Monday, November 7, 2016

Register Now for 2017 GPTS Spring Theology Conference

Registrations are now open for the 2017 Greenville Seminary Spring Theology Conference to be held March 14-16 next year. The conference will commemorate the 500th anniversary Martin Luther's initiation of the Protestant Reformation under the theme “Trumpet Call: 500 years of Gospel Freedom.” 

Three Luther scholars are slated to deliver four lectures during the conference, including Greenville Seminary's own Dr. James McGoldrick, professor of church history.

Planned lectures include:

  • Luther’s Providential God (Dr. Robert Kolb)
  • Luther’s Preaching on the Parables (Dr. Robert Kolb)
  • The Law as Friend and Foe in the Theology of Luther (Dr. Michael Whiting)
  • Luther on Life without Dichotomy (Dr. James McGoldrick)
  • The “Solas” of the Reformation (Dr. Michael Morales, Rev. Cliff Blair, Dr. Joseph Pipa, Dr. Joel Beeke, and Rev. Carl Robbins)

Luther expert Dr. Robert Kolb is emeritus missions professor of systematic theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. His publications include some twenty-five books, including Martin Luther: Confessor of the Faith; Luther and the Stories of God; and Martin Luther and the Enduring Word of God.

Dr. Michael Whiting is author of Luther in English, in which he argues that scholars have often oversimplified Luther's theology of Law and Gospel and have thus wrongly diminished his very significant, even principal, influence upon first-generation evangelicals William Tyndale, John Frith, and Robert Barnes during the English Reformation.

Dr. James McGoldrick will focus on Luther's doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, which, he says, Luther regarded as the proper basis for the understanding of the Christian life. Among Dr. McGoldrick's many publications is Luther's English Connection and Luther's Scottish Connection.

Addressing the so-called "Five Solas" of the Reformation are:
  • Soli Deo Gloria: Life that Glorifies God — Dr. Michael Morales, professor of biblical studies at Greenville Seminary.
  • Sola Gratia — Dr. Joseph Pipa, Jr., president of Greenville Seminary.
  • Sola Scriptura — Dr. Joel Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
  • Solus Christus — Rev. Cliff Blair, GPTS alumnus; pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, N.C.; and faculty member of Greyfriars Classical Academy, Matthews, N.C.
  • Sola Fide: What Saving Faith Will Do — Rev. Carl Robbins, pastor of conference host church Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, Simpsonville, S.C.
Visit the GPTS web site for full details and registration opportunities. "Early bird" discounted registration fees are available to those who register on or before January 17. Discounts are also available to members of churches that support Greenville Seminary (special discount code required).

Prospective students who attend the pre-conference GPTS Encounter 2017 open house may attend the main conference free (See story in this E-newsletter). Register here.

Prospective Students: Encounter GPTS 2017

Each year in advance of the seminary’s annual Spring Theology Conference, we set aside some time to welcome and orient prospective students who may be considering GPTS for their theological education.

In 2017, we are again offering activities and opportunities to learn what GPTS is all about. Attending Encounter GPTS on March 13-14 also entitles prospective students to participate in the main conference as our special guests with complimentary registration. This is a unique opportunity to enhance your understanding about a seminary education, aid in your decision-making. and renew your mind.

This pre-conference gathering for prospective students includes:

    ~ Campus Tour and Luncheon
    ~ Opportunities to Attend Classes
    ~ Meetings with Faculty and Students
    ~ An Informative Panel Discussion
    ~ Special Chapel Service
    ~ Spring Theology Conference Attendance

Why Should You Consider GPTS?

Our unique programs are designed to train passionate, articulate preachers of the Gospel in the doctrinal traditions of the historic faith of the Reformation. We train new generations to preach without compromising the claims of the Word of God and the time-honored Presbyterian and Reformed Confessions. Our distinctives include unswerving commitments to the Authority of Scripture, Doctrinal Integrity, Immersion in the Original Languages of the Bible, Preservation of our Christian Heritage, Christ-centered and Heartfelt Preaching, and Affordable Tuition.

Encounter GPTS Schedule

Monday, March 13

11:30 a.m. – Welcome Luncheon in the Student Commons
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Attend Classes
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion with Faculty and Leadership
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Evening Class

Tuesday, March 14

9:00 – 10:45 a.m. – Attend Classes
11:00 – 11:45 a.m. – Pre-conference Chapel
1:00 p.m. – Theology Conference at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church Starts

To register, go here

To register for the main conference for free, follow the instructions in the confirmation message you will receive after submitting your Encounter GPTS 2017 registration.

Meanwhile, watch this brief video explaining why you should explore GPTS.

Stewardship Report: Mission 30

The Annual GPTS Year-end Partnership Campaign

The battle for the future of the church is reaching critical stages. We are asking you to enlist in Mission 30, Greenville Seminary's campaign to provision our 30th year of serving Christ by equipping future leaders for His church.

Will you partner with us in this vital cause to raise $250,000 by the end of December 2016, the first half of our fiscal year? This goal is geared to achieve our budgeted needs and build a safety reserve for the second half of our fiscal and academic year.

The Fiscal Year 2016-17 seminary budget contemplates income of $1.28 million, including $1 million in gifts from supporters. The budget anticipates $1.27 million in expenses. These are large numbers which have grown steadily during the past three decades, but they are based on real-world requirements for what it takes to do the unique work GPTS is privileged to do.

Today is Giving Tuesday. It's an appropriate time to "pay forward" some of the gifts God has given you this year. Greenville Seminary counts its many blessings, including our network of like-minded friends and motivated partners who make this ministry possible instrumentally through the gracious providence of God. Experts tell us this seminary is extraordinarily blessed to have a relatively small group of supporters who give big. We have a steady cadre of average folks who give as the Lord enables them. If you have not yet joined the cause, won't you send $25, $50, $100, $500 or more now.

As the seminary enters its 30th year of training men for the Gospel ministry, we must lay a solid base of financial support to advance the mission to which God has called us — building on an old foundation an educational edifice structured to meet the spiritual needs of the 21st century church.

Be watching your mail for more about Mission 30 and what your gifts are accomplishing at GPTS.
GOAL: $250,000. We need your help to advance Mission 30 during the coming year of service for Christ and His Church.

A Message from President Pipa

I do not need to tell you we live in desperate times — both for our nations and the Church. A recent poll by Ligonier Ministries demonstrated the awful decline in the evangelical church. There is great ignorance about the Bible and the Christian life.

We at Greenville Seminary firmly believe that the answer is the prayerful use of the ordinary means by which God extends His grace. And so for the past three decades we have focused on preparing men to be faithful preachers of the Word of God. To accomplish this, we depend on partners like you.

We spend about $19,000 annually for each student who studies here. We receive more than 70 per cent of those funds from individual and church supporters. We deliberately keep our tuition low (about $5,900/year) so that men do not graduate with debt. Our budget calls for about $936,000 in general fund gifts from individuals and churches during FY 2016-17. Additionally, we need to build financially toward upcoming faculty additions — one in August 2017 and a second in the next couple of years.

Usually, we receive about three-fourths of our gifts from late November through December. This year our goal is to raise $250,000 by the end of 2016. We gratefully appreciate our faithful supporters.

Whether or not you are able to begin or to continue underwriting our work with a monetary contribution, we ask you to pray that God will keep us faithful and provide for our needs.

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr.

Financial Report for October 2016

The tables below indicate our general operating fund financial situation as of the end of October and thus far in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Budget Performance:

Unrestricted general fund donations from churches ($41,585) and individuals ($27,116) in October totaled $68,701, which was $9,299 below the $78,000 budgeted for such income. Expenses of $98,430 in October were $422 below the $98,852 budgeted for expenses.

Actual Income and Expenses:

Donation Income (Unrestricted)
Other Income
Total Income
Net Income
Donation Income (Unrestricted)
Other Income
Total 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. So far this calendar year, more than $15,758 has been donated fee-free through PayPal Giving Fund, some anonymously. Thank you so much!
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.

In 2015, Congress passed a law permanently allowing taxpayers age 70½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 annually from their IRA accounts directly to qualified charities (such as GPTS) without first having to recognize the distribution as income. For more information about this tax-saving option, go here or see your financial adviser. Clients using Donor Advised Funds, including those offered by the PCA Foundation, should read about conditions and limitations on this program.


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.

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.

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

A GPTS Education by Degrees

Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is a biblically grounded institution committed to the doctrines of historic Presbyterianism and the Reformed Faith. If you are considering an advanced education to prepare for the Gospel ministry and service in the church or mission field at an institution that refuses to compromise with the theological trends of the day, we hope you will explore the information offered below and on our web site. There you will find full information about our distinctives and our program, as well as numerous Christian resources to enhance your spiritual life.


GPTS offers four degree programs:
  1. Bachelor of Divinity
  2. Master of Divinity
  3. Master of Arts in Religion
  4. Master of Ministry for Ruling Elders and Deacons
All of these are graduate level degrees. Read the descriptions and the informational chart below for details of each program. Advanced degree studies beyond these are by invitation of the faculty only and are limited, since the seminary's primary focus is on training individuals for active, practical (though scholarly) pastoral and pulpit ministry more than on academic or scholastic achievements.

Divinity Program – Master of Divinity & Bachelor of Divinity

The Divinity Degrees are for students whose primary vocational goals are focused on ordained pastoral ministry and preaching of the Word of God. Because ordination to the office of teaching elder is the purpose, the Divinity program is open to men only, according to the seminary's understanding of the scriptural requirements for church offices.

The B.Div. program is identical to the M.Div. program in content and requirements, but it designed for mature men (age 30 or older) who do not have a B.A. degree. It should not be seen a substitute for an undergraduate degree.

Master of Arts in Religion

The M.A. program emphasizes knowledge of Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, and Historical Theology, as well as personal piety. This program is designed for men and women involved in the various non-ordained ministries of the church who wish to gain a solid biblical education for their particular work. Those involved in youth ministry, missions, or Christian education will find this program particularly suited to their callings. The program is an excellent opportunity for men and women in non-church professions to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith.

Master of Ministry for Ruling Elders and Deacons

The quality of the ministry of an elder or deacon depends on his personal devotion to the Lord, his knowledge of the Word, his understanding of biblical church government, and his specific function with that system of government. Therefore, the proper training for an elder or deacon or for a candidate for those offices is of great importance. The MMRE/MMD program includes training in personal piety, Presbyterian/Reformed church government, and the role of the elder and deacon in the church.

What a GPTS Education Looks Like

What should you expect to study when enrolling in a theological education program at Greenville Seminary? The chart below provides a thumbnail summary of each program.

Divinity Program

Classroom Credit Hours
Field Education Units
Average Years to Complete

Coursework Areas
Credit Hours
Old Testament & Hebrew Studies
22 hours
New Testament & Greek Studies
24 hours
Historical Theology
15 hours
Systematic Theology
17 hours
Applied Theology
16 hours
Apologetics & Ethics
14 hours
Electives: 16 options available
1-2 hours each

Master of Arts in Religion

Classroom Credit Hours
Specialization Options*
Average Years to Complete

Coursework Areas
Credit Hours
2 hours
OT Biblical Theology
2 hours
Gospels & Acts
2 hours
NT Biblical Theology
2 hours
Reformed Spirituality
2 hours
Ancient Church History
3 hours
Medieval Church History
3 hours
Reformation Church History
4 hours
Modern Church History
3 hours
Introduction to Reformed Theology
3 hours
Prolegomena & Theology
3 hours
Creation, Man and Sin
3 hours
Christ & Salvation
3 hours
Ecclesiology & Polity
3 hours
Introduction to Apologetics
3 hours
3 hours

*Specialization Options: Biblical Languages, Church History, Apologetics, Systematic Theology

Master of Ministry
For Ruling Elders & Deacons

Classroom Credit Hours
Course Segments
Years to Complete

Coursework Areas
Credit Hours
Reformed Spirituality
2 hours
Presbyterian Church History
2 hours
Introduction to Reformed Theology
3 hours
Creation, Man & Sin
3 hours
Christ & Salvation
3 hours
Ecclesiology & Polity
3 hours
2 hours
Reformed Pastor
3 hours
Evangelism & Missions
4 hours
Christian Education
2 hours
Pastoral Counseling
3 hours