum and style. We are committed to upholding the authority of Scripture and doctrinal integrity as embodied in the Westminster Confession of Faith. In addition to a strong focus on the original languages of Scripture, we also stress Christ-centered preaching and the preservation of our Christian heritage. We accomplish these goals by offering a classical curriculum (to form a strong learning foundation), an emphasis on preaching style and intense theological courses. The Board of Trustees has also set a cap on the number of resident students so that instructors can have a personalized mentoring relationship with future ministers.

While GPTS offers a state-of-the-art mentored distance learning program which is a benefit to students from around the nation and the world who cannot move to Greenville, we encourage on-campus studies as an even greater benefit for personal interaction with faculty, fellow students, and the overall GPTS community.

Class with Dr. George W. Knight III
earlier this year

Student Conduct

Students at Greenville Seminary are expected to conduct themselves at all times as mature Christians. The seminary believes the Westminster Standards are a sound exposition of the biblical principles of conduct as well as of faith and doctrine. The Seminary reserves the right to refuse or dismiss students whose conduct fails to meet the ethical principles set forth in the Bible and the Standards. Admission to Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary as a degree candidate assumes the desire on the part of the student to learn the Reformed Faith as understood by the Seminary.


Since the Seminary has very few housing facilities, students are responsible for arranging their own housing. A number of apartments and affordable homes in the Greenville area are within a reasonable driving distance from the Seminary. As far as is possible, the Seminary office will provide information about housing opportunities. More information on housing in the Greenville area is available here.


Chapel is held Tuesday through Thursday each week during the semester. On Tuesdays, ministers from many of the excellent area churches preach, providing students with edifying teaching from the Word of God and examples of quality preaching. On Wednesdays, seminary President Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr., generally preaches on-going series from books of the Bible or topical themes. Occasionally on Wednesdays, we hold mission-oriented chapels, followed by missionary presentations over pizza. Wednesdays are a favorite day for student families to attend (candy for the kids), along with visitors from the community. On Thursday, a faculty member or advanced student preaches. Attendance is required for all students, unless excused for valid reason.

Presbyterian Bookshop

Bookstore & Library

The Seminary operates a small campus bookstore and is able to make available most textbooks to the students.

The Smith-Singer Library

The Smith-Singer Library houses a select collection of materials, including approximately 7,000 volumes, that will meet most of the student’s academic needs. In addition, a local university library, 10 minutes away from campus and with approximately 300,000 volumes, has extended full lending privileges (including access to Interlibrary Loan) to GPTS students. The Department of History of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Montreat, North Carolina, is approximately two hours from the seminary and houses a large collection of books, periodicals, and manuscripts relating to Presbyterian history. Those interested in historical research are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. The South Caroliniana Library in Columbia, S.C. is 1½ hours from Greenville. Housed in its collection are several manuscripts related to the study of J.H. Thornwell and South Carolina and American Presbyterian history.

Computer Use

Students are encouraged to obtain a computer for use during their seminary career. Laptops are welcome in classrooms. Research computers are also available in the Library. We encourage students to have an active email account to facilitate Seminary/student communications. Our information technology staff provides advice and help with acquiring, installing and using the latest Bible-study software.

Chinese student Xing Liu and his
family take membership vows and
children receive baptism at
Fellowship Presbyterian Church
The Church Community

One of the most frequent questions asked is, “What are the churches like there?” Greenville is blessed to have over 20 Reformed and Presbyterian churches in the Upstate area. This provides good opportunities for our faculty and students to worship, serve, and be involved. These local churches provide a vital backbone to support our students during their stay at Greenville Seminary.

Prayer groups

The students meet in groups once a week for a time of prayer with their student advisers. Our desire is to minister to one another and to encourage students and graduates to be men of prayer.

Student Body Association

As a member of the student body, you automatically become a member of the Student Body Association. The Association gives you the opportunity to serve the seminary and your fellow students. If you are elected to an office, you will also have the opportunity to exercise and develop leadership skills.

Seminary Ladies Fellowship

This group for GPTS women fills the need for a prospective pastor's wife to be prepared for life after her husband's graduation. The seminary wives have created a four-year curriculum that is presented by those who share their experience, insights, and biblical perspective for equipping our seminary wives for their future roles. If you are married, your wife will be thrilled with this group. The Ladies Fellowship is also open to female students, staffers and other women associated with the seminary.
The Association gives you the opportunity to serve the seminary and your fellow students. If you are elected to an office, you will also have the opportunity to exercise and develop leadership skills.

More Campus Life Photos

The leaning continues outside the classroom
Ice cream day

Volunteers Sylvia George and Vicky Moody working 
on library projects in the Bookshop/Reception area
The Board Room with church publication archives

President's Office anteroom

Annual Fall Picnic
New students dinner, Fall 2013

Volunteer Karlinda Moes staffs the reception desk