Monday, December 7, 2015

Register Now for the GPTS Spring Conference


Registrations are now open for Greenville Seminary's annual Spring Theology Conference to be held on March 8-10, 2016. The conference will address the charged contemporary subject of "Marriage, Family and Sexuality."

The conference will be held again at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, 2519 Woodruff Rd, Simpsonville, S.C. Register online at GPTS web site. Register by Jan. 29th for Early Bird rates on conference fees (see below). Click here to download a bulletin insert. Feel free to print this insert set (two per sheet) to include in your church bulletin.

Also planned is the second annual campus preview for prospective students on March 7-8. Prospective students who attend the Encounter GPTS open house may attend the Spring Theology Conference for free.

With marriage, family and sexuality severely under attack in America, Greenville Seminary has never offered a more timely conference. The church and the world need biblical answers to the sexual perversions rampant in our culture. More importantly, the church needs to demonstrate the powerful, biblical alternative.

In this conference, we will deal with some of the difficulties faced today: homosexuality, transgenderism, and pornography, but our main goal is to defend the biblical standards for marriage, courting, and relationships between husband and wife and parents and children. The godly home is a powerful antidote to the perversions of our day. Of course, the greatest antidote is the Gospel, and we will review the life and something of the thought of one of the great Gospel preachers and theologians of the past.

Speakers and their topics are:
  • God's Design for Marriage — Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., GPTS president
  • Gay Marriage: Right or Wrong? — Gary Bates, Creation Ministries International
  • The Maker's Instructions — Dr. Ian Hamilton, pastor Cambridge Presbyterian Church (UK), GPTS trustee and adjunct professor. (Evening worship service, free and open to the public. Live webcast on SermonAudio)
  • Nurturing Sexual Intimacy in Marriage — Dr. Joel Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
  • Free and Last: Counseling Those Dominated by the Sin of Pornography — Dr. Kevin Backus, pastor, Bible Presbyterian Church, Grand Island, N.Y.; Fellow - National Association of Nouthetic Counselors
  • Family Worship in the Reformed Tradition — Dr. Benjamin Shaw, GPTS associate professor
  • God's Nursery — Dr. Pipa. (Evening worship service, free and open to the public. Live webcast on SermonAudio)
  • Biblical Wisdom for Courtship and Dating — Dr. Richard Phillips, pastor, 2nd Presbyterian Church, Greenville
  • Special lecture on The Life and Theology of John Owen: A 400th Anniversary Appreciation — Dr. Ryan McGraw, GPTS associate professor and Owen scholar
Registration Rates:
  • Early Bird rate $85 through Jan. 29, Spouse $35, Non-GPTS Student $20, Alumni $60;
  • Jan. 30-Mar. 3 - Standard rate $115, Spouse $35, Non-GPTS Student $25, Alumni $85.
  • After Mar. 3, on-site registration rate of $120 applies, GPTS, Graduate $90, Student $30.
  • Youth 12 and under attending with parents: Free; Over age 12: $20. 
  • Prospective GPTS students who attend the pre-conference open house (see below) may attend the main conference without charge.
  • Those unable to attend the entire conference may register on-site for one day. Tuesday or Thursday rate: $35; Wednesday rate: $55; student, wife and/or child: $10. 

GPTS Impact 2015: Financial Report for November 2015


The Year of our Lord 2015 is drawing to a close. Greenville Seminary has sought to be faithful to make this truly a Year of our Lord in our service to His Church. We are most grateful to many of God's people who have provided the financial wherewithal to allow us to continue our work of training Biblically grounded future pastors and Christian workers.

A church in Georgia, for example, just increased its annual giving to GPTS along with a note "to express our deep appreciation for the work of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. ... The Session...was unified in its desire to express our thanks to GPTS for its unwavering commitment to the biblical teaching of the reformed faith and the faithful preparation of the next generation of ministers in Christ's church. ... Colossians 3:17 encourages us: 'And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.' May the staff and faculty at GPTS continue faithfully in its work. The road may be difficult and thankless in moments, but we pray that our financial support ... will go some way to assist you in operating the seminary for the glory of our great God and service in His kingdom."

GPTS Impact 2015 Campaign


At the end of each calendar year, GPTS reaches out to individuals and churches on whom we depend for 70 per cent of our operating income. We are pleased to report that the response thus far in December has been very positive. We substantially exceeded our $180,000 goal by the grace of God and the generosity of His people. You may have received a special letter in the mail about this from President Joseph Pipa, Jr. If you have not yet responded, we humbly beseech you to consider helping us to begin 2016, which will see the start of our 30th year of classes in the fall, with an assurance that our needs will be met.

The tables below indicate our financial situation as of the end of November 2015 and the 2015-16 fiscal year to that date. Unrestricted general fund donations from churches and individuals during November totaled $38,008, which was $29,950 below the $67,958 budgeted for such income. Total income for the month, including funds withdrawn from reserves, was $69,269, which was $35,912 below budget projections of $102,870. Expenses of $93,299 were $13,369 less than the $106,668 budgeted for expenses. In addition, we received $818 toward our Capital Fund in November. A total of $195 was given for scholarships and $175 was given for international faculty travel.

We continue to need your help! Your gifts and prayers are vital to the accomplishment of our mission. Will you give generously and pray earnestly for a stronger financial foundation this month? We express our thanks to those who have already responded to our financial appeal.


 GENERAL OPERATING FUND - NOVEMBER 2015
GPTS Impact 2015

fundraising ideas for schools, churches, and youth sports teams


Graph shows progress 
toward the GPTS Impact
2015 Year-End Fund Goal
You may also follow progress
on the GPTS web site home page.

 Donation Income (unrestricted)
$38,008 
 Other Income (see note below)*
$31,261 
 Total Income
$69,269 
 Expenses
$93,299 
 Net Income
–$24,030 
 GENERAL OPERATING FUND -  FISCAL 2015-16
Donation Income
$206,658 
Other Income (see note below)*
$190,764 
Total Income
$397,422 
Expenses
$502,769 
Net Income
–$105,347  

*NOTE: "Other income" figures include a planned $16,667 withdrawal monthly from an unbudgeted reserve account established from a bequest received near the end of our last fiscal year.

 CAPITAL FUND
 Capital Campaign Goal
$3,500,000 
 Received
$3,406,603 
 Long-term Pledges Outstanding
$281,132 
 Total Received and Pledged
$3,687,736 
 Outstanding Obligations
$0 
 Monthly Payment (Interest Only)
$2,783 
 Remaining Mortgage
$580,817 




 

If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the "Donate" button above. Gifts may also be mailed to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687.

_______________________

Fidelity Charitable Clients: Click here for Donor-Advised Fund direct deposit (available soon)
_______________________

Most of all, be fervent in prayer that God would provide all that is needed for us to do what He has called us to do in this ministry which the church so badly needs in these uncommon times.

Remember, gifts to GPTS are tax-deductible and may include cash, securities, property or a variety of planned giving instruments. (The tax deduction is reduced by the fair market value of any premium received in return for a donation.) See here for information about planning your last will and testament with the Kingdom of God in mind.

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. (Click the tiny "M" e-mail icon at the bottom of this post.) Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary



Encounter GPTS: A Campus Preview for Prospective Students

On the eve of the 2016 Spring Conference, Greenville Seminary will again host an open house for prospective students. Encounter GPTS 2016 will be held on March 7 and 8.

The event will again include opportunities for would-be students to tour the campus, attend classes and a special chapel service, meet faculty and students, participate in a panel discussion, and attend the main Spring Conference as guest of the seminary.

Prospective students and their guests are invited to a special lunch in the Student Commons on Monday, March 7, at 11:30 a.m. This is a great time to mingle and fellowship with current students, faculty and staff of the seminary.

If you are considering a seminary education, this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about GPTS, enhance your understanding about a theological education, and inform your decision-making about choosing a seminary. Register now to attend.

To download a printable brochure, go here.

Psalm 119, Confessing Our Hope, and Other A/V Resources

Psalm 119 Chapel Sermon Series

We have received a number of inquiries about where to find Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr.'s running series of chapel sermons on Psalm 119.

The sermons are available in two locations:

Video at Greenville Seminary's YouTube Channel. Click here.
Video and Audio at the GPTS SermonAudio pages: Click here.

The first few lessons in this series, which began in February 2015, are available only in audio format. The first can be heard here.

Beginning with Psalm 119:65-72, the sermon series has been available on video as well. Here is that lesson:




A new broadcast of our internet radio program "Confessing Our Hope" is available. In this addition, President Pipa again answers listeners' questions during the 18th edition of "Faith and Practice." In this broadcast, Dr. Pipa answers questions on apologetics, women and theological education, women blogging, the use of social media by Christians, and more.

Listen here.

For more information about the podcast and access to all past broadcasts, visit the Confessing Our Hope web site.

Dr. Pipa to Teach Preaching Course in Korea

Greenville Seminary President Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. will return to Korea in January to teach his course on preaching at the Korean Institute for Reformed Preaching.

The course will be taught during January 11-13 at the institute in Seoul. Dr. Pipa will also be preaching at the Yanguimoon Presbyterian Church in Seoul on January 10.

Changwon Shu
The KIRP, chaired by Rev. Changwon Shu, seeks to promote conservative Reformed-Puritan preaching through conferences, the translation of sound literature (such as Gospel Worship by Jeremiah Burroughs and other Puritans, Hebrews by A.W. Pink, and books by Martyn Lloyd-Jones), and the publication of a bimonthly periodical called the Banner of Truth. Seventy per cent of the articles are translated from the United Kingdom's Banner of Truth associated with Banner of Truth Trust and the remainder of the articles are contributed by Rev. Shu and other Korean pastors.

The institute focuses on the Biblical Preaching and Reformed Theology in the ministry of the Word. It meets twice a year with special speakers from either the United Kingdom or the United States.

Read an interview with Rev. Shu conducted during a visit to GPTS in 2010.


GPTS Founding Trustee Goes Home to Glory

One of the last remaining charter member of the Greenville Seminary Board of Trustees, Mr. William Howard “Bill” Huffman, has gone to be with the Lord. Mr. Huffman died at the age of 86 on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at his home in Burlington, North Carolina.

A native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Bill was the husband of Ellen Walker Huffman, who survives, and the son of the late William Howard Taft Huffman and the late Madge Mickle Huffman.

In 1988, he became a founding trustee of the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was also among the founders of the Presbyterian Church in America.

Bill graduated from Duke University in 1950, with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. He and Ellen moved to Burlington in 1951, with Western Electric and retired from AT&T/Lucent in 1987, having worked on the Nike missile and sonar-towed-array projects, among others.

Following his graduation from Duke, Bill remained an avid Duke fan, supporting Duke football even in “years of famine,” of which there were many.

Prior to joining First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Burlington, Bill was active in Northside Presbyterian Church beginning in the 1950s, where he taught the Senior High Sunday School class and served as Sunday School Superintendent. Following a stint as deacon, he served as an elder at Northside from the age of 32 and was a delegate to the December 1973 Birmingham, Alabama convention that formed the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) denomination.

Following his retirement from AT&T, he and Ellen served the PCA for ten years, traveling the Southeast for the denomination’s Christian Education Committee.

In addition to his wife of 66 years, Ellen, he is survived by three sons and a daughter: William H. Huffman, Jr., and his wife, Debby, of Winston-Salem, N.C,; John R. Huffman and his wife, Anne, of Cary, N.C.; David R. Huffman and his wife, Robin, of Burlington; and Anne M. Huffman, of Raleigh, N.C. He dearly loved his six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The funeral service was held Friday, November 13, 2015. Burial was at Alamance Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 2250 Saddle Club Road, Burlington or Gideons International, Alamance West Camp, PO Box 565, Burlington, NC 27216-0565.

Pastor Enrichment: Auditing "The Reformed Pastor"

Dr. Shishko
Pastors and church elders are invited to audit an advanced-level course designed especially for such office-bearers during the 2016 Winter Term at Greenville Seminary. The course is "The Reformed Pastor" (AT40), taught by Adjunct Professor William Shishko, Jan. 6-9 and 11-13.

This intensive course is a study of the day-to-day responsibilities of a local pastor, covering the role of the pastor as administrator, ruler, teacher, counselor, and friend. Class hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all seven days of the course period. The listener fee for this class is $120.

Also available for auditing during the Winter Term are three other classes (see our web site for course descriptions):

  • Presbyterian Church History (HT10) - Jan. 11-15 — Dr. Nick Willborn • ($60)
  • Introduction to Homiletics (AT20) - Jan. 11-15, 18-22 — Mr. Breno Macedo • ($90)
  • Reformed Worship (AT30) - Jan 4-8 — Dr. Joseph Pipa, Jr. • ($60)
Auditing, also referred to a "listening," does not provide the student with academic credit but is intended to enrich the listener with knowledge in the field of the course. The student is generally expected not to engage extensively in class discussion or place normal student demands on the instructor. The auditing courses during the Winter Term is limited to on-campus attendance only. Class hours are listed on the registration form linked below.

Mr. Shishko is the long-standing senior pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Franklin Square on Long Island, N.Y. He is retiring from that position in the near future, and this will be his final offering as adjunct professor at GPTS.

If you are interested in auditing any of these classes, go to the registration form here. Auditors are not required to pay any late registration fee. 

Memorialize 2015

The Memorial Brink Plaza

If this year has included significant events, such as the passing of a loved one or an especially memorable matter, why not commemorate it with a setting in the Greenville Seminary Memorial Brick Plaza.

There are still many spaces left for your brick. This is a wonderful way for individuals, families, churches and businesses to become a permanent part of our campus. Family, alumni, friends or church groups can request that their bricks be placed together. Each single brick can have up to three lines of text with up to 20 characters per line (including spaces).

Cost per brick:
Individuals or families = $100.00
Churches, Businesses or Corporations - $250.00
Order you brick(s) here: Order Form

Pay for your brick order here (you can specify quantity before checkout):

Donor Type
 

For more information on the "buy a brick" program please contact our development office.

Smile: You're on Amazon.com Supporting GPTS



When you shop at AmazonSmile for your year-end gifts or anytime, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Bookmark the link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/57-0833937 and support us every time you shop. 

Through Aug. 15th, the latest full report, GPTS received $392.58 in donations through AmazonSmile. We received another $83.58 in November. Keep up the good work!

Be sure to log on to smile.amazon.com and not the regular amazon.com web address. All the site content is the same, but you will be supporting GPTS by using the "smile" address.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Vows, Prayer, Fasting & Offerings: Resolving To Do the Will and Work of God

During a recent chapel message on Psalm 119:105-112, Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr. highlighted the role of taking vows before the Lord to bolster one's resolve, with the gracious help of God, to do His will as laid out in His Precepts. 

It won’t be long before many will be making resolutions they suppose will improve their lives in the coming year. It’s axiomatic that most will fail in their resolve, as they are largely based on finite human will power. The great preacher Jonathan Edwards once compiled a list of 70 amazing resolutions aimed at becoming more Christ-like. It is likely that he did quite well in keeping them, although he made clear in the preamble: "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake."

In the past few months, President Pipa has been encouraging our seminarians, faculty and staff to revive the practice of fasting with prayer. The moral decay of our culture in so many areas of life prompted this new call. We have been praying about the cultural rot and the state of our world and nation, for our own spiritual growth, for revival of the church, for a new generation of godly pastors and preachers, and more. We would like to ask you to join in this effort by resolving to fast and pray regularly about these things. Most people are quick to pray when a sudden crisis falls upon them or their nation. It seems to be time to adopt the mindset that what we are facing as Christians is rapidly reaching the crisis point.


Among our new students this year is Curt Straeter, who shared his thoughts on this subject, saying, “GPTS continually has significant, holistic impacts on my personal walk and preparation for ministry, of which the Psalm 119 sermon series and the days of prayer and fasting are only a couple. The reliance on and obedience to the Word of God directly resulted in applications of increased prayer and fasting in my own life, and I pray for even greater fervent obedience and prayer in our churches to stem the moral decline of our nation.”

We at Greenville Seminary are wholly committed to act on those things for which we pray and fast. Our particular calling, of course, is to serve a renewed church by raising up men who know the Word of God thoroughly, who can drill deeply into its mysteries, who can proclaim it with power and conviction, and who can thus spur true revival in the church, all with the help of the Holy Spirit.

This lofty mission requires a substantial investment in godly and scholarly faculty and quality staff; facilities for learning, libraries and equipment conducive to good scholarship; financial aid for needy students, and so much more. As 2015 comes to a close, we beseech you to partner with us in realizing our divine calling. As a token of our appreciation for a gift in November and December of:
  • Under $250, we will send you, a copy of Professor Ryan McGraw's booklet "Corporate Prayer and Preaching." 
  • $250 or more, we will send you a DVD with a six-part series of lessons called "Calvinism and the Christian Life," by GPTS trustee and adjunct faculty member Dr. Ian Hamilton. 
  • A pledge of $50 or more monthly for the next 12 months, we will send you an ESV study bible (allow 4-6 weeks for delivery).

Our reality-driven goal is to raise $180,000 by the end of this year, an amount needed to erase some monthly deficits we have registered this year and to give us a solid financial foundation for the coming year. We look forward with great eagerness to the fall of 2016 when we will start our 30th year of theological instruction.

Whether or not you are able to underwrite our work with a monetary contribution, we ask you to undergird us with prayer — and, as the Spirit leads, with fasting.




Mail tax-deductible gifts to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687-2358.






Audio version of this message can be found here.

The Rising Cosmic Battle for 'One-ism'

Dr. Peter Jones
The culture of the Western world has moved beyond post-Christian, post-modern, and post-secular and is now permeated with neo-paganism spirituality. So said Dr. Peter Jones in a recent special lecture entitled "The Great Opponent of Contemporary Christianity," delivered at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Dr. Jones is executive director of an apologetics ministry known as "truthXchange."

The new worldview is fueled by a philosophy which Dr. Jones called "One-ism," a cosmology which sees no distinction between the Creator and creation and finds god in everything — essentially pantheism, a revival of pagan spirituality and eastern mysticism. Pantheism is the belief that the universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent god.

One-ism, Dr. Jones argued, is a virulent rejection of biblical Christianity's "Two-ism," a "binary" system which understands the clear distinction between God the Creator and His creation, the latter owing worship to the former. The binary cosmology laced throughout God's revelation is "ground zero" for Christian belief and witness, he said.

In One-ism, everything is of one substance, nature is ultimate and is worshiped in a thousand ways, he said.

"We are in a deep conflict of these two worldviews," said Dr. Jones. He said the church has never faced a challenge as pervasive as the current drive toward universal paganism and the gross sexuality that is one of its new benchmarks. It is an attack on the fundamentals of Western Civilization with the goal of replacing it a completely different system, he said.

One-ists think they are progressive, but their philosophy has ancient roots, including in Buddhism and Hinduism, he said, adding that the movement began rising again to prominence in the 1950's and 1960's with the New Age Movement and the Sexual Revolution.

Currently, militant homosexuality is in the vanguard of the drive to eliminate binary thinking, which understands there are sexual distinctions within humanity, namely, men and women. Militant homosexuality is disguising itself in terms of civil rights, but it is really a deep-seated manifestation of One-ist philosophy that seeks to destroy all notions of distinctions in creation.

Dr. Jones said the denial of the binary is also being manifested in theology, ethics and morality. In theology, the distinction between God and creature is being denied and buried. In ethics, the distinction between right and wrong is being eliminated in favor of inner experience. In One-ist sexuality, there are no opposites, and androgyny is increasingly being seen as the ideal. Androgyny is the ultimate attack on biblical, natural sexuality — it sees no sexuality, no sexual identity, he said.

He cited Romans 1 as one of scripture's best descriptions of the sinful world's descent from what it instinctively knows about God but suppresses, to pagan spirituality, and eventually to sexual perversion. He noted that biblical sexuality is grounded in creation structure, which included the creation of creatures after their own kind and the separation of land from sea and darkness from light, for example — all of creation being reflective of the very diversity in unity found in the Trinity.

In evangelism and apologetics, biblical Christians, who have been concentrating to a large degree on increasingly discredited atheism, must begin to address pantheism, which he called the middle point between theism and atheism. "Pantheism is spiritualized atheism," he said

Dr. Jones said that in witnessing to homosexuals, Christians must take great care because we are typically dealing with damaged, abused people. Christians must avoid a "moralistic" and sentimental "love everyone" approach, as well as making simple appeals to tradition and even biblical proof texts. We must get to the heart of this cosmology and see homosexuality as the embodiment of One-ist philosophy, he said.

While One-ists often speak of "wholeness," Christian Two-ism grows out of God's "holiness," Dr. Jones said. Holiness should not be seen primarily in moralistic terms, but according to its root meaning of sacredness — being set apart for a dedicated purpose.

"We must exalt the Creator in the beauty of holiness," he said. The holiness of God describes His relationship with His creation, not so much His moral character. "He is different from us," set apart from His creatures. This distinction between God and creation and the unified diversity within the Trinity itself are the foundational expressions of Two-ism, he said.

The biblical view of marriage similarly expresses binary truth, whereas same-sex marriage expresses the opposite. The Bible begins with the marriage of a man and a woman and ends with the wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride, he said.

The conflict between the binary view and its opposite is also central to our understanding of origins, Dr. Jones said, adding that there are only two possible options: either the world was created by a Rational Agent that is apart from and above what was made, or the natural world made itself. If humans are seen as part of the natural order that made itself, mankind is free to do anything it desires, thus establishing the primacy of the human will and making himself his own god. In that case, all of which he is a natural part is to be worshiped, he said.

View the full lecture here:



See the Question and Answer session here:





Students, faculty, staff and members of the local community fill two classrooms for Dr. Jones's special lecture on Oct. 19th.



Financial Report for October 2015

The tables below indicate our financial situation as of the end of October 2015 and the 2015-16 fiscal year to that date. Unrestricted general fund donations from churches and individuals during October totaled $$64,807, which was nearly double the September figure but still $3,151 below the $67,958 budgeted for such income. Total income for the month, including funds withdrawn from reserves, was $91,107, which was $11,763 below budget projections of $102,870. Expenses of $101,484 were $5,518 below the $106,002 budgeted for expenses. In addition, we received $1,043 toward our Capital Fund in October. A total of $10,965 was given for scholarships, all for international students, and $3,000 was given for international faculty travel.

We continue to need your help! Your gift and prayers are vital to the accomplishment of our mission. Will you give generously and pray earnestly for a stronger financial foundation this month? We express our thanks to those who responded to our financial appeal last month.


 GENERAL OPERATING FUND - OCTOBER 2015

fundraising ideas for schools, churches, and youth sports teams
Graph shows October
contributions vs. Budget 
(upper number)

 Donation Income (unrestricted)
$64,807 
 Other Income (see note below)*
$26,300 
 Total Income
$91,107 
 Expenses
$101,484 
 Net Income
–$10,377 
 GENERAL OPERATING FUND -  FISCAL 2015-16
Donation Income
$168,650 
Other Income (see note below)*
$159,075 
Total Income
$327,725 
Expenses
$419,039 
Net Income
–$91,314  

*NOTE: "Other income" figures include a planned $16,667 withdrawal monthly from a reserve account established from a bequest received near the end of our last fiscal year.

 CAPITAL FUND
 Capital Campaign Goal
$3,500,000 
 Received
$3,406,435 
 Long-term Pledges Outstanding
$281,201 
 Total Received and Pledged
$3,687,636 
 Outstanding Obligations
$0 
 Monthly Payment (Interest Only)
$2,783 
 Remaining Mortgage
$580,817 




If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the "Donate" button above. Gifts may also be mailed to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687.

_______________________

Fidelity Charitable Clients: Click here for Donor-Advised Fund direct deposit (available soon)
_______________________

Most of all, be fervent in prayer that God would provide all that is needed for us to do what He has called us to do in this ministry which the church so badly needs in these uncommon times.

Remember, gifts to GPTS are tax-deductible and may include cash, securities, property or a variety of planned giving instruments. (The tax deduction is reduced by the fair market value of any premium received in return for a donation.) See here for information about planning your last will and testament with the Kingdom of God in mind.

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. (Click the tiny "M" e-mail icon at the bottom of this post.) Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

2016 Spring Theology Conference and Open House: Save the Date



Plans are nearly complete for Greenville Seminary's annual Spring Theology Conference to be held on March 8-10, 2016. The conference will address the charged contemporary subject of "Marriage, Family and Sexuality."

The conference will be held again at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, 2519 Woodruff Rd, Simpsonville, S.C. Registrations are now open at GPTS web site. Watch your mailbox for registration opportunities and a brochure coming soon. Be prepared to register by Jan. 29th for Early Bird rates on conference fees (see below).

Also planned is the second annual campus preview for prospective students on March 7-8 (details below).

With marriage, family and sexuality severely under attack in America, Greenville Seminary has never offered a more timely conference. The church and the world need biblical answers to the sexual perversions rampant in our culture. More importantly, the church needs to demonstrate the powerful, biblical alternative.

In this conference, we will deal with some of the difficulties faced today: homosexuality, transgenderism, and pornography, but our main goal is to defend the biblical standards for marriage, courting, and relationships between husband and wife and parents and children. The godly home is a powerful antidote to the perversions of our day. Of course, the greatest antidote is the Gospel, and we will review the life and something of the thought of one of the great Gospel preachers and theologians of the past.

Speakers and their topics are:
  • God's Design for Marriage — Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., GPTS president
  • Gay Marriage: Right or Wrong? — Gary Bates, Creation Ministries International
  • The Maker's Instructions — Dr. Ian Hamilton, pastor Cambridge Presbyterian Church (UK), GPTS trustee and adjunct professor. (Evening worship service, free and open to the public. Live webcast on SermonAudio)
  • Nurturing Sexual Intimacy in Marriage — Dr. Joel Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
  • Free and Last: Counseling Those Dominated by the Sin of Pornography — Dr. Kevin Backus, pastor, Bible Presbyterian Church, Grand Island, N.Y.; Fellow - National Association of Nouthetic Counselors
  • Family Worship in the Reformed Tradition — Dr. Benjamin Shaw, GPTS associate professor
  • God's Nursery — Dr. Pipa. (Evening worship service, free and open to the public. Live webcast on SermonAudio)
  • Biblical Wisdom for Courtship and Dating — Dr. Richard Phillips, pastor, 2nd Presbyterian Church, Greenville
  • Special lecture on The Life and Theology of John Owen: A 400th Anniversary Appreciation — Dr. Ryan McGraw, GPTS associate professor and Owen scholar
Registration Rates:
  • Early Bird rate $85 through Jan. 29, Spouse $35, Non-GPTS Student $20, Alumni $60;
  • Jan. 30-Mar. 3 - Standard rate $115, Spouse $35, Non-GPTS Student $25, Alumni $85.
  • After Mar. 3, on-site registration rate of $120 applies, GPTS, Graduate $90, Student $30.
  • Youth 12 and under attending with parents: Free; Over age 12: $20. 
  • Prospective GPTS students who attend the pre-conference open house (see below) may attend the main conference without charge.
  • Those unable to attend the entire conference may register on-site for one day. Tuesday or Thursday rate: $35; Wednesday rate: $55; student, wife and/or child: $10. 


Encounter GPTS: A Campus Preview for Prospective Students

On the eve of the 2016 Spring Conference, the seminary will again host an open house for prospective students. The Encounter will be held on March 7 and 8.

The 2016 event will again include opportunities for would-be students to tour the campus, attend classes and a special chapel service, meet faculty and students, participate in a panel discussion, and attend the main Spring Conference as guest of the seminary.

If you are considering a seminary education, this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about GPTS, enhance your understanding about a theological education, and inform your decision-making about choosing a seminary. Register now to attend.

An Encounter with God, an Encounter with GPTS

Larry & Katie Rockwell

A Prospective Student Profile


Larry Rockwell is a singer-songwriter whose sometimes troubled life journey led him first to the Gospel, then to the Reformed Faith, and now to a perceived call to preach that Gospel in word and song.

That journey has led him to Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and fervent prayers that God would help him order his busy life so that he could begin theological studies at GPTS in the near future.

Larry, 44, a resident of downtown Greenville, S.C., discovered GPTS while driving down Main Street in suburban Taylors on his way to a coffee shop in the old textile mill near the seminary. The discovery coincided with burgeoning perception of his calling to the ministry, and he immediately researched GPTS, concluding it would be the ideal institution to deepen his understanding of Reformed theology. He immediately became a financial supporter and was given an appreciative gift, Dr. Joseph Pipa's commentary on Galatians. Reading in that book and studying Dr. Pipa's Westminster Confession of Faith Study Guide cemented his perception of his calling.

"It was during a quiet reading time last year of Galatians that I believe the Holy Spirit called me to an in-depth study of theology," he said. "I am still trying to sort out where God is leading me, but I believe Greenville Seminary is most definitely in my future. I am not sure when or even how I will be able to accomplish this financially and budget my time for work and family, but I fully trust the providence and the will of God the Father to fulfill the calling He has made. Patience, prayer, and faith are my guide."

Larry visited the GPTS campus and chapel service in early November and was warmly welcomed by students and staff, prompting another response from him.

"I wanted to reach out and tell you how much I appreciated our time together yesterday, and how much I enjoyed visiting Greenville Seminary! It is such an invigorating honor to stand amongst men with such a passion for God's holy and inerrant word! I was beyond impressed and inspired to do all that it takes to become a student there in the future! I would also like to extend my gratitude toward the wonderful students who made a point to speak to me and encourage me not only in my decision to attend but also in my faith! Also, thank you for a wonderful lunch and your kind and considerate conversation! The entire time was truly a pleasure and an honor!"

Larry asks for prayers that he would be able to fit a seminary education into a life that already includes family and three jobs. He works at a friend's shop mornings, teaches guitar in the afternoon and he and his wife Katie perform musically at various Greenville and Upstate venues in the evenings. He said he has loved the guitar since his childhood and hopes to incorporate his musical talents, now increasingly focusing on serious Christian themes, into his future ministry.

On the singing duo's joint Facebook page, they tell how they met.

“We met in September of 2010. We were both in pretty low places, getting past hurt relationships, and playing music in the same area. When we met we were insta-friends. Ya know, those friends that could lean on each other, understand what the other was going through, writing music together... it wasn't but a few months. and we were a musical duo,” they say.

On Valentine’s Day 2013, they released a CD called “You Are Not Alone” a few months after they had been married. 

"These were songs we'd written together over coffee and wine. It was a compilation of all our emotions and experiences leading up to our marriage. The title and the album photo was purposeful…two people hand in hand walking towards a scary forest... "No matter what happens from here on out... no matter how scary... You're Not Alone...I got you." We have been working on new music ever since.”

Pray that God would provide all that is necessary for Larry to answer His call to Gospel ministry by seeking a biblical education as its foundation. 





Praying with Thanksgiving

'Grace," by Rhoda Nyberg. This famous portrait is from a photograph taken in 1918 by Mrs. Nyberg’s father, Eric Enstrom, a photographer from Bovey, Minnesota.

By Dr. Derek Thomas


If ever you find yourself at a loss for words [when praying], there is something you can do. Turn to the Lord's Prayer. It is a model given to us by our Lord Jesus to help us pray. True, we can use it "as is" and repeat its grand petitions. But we can also use it as a model and learn from its structure and proportion how we ought to pray.

Martin Luther employed the Lord's Prayer encouraging disciples to use each clause as a hook on which to hang thoughts of their own. From each clause of the Prayer, he recommended making "a garland of four twisted strands" by, (1) identifying the truth(s) taught, (2) expressing thankfulness for all the good gifts suggested, (3) confessing sin(s) that rise to the surface, and (4) petitioning God as needs come to our minds.

Since this [month includes a special day] of Thanksgiving [in the United States], strand number 2 seems particularly appropriate. Perhaps it could function as a test of the seriousness with which we approach such a season. Before Thanksgiving dinner, why not ask each person to mention one or two things for which they are especially thankful? 

Let the Prayer itself be your guide.  Note that it begins — and stays — with God before it asks for anything. Too often we rush into prayer with our needs and wants. STOP! Breathe in the refined air of God's presence. Allow your thoughts to contemplate who he is. He is praiseworthy. Already, the familiar words of a hymn should rise to the surface: "Praise my soul the King of heaven, to his feet thy tribute bring."

So we thank God for who he is in himself. God invites our praise so that we may be reminded every time we come to him that "he is God and we are not." Praise forces out selfishness and our in-built gravitational pull toward self-deification. As Calvin put it, our minds are idol factories by nature. Praising God is what we need to do and what we are so poor at doing. Listen to the content of much prayer and discover how poor we are in extolling God.

Thankfulness corrects such poverty. Be thankful, then, for God and your relationship with him. Do not make the fatal mistake of thinking that your relationship with God is directly proportional to the amount of theology you know and can debate. Knowing about God is not the same thing as knowing God. When we can say, "I know you, O Lord; and you know me," it is a matter for which we must be truly grateful. Stand in his presence or better, kneel, and say, "Father." It is a breathtaking experience. What a privilege that is! The One who made the universe and holds it together is my Father in heaven.

            And your Father in heaven did not spare his Son.
            He gave him up to a cross-shaped death for us.
            What wondrous love is this!

Now thank him, with all your heart. This is gospel-shaped praying. We are thankful because of what he has done for us: he has chosen us, called us, regenerated us, justified us, adopted us...And we have only just begun the glorious duty of giving thanks.



The preceding is an excerpt from a post at Reformation21.org. See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/articles/praying-thankfully-a-thanksgiving-meditation.php#sthash.l4EAXtMJ.dpuf

Liberality in Giving: A Stewardship Meditation

Charles H. Spurgeon on Supporting Kingdom Work


"Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house." — Haggai 1:9


Churlish souls stint their contributions to the ministry and missionary operations, and call such saving good economy; little do they dream that they are thus impoverishing themselves. Their excuse is that they must care for their own families, and they forget that to neglect the house of God is the sure way to bring ruin upon their own houses. 

Our God has a method in providence by which he can succeed our endeavours beyond our expectation, or can defeat our plans to our confusion and dismay; by a turn of his hand he can steer our vessel in a profitable channel, or run it aground in poverty and bankruptcy. It is the teaching of Scripture that the Lord enriches the liberal and leaves the miserly to find out that withholding tendeth to poverty. 

In a very wide sphere of observation, I have noticed that the most generous Christians of my acquaintance have been always the most happy, and almost invariably the most prosperous. I have seen the liberal giver rise to wealth of which he never dreamed; and I have as often seen the mean, ungenerous churl descend to poverty by the very parsimony by which he thought to rise. 

Men trust good stewards with larger and larger sums, and so it frequently is with the Lord; he gives by cartloads to those who give by bushels. Where wealth is not bestowed the Lord makes the little much by the contentment which the sanctified heart feels in a portion of which the tithe has been dedicated to the Lord.

Selfishness looks first at home, but godliness seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, yet in the long run selfishness is loss, and godliness is great gain. It needs faith to act towards our God with an open hand, but surely he deserves it of us; and all that we can do is a very poor acknowledgment of our amazing indebtedness to his goodness.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "Morning and Evening," Oct. 26

New Babies, New Furnishings: GPTS Nursery Gets Upgrade

Student Michael Grasso and his wife Erika recently
presented their infant Eva Mei for baptism at
Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Greer, S.C. Big brother
Luke was looking on.
Greenville Seminary has been blessed with a growing number of students with small children, and several new babies have been born in recent months.

The seminary maintains a small nursery next to the Student Commons so kids have a place to play during various social events, dinners and receptions held in the Commons.

Thanks to some caring donors, the nursery has just acquired some new furnishings and toys. The photos below show these new additions.

Since the fall semester began, additions have been made to the Michael Grasso, Michael Spangler, and James Clark families.

A new changing table and rocking chair purchased with funds from an anonymous donor.

A new chest donated by Professor and Mrs. 
Michael Morales

Let's Network!

It would be hard to over-estimate the role and influence of the 21st-century phenomenon known as Social Networking. Smartphone, tablet and desktop computers, and laptops are now used by millions of people around the world to network, inform, promote, connect, recruit, and who knows what else, sometimes for good and sometimes for evil.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram have become household words, along with scores of other networking options. GPTS is no stranger to many of these networks.

On Facebook, we have public seminary page, an alumni page (closed group), and a prospective student page (closed group). We have a Twitter account: @GPTSeminary. And we are the largest user of SermonAudio's network, where you will find hundreds of sermons, lectures, conference offerings, and more, both audio and video. Visit our YouTube channel for a growing number of video resources. There's also a fledgling LinkedIn account for the seminary and separate accounts for some seminary personnel.

One of the great advantages of these networks is that information can be shared widely with friends, who are then able to share with their own network of friends, and these, in turn, can share again, until a wide web of shared information spreads through the country and world. "Like" us, "follow" us or otherwise connect with us through these networks with resources to share.

We encourage you to help us spread the word by sharing articles from this e-newsletter and posts on our networking pages that you find informative, useful or otherwise worthy of circulation. To share e-newsletter articles, all you need to do is click on one of the small social media icons at the very bottom of each article, or simply copy the article's web address and paste into a post on Facebook or other networking media.

This will help give the seminary more widespread recognition. We desire to influence lives and recruit new students. International terrorists are using these means to spread their hatred and violence around the world. Let's employ these powerful digital networks to spread the Gospel, as many Christians are doing, and let the world know what Greenville Presbyterian Seminary is doing to bring biblical revival to the church and the nations.

We hope you will consider spreading the word!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Why You Need Greenville Seminary

By Garry J. Moes
Director of Development and Recruiting

My initial impulse was to entitle this article "Why the World Needs Greenville Seminary." When that seemed excessively broad and suggested that it might be difficult to effectively challenge the whole world to respond to my intended rationale, it occurred to me that the title would better be "Why the Church Needs Greenville Seminary." But, again, since my purpose is to elicit a real response to this idea, I wondered whether a generalized appeal to "the Church" would be effectual. So I decided to address this to you who have taken this moment to read on. I have great hopes that once you see why you personally need GPTS, you will be led, with some urgency, to help ensure that it remains a viable force in the church and the world.

To be sure, the world badly needs a ministry like Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, which is relentlessly committed to the whole counsel of God's revelation to this world. And it is true that the obligation to proclaim that revelation of God's mighty and glorious work of salvation to the world belongs to the Church, the working, discipling, ministering Body of Christ. If you are a part of that Body, you need a Church that will succeed in its Great Commission to make disciples of all nations as it goes forth, teaches and baptizes in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. So here is why you need Greenville Seminary:

It is grievous to contemplate how much of the church that calls itself Christian has fallen into weakness, biblical ignorance, lawlessness, worldliness, ineffectiveness, idolatry and heresy, and has conformed to the spirit of the age rather than to the transforming spirit of the gospel. Your world is falling exponentially into godlessness, chaos, violence, mindless pleasure-seeking and every sort of triumphant evil, in part because a vast portion of the church has become all of the tragic things listed in the previous sentence. I dare say that, if you are like me in this regard, you do not want to live in such a world. Yet you and I will be threatened, stressed, harmed and tried sooner or later at the hands of an increasingly hostile world if the church does not begin to rediscover the world-changing truths once resurrected by the great Protestant Reformation. Much of the worldwide Church of Christ is already experiencing this.

And that's where Greenville Seminary comes in. I am not suggesting that GPTS is the only seminary in the world or in the church that has an exclusive grasp on a faithful understanding of God's Word or the powerful summations of that Word found in the historic confessions of the Reformation and early church. But it is counts itself among those faithful theological schools bound and determined to safeguard and advance that ancient faith.

It is axiomatic that the trends one sees in denominations almost invariably follow the earlier trends in the theological schools where its ministers and Christian workers are trained. Leadership may not be everything, but it is a powerful force in whatever cause or corporation or organization over which it stands. It has always been so. "'Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!' declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 23:1, NIV). The impact of that warning of "woe" is highlighted in a paraphrase of the verse in the NET Bible translation: "The LORD says, "The leaders of my people are sure to be judged. They were supposed to watch over my people like shepherds watch over their sheep. But they are causing my people to be destroyed and scattered."

Verse 2 follows with a stronger reiteration: "Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: 'You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,' declares the LORD.…"

This theme is rampant throughout the Old Testament prophecies, as Jesus the Good Shepherd recognized when he said, "All who have come before me are thieves and robbers..." (John 10:8):
Jeremiah 10:21 — The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.
Jeremiah 12:10 — Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland.
Ezekiel 13:3 — This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!
Zechariah 11:17 — "Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!"


The 18th-century Bible commentator John Gill saw the connection between the sins of the shepherds and the rulers of the nation: 
Woe be unto the pastors,... Or, "O ye shepherds" or "governors," as the Targum; the civil rulers and magistrates, kings and princes of the land of Israel; since ecclesiastical rulers, the priests and prophets, are mentioned as distinct from them in Jeremiah 23:9; whose business it was to rule and guide, protect and defend, the people: but, instead of that, they were such that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord God; set them bad examples, led them into idolatry and other sins, which were the cause of their ruin, and of their being carried captive, and scattered in other countries; and their sin was the more aggravated, inasmuch as these people were the Lord's pasture sheep, whom he had an interest in, and a regard unto, and had committed them to the care and charge of these pastors or governors, to be particularly taken care of. 

Greenville Seminary is adamant about standing against a proliferation of the sins which called forth these woes. The landscape of theological education across America and all of Christendom is broad and highly varied. Sadly, too many seminaries have lost sight of the foundational truths revealed in God's Holy Word and, in the face of Scripture's clear warnings, have followed after false doctrines, abandoning the faith "once for all delivered to the saints." Some who give lip service to orthodoxy are prone to flirt with provocative but questionable new perspectives; some who make no pretense toward orthodoxy proudly embrace the most despicable heresies. Many, in the spirit of the age, have lost sight of the importance of common doctrine and opt for "cutting-edge" theological innovation or a sentimental, contentless religion.

By contrast, Greenville Seminary stands absolutely committed to the inerrant Word of God and the distinctive tenets of Christian truth derived from it distinctives so eloquently set forth in the confessional standards of the historic Reformed Faith.

This is why you, your church and your world need Greenville Seminary. But I must be candid here: Christians who understand this and share our vision are not a vast number. Those who oppose it are growing, and some have worked to undermine, through innuendo or slander or other means, our ability to do the task God has called us to do.

We are facing a critical situation in our support level, as the financial report elsewhere in this e-newsletter shows. We who labor here know how much the Church needs this ministry, and through the Church, how much the world needs it. We pray that you, as a member of the Church and a commissioned sojourner in this world, will see why you need Greenville Seminary and lend your support.