Thursday, March 6, 2014

Special Events Highlight Conference Week

Greenville Seminary's Spring Theology Conference is just around the corner, and this year a number of related events will enhance the popular annual event:

  • On the eve of the conference, Monday night, March 10, the seminary is hosting a banquet gala honoring retired Professor Dr. Morton H. Smith.
  • On Tuesday morning, two special pre-conference lectures are being offered by Dr. O. Palmer Robertson, who is also the keynote speaker at the Monday evening banquet.
  • A one-hour lunch for prospective GPTS students will be hosted by the Student Body Association and the seminary's recruiting office at 11:15 a.m. in the Student Commons.
  • From Tuesday afternoon through Thursday mid-day, the conference itself will be held, with a distinguished slate of speakers exploring "God's Works of Providence."
  • Youth Fellowship activities, Tuesday, Mar. 11.
  • Wednesday, 4:45 p.m. — Catered dinner for registered conference attendees at the Student Commons.
The Monday night banquet, beginning at 7 p.m., will be held at the Westin Poinsett Hotel's Poinsett Ballroom. Reservations are now closed. Dress is formal or semi-formal. The evening will also feature a silent auction supporting the new Morton H. Smith Chair in Systematic Theology. Special music will be provided by concert harpist Sarah Northrop. The Westin Hotel is located at 120 S. Main St. in downtown Greenville, S.C. Guests may use the valet parking option ($15) or self-park at the Poinsett Garage (access at Court and McBee streets) directly behind the hotel ($3).

The Tuesday morning lectures (9:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) by Dr. Robertson will address "The Flow of the Psalms." The lectures will be held in the Logos Theater auditorium at the Academy of Arts directly behind the seminary (200 E. Main St.). Parking is available in the lot behind the seminary. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The prospective student lunch provides an opportunity for interested students to meet President Joseph Pipa, other faculty members and current students. Prospective students may also attend available classes on Monday and Tuesday. These include:

  • Monday, 1-4 p.m.  —  Hebrew Exegesis (Dr. Shaw)
  • Monday, 1-4 p.m.  —  Ecclesiology and Polity  (Dr. McGraw)
  • Monday, 1-4 p.m.  —  Modern Church History  (Dr. Willborn)
  • No classes Monday evening.
  • Tuesday, 8:30-10:10 a.m. — Eschatology  (Dr. Pipa)

The Youth Fellowship activities will be held after the Tuesday evening conference lecture (approx. 9 p.m.) at the Student Commons at the seminary, 200 E. Main St., Taylors, S.C. The evening will include fellowship, games and refreshments and is hosted by Pastor Fred Hofland (contact at 910-833-3557).

The conference will be held this year at Grace Baptist Church, 5020 Old Spartanburg Rd., Taylors, S.C. This is a change of venue from previous years, due to building renovations at our usual location. Grace Baptist Church has two parking lots. Conference-goers are encouraged to use the lot west (right) of the church to avoid traffic congestion at the busy intersection in front of the church. (See photo below.)

A bookstore will again be provided for conference-goers in the lower level Fellowship Hall of the Education Wing of the church. (See photo below). A small exhibit area for vendors and a snack bar will also be located in that area. Visit the GPTS informational booth and lounge there.

The roster of conference speakers and their topics includes:
  • Dr. Derek Thomas, distinguished visiting professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Topic: "Providence and the 'Middle Knowledge': A Question of 'Now You See It, Now You Don't."
  • Dr. Joel Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Mich. Topic: "The Heidelberg Catechism: Its Gripping History and Teaching on Providence." Dr. Beeke will also preach during Tuesday's free public evening service on the subject, "The Definition and Beauty of Providence."
  • Pastor Benjamin Miller, 2005 GPTS graduate and pastor of Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Huntington, N.Y. Topic: "Beautiful in Its Time: A Preacher's Journey through the Mists of Providence."
  • Dr. James N. Anderson, associate professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary–Charlotte. Topic: "Calvinism & the Origin of Sin"
  • Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr., president of Greenville Seminary. Topic: "The Devil Made Me Do It." Dr. Pipa will also speak during the Wednesday evening free public service. Topic: "Providence or Fatalism." 
  • Dr. James McGoldrick, professor of church history at GPTS. Topic: "Calling All Christians: Calvin's Doctrine of Vocation."
  • Dr. Benjamin Shaw, associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at GPTS. Topic: "Just a Lot of Noise: Providence and the Problem of Evil."
The Tuesday and Wednesday evening lectures are free and open to the public. They will also be streamed live on

The Wednesday evening barbecue dinner will be held at the Student Commons, catered by Bucky's BBQ. This is the only official conference meal this year. Guests are responsible for other meals during the conference period. A number of restaurants are located conveniently near Grace Baptist Church.