Friday, May 6, 2016

Twenty-sixth Commencement May 20

Dr. Terry Johnson is the keynote speaker for the 29th Commencement at GPTS

Degrees were be conferred upon 11 senior students during the 29th Greenville Seminary Commencement Ceremony on May 20.

The ceremony was held at 6 p.m. at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, 2519 Woodruff Road Simpsonville, S.C. A reception followed. Dr. Terry Johnson, pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Ga. was the speaker, delivering an address on "Discipline for Godliness." Dr. Johnson is a prolific author. For a list of his books, go here.

Hear the testimonies of two graduates about their experience at GPTS.

Presenting the Graduating Class of 2016:

Stephen Alan Cook, M.Div.

Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas
College of Prior Study: Covenant Collage, BA; Converse College, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
Spouse: Rachel
Children: Quincy, Adelyn, Ellie (triplets)

Memories of GPTS: I am profoundly grateful for my time at GPTS. I am thankful for the camaraderie of classmates, the conversations, and the constructive sharpening of one another. I am thankful for the seminary's unwavering commitment to the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith. I am thankful for the level of godliness and academic excellence in my professors.  I am grateful for the professors’ personal investment in me. I am thankful that GPTS trains men to preach!
  Plans: I am currently planning to come under care in the OPC. In the short term, I will continue to teach at a private school and seek to serve in my local church.  I will also continue a prison ministry.

Jesse Michael Crutchley, M.Div.

Hometown: Severna Park, Maryland
Position: Pastor of Severn Run Church (PCA)
Spouse: Holly
Children: Ellie, Jack, Nora, Addison

Memories of GPTS: I am 39, and began attending GPTS 3 years ago. As an older student with a full family, it was implausible that I pack them up and head off to seminary. Local seminaries were no option, because they lacked the Reformed perspective I desired. Yet, I still believed that God was calling me to ministry. I am so thankful that my former pastor recommended the GPTS distance-learning program to me. Greenville has trained us as pastor-scholars from a truly Reformed Presbyterian heritage. I consider my time at GPTS as an ascension gift of Christ to me and through me to His Church at Severn Run. I can’t wait to begin my Th.M.!

Plans: I will continue pastoring Severn Run (PCA) and pursue my Th.M. on "John Owen and the Beatific Vision” under the mentorship of Greenville Professor, Dr. Ryan McGraw.

Adam Harris, M.Div.

Hometown: Belleville, Ontario
College of Prior Study: Redeemer University
Spouse: Joy
Children: Jonathan, Abigail

Memories of GPTS: I still remember my first convocation at GPTS. The ceremony as a whole struck me as a solemn and weighty charge to a few good men to take up the cause of the gospel and fight the good fight of the faith. Seminary would be a boot-camp; your friends would be your comrades on the battlefield; Christ would be your gracious captain; Scripture would be your marching orders. I've had a lot of fun at seminary, but when it comes to gospel ministry, there is no playing around at GPTS — you're no longer a civilian but an officer-in-training and a soldier in the great spiritual battle of the ages (2 Timothy 2:4). May the Lord grant his officers grace to defend the church and advance the Kingdom of Christ.

Plans: I am currently pursuing a call within the Canadian presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Xing Liu, M.Div.

Hometown: BaoTou, Inner Mongolia, China
College of Prior Study: Inner Mongolia Normal University
Spouse: Jinjing
Children: Jesse, Grace

Memories of GPTS:  I joined the family of GPTS in Fall 2011. During the five-year life and study, I not only learned  precious knowledge of theology but also understood and practiced how to be the Lord's bond-servant. Many godly professors and students are my example to follow. I am so grateful for all staff and students of the seminary for their love, kindness, and patience on me. Although I am a foreigner here, I can feel warm as in a big family.

Plans: God willing, I will serve in my home church Minnesota Mandarin Christian Church in Edina, Minnesota, which has extended me a call after graduation.

James Norris, M.Div.

Hometown: Watkinsville, Georgia
College of Prior Study: Covenant College
Spouse: Elizabeth

Memories of GPTS: When I first began to consider seminary I did not even know the depth of wisdom I received when I was counseled to put GPTS at the top of my list. I remember one class where the professor declared that if King Jesus commands us to jump, then it is our duty to ask “how high?” I have gratefully found this to be the attitude at GPTS in its desire to seek out and implement nothing short of the full council of God. GPTS is challenging and not at all for the faint of heart, but as that is what ministry shall be, then this institution is only preparing men all the more for a lifetime of kingdom service. I will be forever grateful for my professors who have strived to see me grow, classmates who became lifelong friends, the tools with which I have been equipped, and the love for Christ that permeates this place and all who grace its halls.

Plans: I plan to continue serving as an intern at Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Greer. S.C. through next year. Long term, I hope to be ordained and serve as an overseas missionary.

Nathan Samuel Riese, M.Div.

Hometown: Peoria, Illinois
College of Prior Study: Maranatha Bible University
Spouse: Kelli
Children: Ella, Dorothea, another due in August.

Memories of GPTS: I'll never forget how nervous I was to go from graduating with my B.A. in December 2009, to only a few weeks later driving 13 hours with my wife from western Illinois to GPTS for the Winter term's Presbyterian Church History intensive course. What a great way to transition from college to seminary! It was wonderful to be able to take my new bride with me on the "Presbyterian Historical Tour" with Dr. Willborn. He treated my wife and me to dinner in Charleston on that trip. That first class made a lasting impression on us. One of my other favorite memories from GPTS is Dr. Curto's unparalleled enthusiasm in his teaching. When he gets into it, he really gets into it. His "lectures" are the best preaching I've heard! The Lord used GPTS greatly, not only in academic training, but especially in my sanctification. I thank God for GPTS!

Plans: I am presently interning at a Reformed Presbyterian Church - Hanover Presbytery church plant in Peoria, Ill., from which I hope to receive a call in the near future.

Matthew Paul Siple, M.Div.

Hometown: Athens, Georgia
College of Prior Study: University of Georgia
Spouse: Nan
Children: Lelia, Matthew, John, Sam

Memories of GPTS:  I'm very grateful for my time at GPTS. I was able to attend Dr. Pipa's final homiletics course and Dr. Smith's last Introduction to Reformed Theology course. But my favorite time at GPTS was the Reformed Pastor class with Pastor Shishko (which happened to be his last as well). That week, the emphases on piety and theology really came together as we discussed life in the church as shepherds.

Plans:  I am pursuing ordination this summer in the PCA and plan to join the pastoral staff at Redeemer Presbyterian, my home church in Athens, Ga.

William M. Watson III, M.Div.

Hometown: Pompano Beach, Florida
College of Prior Study: Michigan State University
Spouse: Connie

Memories of GPTS: I have been a part-time distance student at GPTS since 2009. The flexibility of the distance program has been a great blessing. But I also appreciate the clear boundaries within which the distance education program operates. It has enabled me to complete a very high quality degree program that would not have been available to me otherwise. I deeply appreciate the faculty, staff, and student body at GPTS. There is an appropriate seriousness in the educational endeavors that take place at GPTS that is well seasoned with love, joy, and optimism because Christ by His Spirit is at work building His kingdom. It has been a great blessing to be a part of the GPTS community.

Plans:  I plan to continue serving as a ruling elder with an eye toward being ordained as a teaching elder.

Benjamin Peter Wontrop, M.Div.

Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia
College of Prior Study: Virginia Tech
Spouse: Anna

Memories of GPTS: I still remember picking up the promotional DVD from the GPTS booth at General Assembly several years ago, and the sense I had after watching it was that this was the place for me! GPTS's unwavering commitment to the Westminster Standards, emphasis on personal piety and dedication to the centrality of preaching stood out to me at the time; and I have not been disappointed. I first studied at the UK extension campus, and finished my final year back in the United States, where my wife and I have been extremely blessed to have experienced the wonderful fellowship of the seminary community and developed many good friendships that we pray will last many years into ministry.

Plans: Lord willing, I will be ministering as an associate pastor at Bury St. Edmunds Presbyterian Church (EPCEW), Bury St. Edmunds, England.

Zecharias Abraham, M.A.

Home Country: Eritrea
College of Prior Study: Kyihdega
Spouse: Bethel
Children: Jokabed, Yafet, Yosias, Miriam, Senay

Memories of GPTS: My time in GPTS has been a God-given blessed and rich time of learning and friendship. Every course I took and every interaction that I had with my professors has been edifying, enlightening and valuable for anyone preparing for Gospel ministry and those who are already ordained for Christian ministry such as myself. From how GPTS equipped, challenged, and empowered me to fulfill my God given pastoral ministry, I am completely convinced that anyone who wants to serve the Church of Jesus Christ with a sound, healthy, Christ-centered, and Christ-like theology and ministry should study in this Seminary. If you come to GPTS, I can guarantee you that you will be trained under faithful Bible scholars who love the Word and the Church of Jesus Christ and men who will become both your spiritual mentors and fathers. I will continue to be thankful to the Lord for GPTS which has been both the fountain of my theological knowledge and a a source of solace to me and my family who by God's providence went through a strenuous path of religious persecution until we landed in the United States of America. Thank you GPTS!

Plans: I have become pastor of Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Atlanta (Doraville), Georgia.

William F. Hill, Jr., B.Div.

Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina. (Rochester, N.Y. originally)
Spouse: Gwen
Children: Danielle, Jennifer, Bryan

Memories of GPTS: My fondest memory of Greenville Seminary is the commitment she has to the task of preaching God’s Word and an unswerving allegiance to the Scriptures and the Westminster Standards. The unapologetic approach to teaching the Reformed Faith in a way that is experiential, loving and clear will go with me for the rest of my life.

Plans: I have been offered, and have accepted a call to serve as pastor of Landis Presbyterian Church in Marion N.C.

The Summer Institute: Westminster Assembly and Pastoral Care

We live in a broken world and broken lives abound in it. Pastors and church elders are increasingly tasked with providing counsel, and many seek new tools to do so. But are there some old tools that speak to this need? What does the Westminster Confession, for example, have to say about pastoral care?

Greenville Seminary's 2016 Summer Institute, a week-long seminar for pastors and Christian laymen, will delve into this unique topic.

Dr. Chad B. Van Dixhoorn will lecture on "Westminster Assembly and Pastoral Care." The study will be held on the GPTS campus Aug. 1-5.

Pastors who take the course are eligible for continuing education credits. Others may receive credits for an M.Div. degree. Tuition for the institute is $225. Take $25 off additional registrations should anyone from your church attend with you. Designated GPTS presbytery representatives may receive a $50 discount. To become a presbytery rep, contact Garry Moes. Lunch will be offered to any presbytery reps attending the Institute on a day to be announced.

The schedule is as follows:
Monday, August 1: 6:00–9:00 p.m.
Tuesday–Thursday, August  2–4: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday, August 5: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Register and pay individual tuition online here. For Group Rate registrations, call Registrar Kathleen Curto at (864) 322-2717 ext. 302.

Make a vacation out of this trip to South Carolina by tying this institute in with the seminary's course on Southern Presbyterian Theology, Aug. 8-12, which includes exciting excursions to historical sites in beautiful Charleston and Columbia.

Dr. Van Dixhoorn, a Canadian-born theologian and historian, is editor of the five-volume "The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly: 1643-1652," published by Oxford University Press in 2012.

He is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div., Th.M.) and the University of Cambridge (Ph.D,). He has taught theology at the University of Nottingham and has held three fellowships at Cambridge, where he researched the history and theology of the Westminster Assembly and taught on the subject of Puritanism.

Dr. Van Dixhoorn has lectured since 2008 at Reformed Theological Seminary - Washington, where he teaches church history and practical theology. He has served as Associate Professor of Church History at RTS-Washington since 2013 and as Chancellor's Professor of Historical Theology since 2015. He has previously lectured at Greenville Seminary.

He served as pastor at Cambridge Presbyterian Church (UK) and then at Grace Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Va. for nine years.

Select Program

Summer in the South: Theology and History

"In January 1854, [John Lafayette Girardeau] and his wife Penelope Sarah ("Sal") moved from St. John Parish and Wilton Presbyterian Church ... to Charleston to assume the work begun by John B. Adger and the session of Second Presbyterian Church. The work was designed to establish a church for and of the slaves. In 1850, citizens of Charleston built a meeting house on Anson Street for the exclusive use of the slaves. After Adger's health failed, Girardeau was handpicked by Adger and Smyth to lead the work forward. The work expanded from thirty-six black members when Girardeau arrived to over 600 at the time of the American Armageddon. He preached to over 1,500 weekly from 1859 through 1861. 

"In 1858/59 the Anson Street Mission experienced a marvelous revival and in April 1859 they moved into a new building at the prestigious and prime intersection of Meeting and Calhoun Streets. The black membership was given the privilege of naming their church (which was particularized in 1858) and they chose "Zion." Zion Presbyterian Church became famous for Girardeau's preaching — he was called "the Spurgeon of America", but it was also noteworthy for its diaconal ministry in the community, catechetical training of hundreds in the city, sewing clubs for the women, and missionary activity. The outreach and influence of Zion was of such public notoriety that Girardeau and the session were often criticized and sometimes physically threatened. For example, the catechetical training and teaching of hymns and psalms was so effective that some Charlestonians believed Girardeau was teaching the slaves to read for themselves (which was contrary to state law). 

"After the War and before Girardeau could return to Charleston, a number of freedmen of Zion Presbyterian Church beckoned Girardeau to return to "the Holy City" and resume his work with them. They desired to have their white pastor whom they knew, loved, and respected, rather than a black missionary from the North. Throughout the post-War and Reconstruction years, he arduously worked amongst both black and white in Charleston. He mightily labored within the Southern Presbyterian Church to see that the freedmen were included in the church and in 1869 he nominated seven freedmen for the office of ruling elder in Zion Presbyterian Church, preached the ordination service, and with the white members of his session laid hands on his black brothers." (from

* * * * *

If this bit of obscure American history intrigues you and you would like to see where that ministry took place more than 150 years ago, you should register now for the annual Greenville Seminary Summer Theology Course and "educational vacation" historical tour, Aug. 8-12, open to both GPTS students and the public.

This summer's course again is Southern Presbyterian Theology, taught by Dr. C.N. Willborn.

The course is another opportunity for pastors to gain continuing education credits. The program also includes a fascinating tour of historic Presbyterian sites in beautiful Charleston and Columbia, S.C.

"Enjoy the beauty of South Carolina from the Up Country to the Low Country," says Dr. Willborn, recognized for his contributions to American and Southern Presbyterianism. "We will study some of the great doctrines of the Christian faith as set forth by the Southern luminaries. Consider this a vacation for those in love with truth."

Tuition for taking the course for M.Div. credit is $448 or to audit without credit it is $60. Use this link to register and pay tuition.

If you are a pastor, elder or other person involved in Christian counseling, you may wish to combine this event with the GPTS Summer Institute, the preceding week. Topic: "The Westminster Confession and Pastoral Care."

Dr. Willborn is adjunct professor of church history at GPTS and pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, Tenn. He serves as co-editor of The Confessional Presbyterian.

This is a unique course drawing from the contributions of international Calvinists like J. L. Girardeau, Charles Colcock Jones, B.M. Palmer, Stuart Robinson and J.H. Thornwell. Grand topics like Adoption, the Diaconate, Covenant theology, Biblical Theology and much more will be explored. In addition to the classroom lectures (which include generous Q&A times), the final two days will be on location in some of American Presbyterianism’s most historic sites, in Columbia and Charleston. In addition to Dr. Willborn, the course offers time with Dr. John R. de Witt, Mr. Graham Duncan (South Caroliniana Library Archivist), Dr. Pat Mellen (Senior Historian for Charleston Convention & Group Services), and Mr. Alphonso Brown (Gullah Tours).  

The dates and times for the course are as follows:
Monday, August 8: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. 
Tuesday, August 9:  9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday, August 10: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday, August 11: Tour in Columbia and Johns Island, South Carolina
Friday, August 12: Tour in Charleston, South Carolina
Details on Thursday and Friday tour available upon registration.

For more information, contact the Registrar:

Select Program

"The Value of Sound Theology": April 2016 Financial Report

During this past academic year, God has done great things here at GPTS, not the least of which were the addition of two brilliant new faculty members, one of the best theology conferences we have ever hosted, expanding interest in our media programs, advancements in our international extensions and outreach, more personal contact with our supporters, a deeper commitment to piety and revival through fasting and prayer, and much more. 

As our academic year draws to a close, so too does the 2015-16 Fiscal Year. Although we have managed by God's grace, the generosity of His people, and careful stewardship to meet our financial obligations to date and realize the above accomplishments, our financial accounts have seen many fluctuations from month to month, necessitating appropriation of limited reserve funds, as the financial report below shows.

Yet, the value of what we do here at GPTS is best measured in the progress of our students, who often could not answer their calls to the ministry through an education at GPTS without the investment our donors make in this low-tuition institution. We recently received a large donation from an elder in Charleston, S.C., saying, "I have served on the Examinations Committee at Presbytery in the past. GPTS students stand head and shoulders above other candidates entering the gospel ministry. Thank you for all you do for Christ’s Kingdom."

Here, in the words of some of our current students, are testimonials about what your gifts are accomplishing:

Zack and Jocelyn Groff
"I thank God for working His kind providence through GPTS and its generous supporters in providing me with a world-class seminary education. Through GPTS, I am able to pursue the training that I need for a Christ-exalting pastoral ministry. My experiences in this past year confirm GPTS's reputation for biblically faithful (and affordable) instruction in the theological tradition of confessional Presbyteriansm. The affordability and flexibility of the distance program has allowed me to begin my studies without uprooting my family, leaving my full-time job, or going into debt. Before I found out about GPTS, I thought that this kind of program simply did not exist. I thank God for leading me to Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary!" — Zack Groff

Curt and Precious Straeter
"My first year at GPTS has shown my wife and me the immense value of sound theology that is practically applied. Every class is a means to cultivate godliness not only in a future congregation, but even in my family's life now as I study, all to the chief end of God's glory. This semester, Dr. Morales's Pentateuch class has served as a shining example of such application, and it has been one of the finest courses of any kind I have taken at any institution." — Curt Straeter

Michael and Melissa Spangler

"My professors at GPTS show me every day more and more of the glory of Christ in his Word, and make me more and more eager to preach his glorious gospel!" — Michael Spangler


Our total-income budget for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, is $1.23 million. As things stand, we will need some $133,000 during May and June to meet our budgeted obligations for the rest of FY2015-16. Although God has graciously provided in such a way that we have never ended a fiscal year in the red, each year sees financial valleys during many months. We have been able this year to tap a reserve made possible through a bequest received during the previous year, but we will need an additional $200,000 above budget to replenish that crucial reserve for the new fiscal and academic year.

The tables below indicate our general operating fund financial situation as of the end of April 2016 and the first 10 months of our 2015-16 fiscal year. Unrestricted general fund donations from churches and individuals during April totaled $36,930, which was $31,028 below the $67,958 budgeted for such income. Total income for April was $53,748, including $16,667 from a reserve stemming from an unbudgeted bequest. Expenses of $97,318 were $4,168 below the $101,486 budgeted for expenses.

Donation Income (Unrestricted)
Other Income*
Total Income
Net Income

Donation Income (Unrestricted)
Other Income*
Net Income

*Includes a $16,667 monthly draft from a 2015 bequest reserve (see graph below).

 Capital Campaign Goal
 Long-term Pledges Outstanding
 Total Received and Pledged
 Outstanding Obligations
 Monthly Payment (Interest Only)
 Remaining Mortgage

Donate to GPTS through the PayPal Giving Fund. Giving through this Fund means 100% of your gift will reach GPTS, without the usual processing fees deducted. You can also support the seminary by buying and selling through the eBay for Charity system.
Gifts may also be mailed to: Greenville Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687.

And don't forget to do your online shopping at AmazonSmile. Log on to and select Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary as your charity. Or click on the AmazonSmile banner at the very bottom of this e-newsletter. 

Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable clients: Click here for Donor-Advised Fund direct deposit. Wells Fargo employees: check with your company about matching gifts to GPTS.

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

Notice: Low Overhead

Much attention has been paid in recent years to the rising cost of higher education, and particularly to the rapid growth in administrative expenses. Since 1980, tuition costs have tripled at public universities and doubled at private colleges. Over the same period, faculty-to-student ratios have remained fairly constant, while administrator-to-student ratios have significantly dropped.

According to Benjamin Ginsberg, writing for, in an article entitled "Administrators Ate My Tuition," "Between 1975 and 2005, total spending by American higher educational institutions, stated in constant dollars, tripled, to more than $325 billion per year."
"Forty years ago, America’s colleges employed more professors than administrators. The efforts of 446,830 professors were supported by 268,952 administrators and staffers. Over the past four decades, though, the number of full-time professors or 'full-time equivalents'—that is, slots filled by two or more part-time faculty members whose combined hours equal those of a full-timer—increased slightly more than 50 percent. That percentage is comparable to the growth in student enrollments during the same time period. But the number of administrators and administrative staffers employed by those schools increased by an astonishing 85 percent and 240 percent, respectively. 
"Today, administrators and staffers safely outnumber full-time faculty members on campus. In 2005, colleges and universities employed more than 675,000 full-time faculty members or full-time equivalents. In the same year, America’s colleges and universities employed more than 190,000 individuals classified by the federal government as 'executive, administrative and managerial employees.' Another 566,405 college and university employees were classified as 'other professional.' This category includes IT specialists, counselors, auditors, accountants, admissions officers, development officers, alumni relations officials, human resources staffers, editors and writers for school publications, attorneys, and a slew of others. These 'other professionals' are not administrators, but they work for the administration and serve as its arms, legs, eyes, ears, and mouthpieces."
At Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, the ratio of full-time faculty to students is about 1-to-10. The full-time or full-time equivalent staff-to-student ratio is about 1-to-18. Annual enrollment varies, but is typically around 60-70 students in recent years, including on-campus students, distance-learning students, and students enrolled in our two international extension programs.

GPTS spends relatively little on administrative costs. Operating expenses, staff salaries, and occupancy expenses (overhead) totaled $404,689 in fiscal year 2014-15, the last complete fiscal year for which records are available. That came to about $5,800 per student.

Greenville Seminary's full-time staff consists of the director of development and recruiting and the development associate. These full-time employees typically "wear a number of hats." The full-time librarian position is a hybrid staff/faculty function, but is officially classified as faculty. Part-time staffers include the registrar, business manager, art director, IT director, custodian, and administrative assistant to the president.

Our staffing costs are reduced greatly by two factors: 1) a number of volunteers performing staff functions, and 1) tuition-waiver students providing labor to supplement what their churches contribute to support of the seminary on their behalf. Waiver students serve, for example, as media director, on-site IT specialist, and library and maintenance assistants. Volunteers serve as receptionists, chapel musicians, and business-office assistants, among other things.

During FY15, instructional program items, including faculty salaries, totaled $546,835. That came to $7,812 per student.

The GPTS trustees have had a commitment from the beginning to keep tuition rates very low, so that students called to the ministry do not leave seminary owing a mountain of debt as students at other seminaries often do. Tuition typically costs about $6,000 to $8,000 per year for full-time students. With tuition bringing in under $500,000 a year and expenses budgeted at $1.1 million (FY15), the difference is made up by the seminary's faithful donors.

Donors can be assured that their gifts are funding an institution that puts a premium on careful stewardship of its supporters' investments. As of May 4, expenses for the current fiscal year were $14,200 below budget. The fiscal year ends June 30.

The Proper Practicing of Righteousness

Greenville Seminary has committed in recent times to observe special days of fasting and prayer at least twice a year, in light of monumental moral issues with which the church is being confronted in our times. At a recent special chapel as part of this observance, visiting Pastor Richard Thomas of Mount Calvary Presbyterian Church in Roebuck, S.C. taught on biblical requirements and attitudes for practicing "righteous acts" such as alms giving, prayer and fasting (Matthew 6:1ff).

We are happy to share his message below.

Pastor Mike Myers
Another very timely and powerful featured chapel message, delivered by Alumnus Mike Myers on May 3rd, can be heard here. If you are discouraged about the moral decay of our times, Psalm 11 has some wonderful comfort for you. You will want to set aside time to listen to this great message.

For more such resources, visit the GPTS channel on YouTube and the GPTS & Mt. Olive page at SermonAudio. And don't forget our podcast, Confessing our Hope.

Your Invitations to Breakfast with GPTS

PCA General Assembly — Mobile

Join Dr. Joseph Pipa and other personnel and friends of Greenville Seminary for our annual breakfast at the 2016 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. The breakfast will be on Wednesday, June 22, at 7 a.m.

This annual gathering is a great time to get updated on the ministry of Greenville Seminary and to meet with like-minded friends and associates.

The General Assembly will be held in Mobile, Ala. at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center June 20-24. The breakfast will be held in the East Ballroom on the Concourse Level.

The breakfast is free, but reservations are required.

If you would like to help us host this event by making a donation to help defray the substantial cost of this event, you may do so by tapping the button below.

We hope you will join us for this time of food, fellowship and friend-raising. Also plan to visit our booth in the exhibit hall all week.

OPC General Assembly — Sandy Cove

Commissioners attending the 2016 General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church are invited to have breakfast with Greenville Seminary on Friday, June 10.

The General Assembly will be held at Sandy Cove Conference Center on Chesapeake Bay in North East, Maryland, June 8-14. Watch for announcements during the assembly for information about where the breakfast will be held at Sandy Cove.

No reservation is necessary, but it will be helpful to know how many guests we should expect in order to plan logistically. You may use the form here to let us know whether to expect you. Breakfast attendees will go through the breakfast food line with all other commissioners, but they will be directed to the room designated for the GPTS breakfast.

Come for fellowship and an update on the progress of our ministry presented by seminary personnel.

Broadcast and Publishing Notes

New broadcasts on the seminary's Confessing Our Hope podcast were aired in April. These included:
  • "The Heart is the Target" — In this edition of the podcast, Dr. Murray Capill was our guest as we discuss his book The Heart is the Target. This was an outstanding discussion on the importance of application in preaching.
  • "Faith & Practice #23" — Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr. answers listener questions related to the GPTS Spring Theology Conference on Marriage, Family & Sexuality.
  • "Faith & Practice #22" — Dr. Pipa answers listener questions on the 9th commandment, Galatians 5:14, amending the Westminster Standards and the PCA BCO, woman counselors, and much more.
  • "The Pastor's Family" — Our guest was Pastor Bian Croft. Pastor Croft has written extensively on pastoral ministry and blogs regularly at “practical shepherding.” Rev. Croft is senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the founder of Practical Shepherding, a non-profit organization committed to equipping pastors all over the world in the practical matters of pastoral ministry.
You may now download archived "Faith and Practice" podcasts from a new page on the Confessing Our Hope web site. The archived broadcasts are arranged in volumes of five editions each in a compressed "zip" file. Upcoming shortly, each archived volume will have a list of topics and questions discussed.

Dr. Ryan McGraw, associate professor of systematic theology and a prolific published writer, has penned an article at the Alliance for Confessing Evangelicals' Meet the Puritans blog entitled "Why Write New Books When There are Good Old Ones."

Acknowledging the monumental contributions great thinkers and writers of the past have made, Dr. McGraw concludes there is still benefit in our times for new writers with spiritual insights: "Writing books is not for every pastor, but we can be sure that Satan will continue to flood the presses with bad books. Let us not under-appreciate the value of good books, however short their life-span. Who knows but that Christ will use our work in some measure as the Spirit blesses it to keep believers in joyful subjection to the Father’s will.

Read the full article here.

Also at Meet the Puritans, Dr. MGraw has recently contributed "Have We Undervalued the Sufferings of Christ?"

"Sometimes the only effective means of cultivating spiritual joy under hardship and persecution is to consider that we have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings and that it is granted to us not only to believe in Christ, but to suffer for his name," he writes.

"So no, it is not likely possible to overemphasize the importance of Christ’s cross. However, is it possible to diminish the depths of divine love to us in Christ by limiting his vicarious suffering to the cross."

Read the full article here.

Spangler to Offer Latin Course

Visiting Lecturer and GPTS Student Michael Spangler will be teaching a two-week intensive course in Latin in the Carolina Blue Ridge Mountain foothills June 9-22. The public is invited to register and attend.

This full-time two-week residential course offered by the Davenant Latin Institute at its Davenant House at Laureldale Study Center near Tyron, N.C. is intended to lay a good foundation for students eager to read Latin literature and/or begin teaching the language.

From the first day, participants will be immersed in Latin through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They will study the engaging narrative of Hans Ørberg’s Lingua Latina, memorize Latin creeds and hymns, and enjoy conversations, games, and field trips, all which will help them learn and internalize Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, as well as whet their appetite for further study.

The course is intended primarily for beginners who have no previous experience with Latin. Those who know some Latin grammar but who desire to develop their reading ability are also welcome to enroll, as are Latin teachers who want to begin using active Latin in their classrooms.

The cost is $1,000, including the course and room and board. Commuting students pay $700. To register, go here. For more information before registering, go here and fill out the form at the bottom of the page. To contact, Mr. Spangler, send an e-mail message to Mr. Spangler, a third-year Master of Divinity student, teaches Ecclesiastical Latin elective courses at Greenville Seminary.

New Look for E-newsletter

If you are reading this and have checked out this web address before, you will have noticed that GPTS Online, the Monthly E-newsletter of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has a new look.

The redesign was prompted in part by feedback that the former style, with its dark green background, was sometimes difficult to read on some devices, particularly small screen smartphones. We hope this brighter, cleaner version is an improvement.

GPTS Online has both full desktop-computer and condensed mobile-device versions. Both can be accessed by logging onto

We'd like to know your opinion about the new look or any other aspect of our E-newsletter.