Friday, May 2, 2014

24th GPTS Commencement Set for May 23rd

We rejoice to see eight new graduates about to receive their degrees during Greenville Seminary's 24th annual Commencement Service to be held May 23. Dr. John DeWitt will deliver the commencement address. The public is invited for the ceremony to be held at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of The Academy of Acts adjacent to the seminary. A reception will follow in the Student Commons.

Presenting the Class of 2014:

John Brewer Ames III, M.Div.


Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama

College of Prior Degree: Auburn University

Spouse: Emily

Children: Expecting our first child in October

Memories of GPTS: Few blessings in my life can compare to the instruction and training that I have received at GPTS.  The school's commitment to Biblical teaching and confessional orthodoxy sustains a faithful witness to Jesus Christ and produces faithful leaders for His church, not only in the United States, but around the world.  To my professors I extend my deepest and sincerest gratitude for the godly influence that you have exerted upon my life. You are fathers in the faith who have always challenged me to love, cherish, and serve our Lord more fully, and you have never ceased to provide me with wise counsel and gracious encouragement. To my fellow students, you have enriched my time at the seminary through your words of support and encouragement, and I am indebted to you for the times of brotherly fellowship that we shared.  The knowledge that you are my co-laborers in Christ instills within me great comfort and confidence about the future of Christ's church, and I greatly anticipate the work that our Lord will perform through you in your future ministries. Soli deo gloria.

Plans: Emily and I are expecting our first child in October and will be moving to Birmingham, Ala., where I will be teaching at a classical Christian school and pursuing licensure in Evangel Presbytery (PCA).

* * * * * * * * * *

Santosh Kunar Bardhan, M.A.


Home town: Chelligada, Odisha, India

Colleges of Prior Degrees: Crossland College, Western Theological Seminary

Memories of GPTS: God is sovereign and it is the providence of God that He led me to be at GPTS for the span of two years. The theological journey of my life at GPTS with reformed doctrines has been a period of transition ever I have experienced with transformative and informative aspects of my life. GPTS has played a great role in my life to shape and mold me not only just to be a true minister but also to be a radical disciple of His Son Lord Jesus Christ standing true to His word. I am very grateful to God who brought me to GPTS and also grateful to GPTS - President Dr. Pipa, faculty, staff, student body and their families for all their help and support, and especially those who stood in my thick and thin of my life while at GPTS.  All glory to Him alone.

Plans: God willing I will be continuing my studies.

* * * * * * * * * *

Jeffrey Scott Carter, M.Div.


Hometown: Burgaw, North Carolina

Colleges of Prior Degrees: NC State University (B.S. Civil Engineering), Southeastern Baptist Theo. Seminary (M.A. Christian Studies)

Spouse: Maryfrances Louise Carter

Children: Madelyn-Jane Grace, Owen

Memories of GPTS: I am deeply thankful to our God for his providence in leading me to GPTS. Not only has he blessed me with a seminary education well-grounded in confessional orthodoxy, but he also provided godly community along with it. Having both a vibrant orthodoxy and community has been a great boon in my preparation for the gospel ministry. My time here has been academically enriching, pastorally focused, and enjoyable.

Plans: After a bit of needed vacation, we will be moving to Glenside, Penn. to complete a year-long internship at Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

* * * * * * * * * *

Jeffrey James Downs, M.Div.


Home Town:  Taylors, South Carolina

College of Prior Degree:  Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, Penn.

Spouse:  Diane

Children:  Seth, Megan, and Nathan

Memories of GPTS:  My years at GPTS have been the best, although not the easiest of my life.  I was blessed with not only being a student (since 2007), but also a staff member at the seminary (since 2009).  After seven long years I have many stories to tell and many things to reflect upon.  Two passages of scripture come to mind when I reflect on my time at GPTS:  "continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of,   knowing from whom you have learned them" (2 Tim. 3:14) and "Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith" (Hebrews 13:7).  Not only have I learned of lot of theology, but I've known professors, staff and students of whom I can say, I want to imitate their faith, for they "walk as He Himself walked" (1 Jn. 2:6).

Plans:  On July 1, 2014. I will begin a year-long internship with Pastor Iain Wright at Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Orland Park, Ill.

* * * * * * * * * *

Olin Ross Fearing, M.Div.


Olin Ross Fearing, M.Div.

Hometown: Nacogdoches, Texas

College of Prior Degree: Texas A&M University

Spouse: Emily (GPTS Staff Administrative Assistant)

Memories of GPTS: Seminary for me was not the easiest experience. There have been times of difficulty and depression and days that I really wished I could quit. But through my time at GPTS I could be confident of one thing: the people here (faculty and staff) have been dedicated to shaping me into the best pastor that I can be. And in many ways, I think I can say they have been successful. I've come to understand what the Bible teaches so much more clearly, and I've come to a much greater appreciation of the importance of the local church in the lives of Christians. For these things I am thankful for my time here.

Plans:  I plan to go to San Antonio, Texas to work in the military community doing evangelism and discipleship with Ministry to the Military International. What sets this work apart from most ministries focused on the military community is that, following the Reformed University Fellowship model, I will be working closely with local Reformed churches to extend their reach into this community and to bring military families into the church body.  

* * * * * * * * * *

Bryan Gregory Prouty, M.A.


Home town: Wellington, Colorado

College of Prior Degree: B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Colorado State University, 1980

Spouse: Pam

Children: Emily Fearing, Rose

Memories of GPTS: My first week at GPTS was in Bebo Elkin’s Introduction to Philosophy class. This week-long intensive  course provided the opportunity to build relationships with the other men in my class. Although I studied at a distance, the relationships forged that week lasted throughout seminary. This class, along with the seminary staff, made me feel part of the school. I was particularly thankful to take classes from Dr. Smith before his retirement. His gentle character is something to aspire to. One of the most amazing moments of my time at GPTS was the first time I realized that I could read Hebrew and Greek. Another important part of the last five years has been the discussions I have had with my pastor, Archibald Allison. I am thankful for his example in the ministry as I studied the ministry. Studying Scripture, the heritage we have in the Reformed faith, and ministry has been a great blessing. Thank you.

Plans: I am under care in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Presbytery of the Dakotas, and working through licensure tests. I hope to serve the Lord and His people.

* * * * * * * * * *

Brad M. Peppo, M.A.


Home town: Dayton, Ohio

Colleges of Prior Degrees: Cedarville College: B.A. Bible, B.A. History; University of Dayton: M.A. English; University of Dayton School of Law: J.D.

Spouse: Cinnamon

Children: Brayden, Corina

Memories of GPTS: Greenville has provided everything I was looking for in a distance seminary program and even more. Not only have I received a biblically faithful and academically solid education, I have also, through the real-time interaction of the video classes and the numerous opportunities for intensive on-campus studies, been able to develop valuable personal relationships with a number of professors and classmates, something not easily obtained through most distance learning programs. I am very thankful that God directed my steps to this seminary.

Plans: In November of last year, I was ordained by the Presbytery of Ohio of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and am presently serving as an evangelist at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Vandalia, Ohio. I am doing evangelistic outreach in the north Dayton area and am working to plant a new church in Springfield, Ohio.

* * * * * * * * * *

Clarence Edward Veld, M.A.


Hometown:  St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Colleges of Prior Degrees:  Reformed Bible College - Bachelor of Religious Education; Westminster Theological Seminary, M.Div.

Spouse: Adriana Veld

Children:  Leonard (Lane), Nathaniel, Ellyanna, Adrian

Memories of GPTS: My greatest memory of being at GPTS is simply being able to be here. I had never dreamed of going to South Carolina, let alone going back to seminary for a season. I cherish the friendships that I have been able to develop both with the students and faculty. The spiritual growth I have seen in my family has been the greatest blessing for me. While I was being trained for ministry, the Lord was working in my family through the ministry of GPTS. GPTS is truly preparing men to be pastors in the church of God.

Plans: I hope to serve the Lord in his church as a pastor, D.V.

Preaching with Biblical Motivation: The 2014 Summer Institute

Theme: How to incorporate the motivation of the inspired preaching of the apostles found in the Book of Acts into your sermons


As Reformed believers, we know the Holy Spirit alone makes the preaching of God’s word effectual to save and sanctify sinners. Nevertheless, the preacher is still responsible to preach exhortative messages, in which he diligently and wisely aims at the conversion, edification, and salvation of sinners (see Westminster Larger Catechism 159). We should want to see people moved by our preaching!

Yet, how can we do so in a way that does not descend into some form of manipulation but is pleasing to God? Some of the worst preaching throughout history — from Tetzel to Finney to today’s health and wealth gospel and now hyper-grace antinomianism — has this in common: it all features unbiblical ways to motivate people.

This course will briefly examine various academic and religious theories of motivation and consider the motivating practices of church leaders and preachers from an assortment of theological persuasions, ending with a concentration on Reformed theology. From the knowledge gained in this examination, we will study five sermons in the Book of Acts, identifying the elements and method of motivation found therein, in order to show how preachers can incorporate them into their sermons today.

The Institute will be held August 4-8 at the seminary. Class schedule:
  • Monday: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
This year's speaker is Dr. Ray E. Heiple, Jr., senior pastor of Providence Presbyterian Church in Robinson Township, Penn. He received his M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His doctorate was based on a project in motivation in preaching.

Online registration now available here.

Special lodging arrangements for out-of-town guests have been made with the following hotels just minutes from the Seminary. To receive the special price, mention group code ‘GPTS Summer Institute’ when making your reservation.

Holiday Inn Express
1315 Wade Hampton Blvd (US 29), Greer, SC 29650
(864) 877 0076
Rate is $89 per night
2.9 miles from the Seminary

Wingate Hotel
33 Beacon Drive, Greenville, SC 29615
(864) 281 1281
Rate is $69 per night
5.8 miles from the Seminary

Contact the Seminary before June 25th to request to stay with a host family.

* * * * * * * * * *


The Summer Theology Course


Also on the summer program schedule is the annual summer theology course elective for GPTS students and members of the public.

For the past 50 years no one has taught more students about the theology of Southern Presbyterians than Dr. Morton H. Smith. This summer the legacy continues in South Carolina under the tutelage of Dr. C. N. Willborn, a student and colleague of Dr. Smith for the past several years. Recognized for his own contributions to American and Southern Presbyterianism, Dr. Willborn will survey the great doctrines of the Christian faith as set forth by the Southern luminaries. The contributions of R.L. Dabney, J.H. Thornwell, J.L. Girardeau, B.M. Palmer and Stuart Robinson will be highlighted along with those of their many students. These men were international Calvinists and continue to offer the church marvelous insight into the truths of God’s Holy Scriptures. Many of these studies will be offered on location in some of American Presbyterianism’s most historic sites, including two days in Columbia and Charleston. Consider this a vacation for those in love with truth.

The dates and times for the course are as follows:
·         Monday, July 28: 1-5 p.m.
·         Tuesday, July 29: 8:30 a.m. at First Presbyterian Columbia and ending at John Island Presbyterian on Johns Island.
·         Tuesday evening in Charleston (information available on housing)
·         Wednesday, July 30: all day in some of Charleston’s most historic Presbyterian sites.
·         Thursday, July 31: 9 a.m.-12 noon; 1-4 p.m.
·         Friday, August 1: 9 a.m.-12 noon.

Tuition for the summer theology class is $408.00 (tuition and fees), or $60 to audit. Please register by June 27 for both the Summer Institute and the Summer Theology Course. To register for the theology course, call the Registrar at 864-322-2717 ext. 302 or contact her by e-mail at registrar@gpts.edu. Enrolled GPTS students taking the summer elective theology course must register by May 16. More details will follow.

Financial Report for April 2014

The tables below show our overall financial condition as of the end of April 2014. How blessed we are to have a wonderful base of support among God's people who recognize the need for solid biblical perspectives in the ongoing advance of the Church. We are especially grateful for an $80,000 partial pledge fulfillment in April by a partnering business to help pay down our mortgage (included in "Other Income" in the table below), and for a $50,000 individual gift for our general needs. Unrestricted general fund donations in April of $90,769 from churches and individuals were $29,296 above the $61,473 April budget for these types of unrestricted contributions. Expenses of $85,663 were $2,339 below the $88,002 budgeted for expenses. 

As we are now in the final two months of our fiscal year (ending June 30), we are looking to God and His people to supply what is needed to see us through the summer months when charitable giving often takes a holiday. Your gift during this quarter would be greatly appreciated. 

Remember, gifts to GPTS are tax-deductible and may include cash, securities, property or a variety of planned giving instruments. See here for information about planning your last will and testament with the Kingdom of God in mind.


GENERAL FUND - APRIL 2014
Donation Income (unrestricted)$90,769
Other Income$87,061
Total Income$177,830
Expenses
Transferred to Capital Fund
$85,663
($80,000)
Net Income$12,167

GENERAL FUND - FISCAL YEAR 2013-14
Donation Income$709,943
Other Income$315,551
Total Income$1,025,524
Expenses
Transferred to Capital Fund
$861,788
($80,000)
Net Income$83,736


CAPITAL FUND
Capital Campaign Goal*$3,500,000
Received$3,356,834
Long-term Pledges Outstanding489,847
Total Received and Pledged$3,846,681
Outstanding Obligations$35,000
Monthly Interest Payment$2,800
Remaining Mortgage$610,917

*Although the formal fund-raising campaign goal has been more than realized when combining receipts to date with pledges outstanding, additional funds are needed to amortize the balance of our mortgage.




If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the  "Donate Online" button above. Gifts may also be mailed to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687. 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, share a link to this newsletter or our website. Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

One Body, One Spirit, One Lord, One Faith

Academic Freedom vs. Collegiality

At Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, the issues of academic freedom, plurality of thought, and diversity of viewpoint that are prominent within most halls of higher learning are of little or no concern. Within our halls, men of learning ― both faculty and students ― are uniquely united under a subscribed set of standards which govern all we teach and think. Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets, with Christ as the Cornerstone, the academic edifice at GPTS has as its architectural framework the brilliant wisdom of the historic creeds of Christendom and the confessions of the Great Reformation of the church. Chief among these are the Westminster Standards: The Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. We cherish as well the Reformed doctrinal standards known as “The Three Forms of Unity.”

This commitment sets the stage for a praiseworthy cooperative relationship among colleagues ― the very definition of collegiality and a force for harmony around the Word of God and shared values of a sound theological education.

We readily bear the label of “Old School Presbyterianism.”

Unifying Principles 

Believing that the Church is constantly in need of a sound ministry committed to the Bible and the Confessional Standards of the church, Greenville Seminary is dedicated to the following distinctive and unifying principles:

  • Belief in the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture resulting in an inerrant Word as it was originally given by God, and, therefore, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.  We take God’s Word seriously.
  • Belief in the Reformed Faith as set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The Seminary stands firmly on these historic standards as they set forth the biblical faith. Full subscription to the whole of these Standards is the Seminary’s position.
  • Belief that the biblical form of Church  government is Presbyterianism, which is essential to the well-being of the Church, though not necessary to its being.
  • Belief in the Great Commission as the one and only mission of the Church. Christ gave but one Great Commission to the Church, namely to evangelize the world and to teach all things that He taught. The Christian individually and in association with others, has obligations to function in all spheres of life by developing and practicing the full implications of the Christian world-and-life view in every human relationship and in all aspects of life and society under the Lordship of Christ. The Church, on the other hand, should not presume to enter into spheres of activity where it has neither calling nor competence.

Statement of Covenant and Belief

To guarantee that Greenville Seminary will maintain its theological position, each member of the Board of Trustees, Faculty, and Teaching Staff is required initially and annually to subscribe to the following Statement of Belief and Covenant:

  • “Believing that there is but one, the living and true God, and that there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the  Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory, and with solemn awareness of the accountability to Him in all that we feel, think, say, and do, the undersigned engages in and subscribes to this declaration:
  • “All Scripture is self-attesting, and being Truth, requires the human mind whole heartedly to subject itself in all its activities to the authority of Scripture complete as the Word of God, standing written in the 66 books of the Holy Bible, all therein being verbally inspired by Almighty God, and therefore without error in the original autographs.
  • “Reformed Theology as set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith & the Larger and Shorter Catechisms as adopted by the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, is the system of doctrine taught in Scripture, and therefore is to be learned, taught, and proclaimed for the edification and government of Christian people, for the propagation of the faith and for the evangelization of the world by the power of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • “And I do solemnly promise and engage not to inculcate, sanction, teach or insinuate anything which shall appear to me to contradict or contravene, either directly or implicitly, any element in that system of doctrine.
  • “Now, therefore, the undersigned, in the presence of God, states and signifies that he consents, agrees, and binds himself to all of the foregoing without any reservation whatsoever, and that he further obligates himself immediately to notify in writing the Board of Trustees should a change of any kind take place in his belief and feeling not in accord with this Statement. AMEN.”

A Case in Point

Illustrative of the like-mindedness of scholars at Greenville Seminary is the Faculty Statement on Creation, an issue we find to be fundamental to Christian belief and critical to orthodoxy. While individual faculty members at other seminaries may share our commitment, few seminaries have demonstrated sufficient unity to take a united institutional stand on this doctrine that has been under prolonged attack for more than a century. The statement concludes, “Even should other fine men differ with us on this subject, we hereby announce our intent to remain faithful to the teaching of the Westminster Standards and other Reformed confessions…. To God alone be glory.” (Full text may be seen here.)

Breakfast With Us June 18th in Houston

Greenville Seminary will again be hosting a breakfast for interested commissioners and guests attending the 2014 Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly in Houston.

The breakfast will be held in Grand Ballroom J of the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, June 18.

Reservations are required. You may make your reservation here.

We look forward to seeing you for food, fellowship and information about the progress of our ministry. Attendance is free.* Contact Garry Moes by e-mail or by phone at 864-322-2717 ext. 319 if you have any questions.

Hilton Americas-Houston
*As in the past, attendance is free. However, due to the unavoidably high cost of this year's event, voluntary contributions to defray expenses of the breakfast are welcome.

 

Volunteer Service Opportunities

We currently have a need for more volunteers to staff our reception desk. It is a relatively simple operation involving answering phones, directing campus visitors, or sometimes cataloging library materials. We provide all the training.

Small, nonprofit organizations like Greenville Seminary often depend heavily on help provided by work-study students and the gracious services of volunteers. Our small paid staff has always been supplemented by a corps of dedicated volunteers to provide essential staffing services.

If this is a service you might be able to perform, please contact Administrative Assistant Emily Fearing at efearing@gpts.edu or 864-322-3717 ext. 307.

Many other opportunities for volunteer service at GPTS are also available. For more information, go here. One immediate need is someone with a "cherry picker" basket/boom crane to pressure-wash upper portions of the exterior of our seminary building. If you have such equipment and would be willing to contribute it and/or your services, please contact Garry Moes at gmoes@gpts.edu or 864-322-2717 ext. 319.

Book It!

May 16-17
The seminary's 2014 Spring Book Sale will be held on May 16-17 in the Student Commons. Hours are 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday. 

All proceeds from this sale will benefit the seminary’s Smith/Singer Library. Donations of theological literature as well as general literature (including children's books, homeschool materials, coffee-table books, etc.) are all welcome. We do not, however, have room for magazines and sets of general encyclopedias (World Book, National Geographic, etc.). 

This is an annual event, so if you are unable to contribute books at this time, please keep us in mind through the year for future donations. If you are willing to help with the sale (by collecting donations, setting up shelving and moving books the week of the sale, helping with checkout the day of the sale, etc.), please contact Andy Wortman at 864-322-2717 ext. 308 or awortman@gpts.edu

In any event, come and shop for some great book bargains!


Dr. Pipa Ministers in Nigeria

By Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr.
GPTS President

This past March 19-24 I had the privilege to return to Nigeria to minister at the NKST Yina congregation in Makurdi, Nigeria. The pastor of the church is Dr. Antiev Kurugh. Dr. Kurugh has been a friend of our family since the days he studied under me in California. 

Dr. Pipa with Pastor Kurugh and two of his daughters
at the NKST Boarding School for Girls
Dr. Pipa, Pastor Kurugh with teacher Joseph
at the secondary school
Makurdi is the capital of the state of Benue, which is in the southern part of the country. Nigeria, named for the Niger River, is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. The NKST (Church of Christ in the Sudan among the TIV) was established in 1911 by the Reformed Church in South Africa. In 1960 the Christian Reformed Church of North America took oversight. Now the denomination is independent. It has primary and secondary schools, a teachers college, a university, and a seminary. 

Dr. Kurugh was installed at NKST Yina in 2009. When I visited in 2011, they had 600 members. Today they have over a thousand, with about fifty adult conversions in 2013. The congregation, however, is very poor. When I asked why they did not plant other congregations rather than hold services where almost half of the attendees sit outside, Dr. Kurugh told me they barely can afford one pastor. They are ministering to very poor people.

Rick Marcus, Pastor Kurugh with Church Session

In light of the poverty of the congregation, I wanted to begin to work on plans for economic development. A close friend, Mr. Rick Marcus, joined me on this trip in order to give advice on economic development. As a result of our suggestions, the session is appointing an Economic Development Committee that will not formally be part of the church, but will work alongside the office bearers in establishing economic opportunities. One small project is helping a lady establish a school in her home teaching home economics.  Some of the other projects we are considering are raising pigs, chickens, and goats; a plastic bottle recycling facility; and juice processing plant — Benue is the bread basket of Nigeria. But, for example, the citrus growers have to sell their produce to juice producers in other states at deflated prices and then the people pay higher prices for the processed juice. 

Rick Marcus
 If you or your congregation is interested in any of these projects please get in touch with me. Also there are good opportunities for mission trips to do construction work, as well as Vacation Bible School (English is the official language). One pressing need is for people to come to help build the expansion of the facility. Over half the congregation, as I said, sits outside.

Another project that I am working on with Dr. Kurugh is the development of a first-class Christian Primary and Secondary school. This will be a private school and not a church school. Dr. Kurugh has property on which to build the school. Sadly, the first-class schools in Makurdi are being built by the Roman Catholics.  We already are behind the curve.

Now to the ministry. I preached six times at the Yina congregation — each time to over a thousand people.  I got to baptize thirty infants and officiate at a communion service for about a thousand people. I also did two radio and one television programs that were broadcast to thousands of people. In addition, I gave a lecture at the seminary on pastoral visitation and preached on 2 Timothy 4:1-5 on preaching. The Lord graciously blessed the ministry according to the elders of the church. 

Communion Service

Seminary students
 
More seminary students

I was able to make this trip because some of our donors give to our missionary travel fund. What that fund does not cover, the seminary pays for out of my general travel fund. In addition to going to Nigeria, the fund enables me to travel yearly to Italy to work with our graduate Mike Cuneo, who is planting a church in Viterbo, Italy.

Alumnus Planting New Asian Indian Church Near U.S. Capital


One of Greenville Seminary's 2011 graduates, Jagar Chinnavan, and his wife Jemima Jegar are preparing to launch a work to plant a new church in the Washington, D.C. area for Asian Indians. The church will be located in Fairfax, Virginia, and will be affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America denomination.

Mr. Chinnavan presented his new work during a luncheon following his message during a missions chapel at GPTS April 16.

Jagar, Jemima and Sheena
"Looking back I see how God shaped my life to be more directly involved in building His kingdom," says Mr. Chinnavan. "Although a native of India and raised in Singapore, I was converted out of Hinduism, the acceptable religion of my native country."

He subsequently met and married his wife Jemima, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and a licensed educator. They have one daughter, Sheena, 13 years old.

"Since coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ my want to serve Him in a meaningful way prompted my desire to be prepared for whatever calling I might receive. I completed a M.Div. Program at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a Th.M. degree from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan," he says.

Previously, he received a B.S. degree at the University of Oklahoma, majoring in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Being fluent in English and Tamil, he worked for several technological / multi-national companies.

Contact and donation information is available on their web site here.

Pray With Us

"Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them." — John Calvin 


  • Pray for our Board of Trustees as they hold their Spring meeting this month and deal with several weighty issues.
  • Pray for our students and faculty as they draw near to the close of the current semester. Pray for understanding and stamina as they conclude their studies this month and take final exams.
  • Ask God to bless our graduates and to prepare the way for some who are seeking internships, pastoral calls, and other avenues of ministry following their 2014 graduation.
  • Continue to pray for completion of the final steps for the wife and children of one of our foreign students, who escaped persecution in their native land, to embark on their journey to the United States. Intercede, especially, for our student's 19-year-old sister-in-law who escaped with the family but has not yet been cleared to enter the United States.
  • Thank God that Dr. Anees Zaka, adjunct faculty member who teaches our courses in Islam, is recovering from a recent heart attack which restricted his activities. He is expected to be able to teaching his Islam classes this fall here at GPTS. Praise God that our new Masters Degree in Apologetics and Islam program has its first enrollee, a student from Africa.
  • Pray that God will abundantly supply the seminary's financial needs and bless and prosper all those who may be led to give in support of this work in God's Kingdom.
  • On-going health concerns: Remember GPTS custodian John Jolly in prayer as he continues to struggle with knee pain. Please continue in prayer for Betty McGoldrick, wife of Professor James McGoldrick, as she continues to deal with her pain and disabilities.