Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tuition Waiver and Church Sponsorship Policies Updated

As reported in the September 2014 issue of GPTS Online. an increasing number of students benefiting from Greenville Seminary's unique tuition-waiver program has put pressure on tuition income levels for the seminary. To address this problem, the Board of Trustees at its Fall 2014 meeting adopted changes to the tuition waiver policy.

Currently, the policy says in part that students may have their tuition waived if their sending church supports the seminary at a rate of $15.00 per communicant member per year per student, with a minimum of $750 per year per student. That policy remains in effect for students already enrolled under the program, although their churches are encouraged to increase their support to the new levels approved by the board.

New Support Levels


Effective for new students enrolled on or after July 1, 2015, the rate of support has been raised to $20.00 per communicant member per year per student, with a minimum of $1,000 per year per student.

These thresholds still do not generally rise to the level of the full cost of tuition, so GPTS continues to rely heavily on donations to meet its general operating fund needs.

For a full explanation of our tuition policies, click on the Tuition tab on this page of our web site.

Sponsorship Policy Changes


The board also approved a change in the level of support required of church bodies who enter into formal accountability agreements with the seminary. The rationale for this oversight and sponsorship program has been stated as follows:
Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary being committed to the full authority and inspiration of the Bible and to the full subscription to the Westminster Confessional Standards, desires to enter into a relationship of accountability to the courts of the Church who share these positions. Within the modern Church there is often an uncertainty regarding the meaning of such commitment. At present, the Seminary desires to be accountable to presbyteries and sessions, which often have greater unity on such positions.
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Terms of Presbyterial Accountability 
Each Presbytery (or Synod or General Assembly) that desires to participate in an accountability relationship with Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary shall express by a resolution spread on its Minutes and sent to the Seminary:

  1. Its full commitment to the Bible as the infallible and inerrant Word of God, as originally given; and to its total sufficiency as the only infallible rule of faith and life.
  2. Its wholehearted commitment to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, as held by the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as the system of doctrine taught in the Scripture.
  3. Its intention to support Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary as an institution committed to providing theological instruction necessary for preparing men for the ministry of the Word. This support first of all shall consist of a commitment on the part of the Presbytery to pray regularly for the Seminary, that she would remain true to her stated goal of providing theological instruction for preparing men preparing for the gospel ministry under the full authority of the Bible, and with a full commitment to the full system of doctrine set forth in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. Second, the Presbytery will support the Seminary by commending her to candidates for the ministry as a place for their theological education. Third, three-fourths of the churches in the Presbytery will support the Seminary by giving $7.50 per communicant member, or that the Presbytery will give $7.50 per communicant member for three-fourths of its entire membership with a minimum sponsorship level of $1,500.
At its last meeting, the board approved changes to the support levels listed in the final sentence of numbered paragraph 3 above. The sentence now reads:
Third, three-fourths of the churches in the Presbytery will support the Seminary by giving $10.00 per communicant member, or that the Presbytery will give $10.00 per communicant member for three-fourths of its entire membership with a minimum sponsorship level of $2,000.
For complete information on church sponsorship, visit this page on our web site.