Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stewardship Report for September 2016

A Stewardship Message for Our Church Partners

Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has always viewed itself as an academy serving the church. We state in our catalog: “Since the Church is the Christ-ordained means for the spiritual growth of God’s people, the Seminary believes it can best serve as an arm of the Church.”

We exist to serve the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We further state as part of our purpose: “…to provide for the Church an adequate supply and succession of able and faithful New Covenant ministers of the Word and sacrament; workmen that need not to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth; reproving, rebuking and exhorting by means of expository, experimental, and applicatory preaching.”

We are thankful for the support given by so many churches this past year. We are supported by churches from a variety of Presbyterian and Reformed denominations. Greenville Seminary from its inception has been involved in the life of many of these bodies. Our graduates are serving in a wide variety of Reformed and Presbyterian congregations throughout the United States and as denominational missionaries at home and abroad.

We are now humbly asking like-minded churches to prayerfully consider placing GPTS in your 2017 budget. As you may know, Greenville Seminary plans its programs on a fiscal-year basis, beginning each July 1st. As we made our plans this year it became evident that in order to meet expenses we needed to see an increase in donations from churches over last year. We also have a need to build a reserve fund to draw on during months when income is low. To meet these two needs, a 24 per cent increase in church support will be necessary this fiscal year. Please consider if you may be able to increase your congregation’s giving by a similar percentage. We certainly understand the challenge of squeezing extra money out of a budget. If there is no room for an increase, please consider the possibility of a special collection from the congregation. We would be glad to send you materials to distribute to your congregation outlining our distinctives and the importance of both individuals and churches investing in the education of future ministers.

Your commitment to us represents a partnership that goes beyond a mere financial transaction. We want to keep your congregation informed about our work and we covet your prayers. We try to keep donor congregations informed about our work via this monthly e-newsletter and our quarterly Foundations Update newsletter. The GPTS Board of Trustees envisions a close partnership with our donor churches which includes not only their financial support but also accountability to them on our part. To that end, we encourage you to consider becoming a GPTS Sponsoring Session or Consistory.

As stated above, our Board of Trustees and Faculty are very clear on our purpose as a seminary. As we seek to serve the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ we desire input from like-minded teaching and ruling elders on how we may better do so. We would particularly like to hear observations from ruling and teaching elders about the quality of ministerial candidates coming up through their Presbytery and Classis. We have developed a survey on the subject (see separate article in this newsletter). If one or more of your Session or Consistory members would be willing to fill out and submit it, we would appreciate it. We will be reporting on the findings in one of our future e-newsletters.

The Lord has used your partnership, as well as that of many other churches, to enable us to continue this work for 30 years. We recently asked several graduates to reflect on their education at Greenville Seminary. Pastor Jim McCarthy, now associate pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida, had this to say about how his years studying here prepared him for ministry,
What is man’s greatest need? A survey of modern ministerial approaches yields a plethora of conflicting answers, from community to entertainment, from academic enrichment to affirming encouragement. But the Bible is neither confused nor conflicted. “We implore you on behalf of Christ,” urged Paul, “be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20). Thus, sinful man’s greatest need is to be reconciled to a holy God; and, like Paul, the minister of the gospel is a minister of that reconciliation. How has God equipped the gospel minister to bring sinners to reconciling faith in Jesus Christ?  Paul asked, “And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14). Preaching is the Spirit-wrought agent of regenerating reconciliation! I am grateful to God that Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is neither confused nor conflicted regarding the unequaled significance of gospel preaching. I am grateful to God that my instructors demonstrated and demanded white-hot, Christ-centered, pleading passion from the pulpit, marked by unapologetic, exegetical fidelity to God’s word and reliance upon His Holy Spirit. I pray to one day reach the standard to which, God through them, has called me.”  
A current senior student, Christopher Campbell from Platte City, Missouri, recently called to pastor the Northland Reformed Church in Kansas City, Missouri, shares his experience, saying,

As a student under care within the Reformed Church of the United States (RCUS), I very much appreciate the opportunity to attend a seminary that agrees with our denomination on the foundational principles — the authority of Scripture, the necessity of preaching, the centrality of Christ, and the worship of the Triune God. These foundational principles are relevant in every Christian generation. Therefore, every generation must work diligently to train men to passionately and persuasively proclaim the Word of God. During my time at GPTS, I have received both a practical training for ministry and a positive example of ministry. It is my prayer that God will, through the instruction I have received, use me in the service of His Church and unto the glory of His Name.
One other important aspect of our philosophy is the desire to make a seminary education financially accessible to all. Most schools receive about 75 per cent of their income from students. We have reversed that and receive only about 25 per cent of our income from tuition and fees. That means we have to raise annually about 75 per cent of our operating income from individuals and churches.

For this reason, we are addressing this to faithful church leaders to ask you to consider placing the seminary in your 2017 budget. If you cannot place us in your church budget this year, would you consider a special offering on behalf of Greenville Seminary?

We are encouraged by Jim’s and Christopher's testimonies and those of other graduates and students. We hope these are an encouragement to you also. The Lord calls His men and equips them, and we are privileged to participate in His Work. We thank you again for your partnership with us.

~ President Dr. Joseph Pipa, Jr. and Development Director Garry Moes contributed to this report.

Financial Report for September 2016

The tables below indicate our general operating fund financial situation as of the end of September and the first quarter of the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Budget Performance:

Unrestricted general fund donations from churches ($23,591) and individuals ($57,795) through September 27 totaled $81,386, which was $3,386 above the $78,000 budgeted for such income. Expenses of $101,712 in September were $2,860 above the $98,852 budgeted for expenses.

Actual Income and Expenses:

Donation Income (Unrestricted)
Other Income
Total Income
Net Income

Donation Income (Unrestricted)
Other Income
Net Income

 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.
Do you work for a company that offers matching gifts when you contribute to a charity? Why not ask your employer about whether your gifts to GPTS can be matched. Here is a list of some of the top companies that offer matching gifts or reward your volunteer work for your charity. Many other companies do as well, to support employee charitable giving and extend corporate philanthropy.

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