Monday, January 11, 2016

New Biblical Studies Courses Added to Divinity Curriculum

The Board of Trustees has approved the addition of six new courses in Biblical Studies to the Divinity Degree program at Greenville Seminary.

The new Pentateuch course (OT11 - 2 hrs.) taught by Dr. Michael Morales, will be offered first during the upcoming Spring 2016 semester. The other new Biblical Studies courses will be offered beginning with the Fall 2016 semester and thereafter.

Course Title
No.
Instructor
Credits
Year
Pentateuch
OT11
Dr. Michael Morales
2 hrs.
1
History and Poets
OT14
Dr. Benjamin Shaw
3 hrs.
1
Prophets
OT24
Dr. Michael Morales
3 hrs.
2
Gospels and Acts
NT24
Dr. Sidney Dyer
2 hrs.
2
Pauline Epistles
NT33
Adjunct Professor
2 hrs.
3
General Epistles – Revelation
NT34
Adjunct Professor
2 hrs.
3


The current Old Testament Introduction and New Testament Introduction courses have been dropped from the Biblical Studies curriculum. The current Beginning Greek I and II courses have been combined into a single 3-hour course, Beginning Greek (NT12), taught by Dr. Dyer.

In the Applied Theology Department, the current Christian Education and Evangelism and the Missions courses have been realigned. The new plan creates a separate Christian Education course and combines Evangelism and Missions into a single course. Both will again be taught by Dr. Tony Curto.

The Foundations Year course on History of Philosophy has been dropped. Also eliminated are the Introduction to Islam course and the entire Master of Arts in Apologetics and Islam degree program, due to lack of enrollment interest and availability of the former instructor for the Islam courses. 

The M.A. in Religion program still includes optional specializations in Biblical Languages, Church History, Apologetics, and Systematic Theology. With the elimination of the OT and NT Introduction courses, the M.A. program has been reduced from 16 to 14 courses of study.

The realignment of the Christian Education & Evangelism and Missions courses also effects the Master of Ministry for Ruling Elders and M.M. for Deacons programs, adding one more course to the curricula.

All of the changes are reflected in the new 2016-2019 Academic Catalog currently under production and review.


This Is a Conference You Will Not Want to Miss!


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.

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 highly charged contemporary subject of "Marriage, Family and Sexuality." Register by Jan. 29 to take advantage of Early Bird rates! (See below.)

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.

The conference will be held again at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, 2519 Woodruff Rd, Simpsonville, S.C. Register online at the GPTS web site. 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.

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 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. 

The 2016 Prospective Student Campus Preview: With Perks!

Thinking about a seminary education? Wondering what it would look like? Or which seminary to choose? We can help you make a decision!

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, and participate in a panel discussion. As an added perk, first-time prospective students who participate in the campus preview events will be allowed to attend the main Spring Conference free as a guest of the seminary. That's a $115 value! If you eventually enroll, you may be able to recover your travel expenses as well.

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.

Here's what one prospective student visitor to the GPTS campus said: "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!"

Seminary Recruiter Garry Moes briefing student prospects
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. Be sure to follow the special instructions in the confirmation notice for registering for the main Spring Theology Conference for free.

To download a printable brochure, go here.





Taking the Campus Tour
Lunch Conversation with Dr. Tony Curto in the Student Commons

Financial Report for December 2015

As we stand at the threshold of a new year, we give glory to God and thanks to His people who responded so overwhelmingly to Greenville Seminary's GPTS Impact 2015 year-end financial campaign. The campaign goal of $180,000 was substantially exceeded as our faithful supporters, new and old, contributed a total of $211,272 during the campaign period from Nov. 30 through Jan. 4!

For the full calendar year of 2015, contributions to the general fund totaled almost $1.04 million and income from all sources totaled nearly $1.3 million, illustrating again what a major role donations play in our financial foundation. Expenses for the calendar year totaled $1.2 million.

The tables below indicate our general operating fund financial situation as of the end of December 2015 and the first half of our 2015-16 fiscal year, which began July 1, 2015. Unrestricted general fund donations from churches and individuals during December totaled $194,867, which was $126,909 above the $67,958 budgeted for such income. Total income for the month, including planned funds withdrawn from reserves, was $281,955, which was $179,085 above budget projections of $102,870. Expenses of $115,716 were $9,048 more than the $106,668 budgeted for expenses. We received a $40,000 capital projects grant from a business in December, and these funds were placed into our reserve account to reimburse what was withdrawn recently from reserves to meet a contractual obligation to pave a parking lot shared by a neighboring organization.

We continue to need your help as the new year lies before us! Your gifts and prayers are vital to the accomplishment of our mission. Will you give generously and pray earnestly for a strong financial foundation this month? We express our thanks to those who have already given.

 GENERAL OPERATING FUND - DECEMBER 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

 Donation Income (unrestricted)
$194,867 
 Other Income (see note below)*
$87,089 
 Total Income
$281,955 
 Expenses
$115,716 
 Net Income
$166,240 
 GENERAL OPERATING FUND -  FISCAL 2015-16
Donation Income
$398,983 
Other Income (see note below)*
$278,326 
Total Income
$677,309
Expenses
$502,769 
Net Income
$174,540 

*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
$3,447,275 
 Long-term Pledges Outstanding
$240,488 
 Total Received and Pledged
$3,688,063 
 Outstanding Obligations
$0 
 Monthly Payment (Interest Only)
$2,783 
 Remaining Mortgage
$580,817 



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 smile.amazon.com and select Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary as your charity. Or click on the AmazonSmile banner at the very bottom of this e-newsletter. 
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Fidelity Charitable Clients: Click here for Donor-Advised Fund direct deposit (available soon)
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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

The Ethical Implications of Evolution: GPTS to Host Special Presentation



Greenville Seminary will host a special presentation on January 21 entitled "Ethical Implications of Evolution: Are We More Than a Bag of Chemicals?"

The presentation will feature the "Ethical Implications" segment of a recent DVD, Evolution's Achilles' Heels" by Creation Ministries International. The presentation is sponsored by the local Creation Study Group.

The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. with the DVD, followed by a question and answer period to be moderated by faculty from GPTS. 

The seminary is located at 200 E. Main Street, Taylors, S.C. The program is free and open to the public.

You are encouraged to submit comments or questions before and during the panel discussion. Send you questions to questions@creationstudygroup.org.


Faculty/Alumni Publishing News

Two Greenville Seminary alumni, one now an associate professor, have joined their efforts to produce a new booklet exploring the biblical rationale for church membership.

Dr. Ryan McGraw, associate professor of systematic theology, and Ryan Speck, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Columbia, Mo., have co-authored Is Church Membership Biblical?, a new addition to the Reformation Heritage Books "Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series."

Dr. Michael Morales, in addition to some book reviews, is working on a commentary for the book of Numbers in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series (InterVarsity Press) and a book chapter on the Old Testament background to the atonement as discussed in the book of Hebrews.

Click below to see and order Dr. Morales's commentary on Leviticus, "Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?"


Visit the seminary's online Bookstore here for more faculty publications (click on the Faculty & Alumni Publications tab subsections for Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr, Dr. James McGoldrick and emeritus professor Dr. Morton Smith).

See Dr. McGraw's books at the GPTS Amazon bookstore here. In addition to Dr. McGraw's frequent contributions to the GPTS online journal Katekōmen, his writing projects include:

Articles:

  • Essay on Owen’s Trinitarian Piety (Fall issue of Westminster Theological Journal
  • Review article of Frame’s Systematic Theology (Mid-America Journal of Theology 2015 issue)
  • Owen on the Law and the Gospel (Calvin Theological Journal, pending revisions)
  • Owen on Genesis 3:15 (Brill’s Journal of Reformed Theology, pending revisions)
  • Translation and Annotations of Wollebius’ Prolegomena (Confessional Presbyterian Journal, 2015)
  • The Trinity and Christ’s Resurrection (New Horizons, April 2015)

Reviews:

  • Van Dixhoorn on WCF (PRJ, July 2015)
  • Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther’s Theology (PRJ, Jan. 2016)
  • De Moor on Marckius (Banner of Truth)
  • Junius on True Theology (Mid-America Journal of Theology)
  • Pederson on Unity and Diversity in Puritanism (Calvin Theological Journal)
  • The Myth of the Reformation (PRJ, Jan. 2016)
  • The Theology of the French Reformed Churches (Calvin Theological Journal)

Books:

  • Why Should I Deny Myself? (July 2015; Cultivating Biblical Godliness series)
  • Is Church Membership Biblical? (McGraw/Speck; Cultivating Biblical Godliness series)
  • Do I Really Have Time for This? (time management; CBG series)

McGraw Projects in Process


Books:

  • Annotated translation of Wollebius’ Compendium of Christian Theology
  • How Should I Keep the Sabbath? (CBG series)
  • How Does the Trinity Affect My Life? (CBG series)
  • How Can I Remember and Apply the Bible? (CBG series)
  • Out of the Church There is No Ordinary Possibility of Salvation (Title in progress; Confirmed volume in Explorations in Reformed Confessional Theology series for RHB)
Collection of Essays on Owen’s Theology (collecting the essays and preparing a proposal for V&R)

Confessing Our Hope Podcast


New broadcasts are now available at Confessing Our Hope, Greenville Seminary's online broadcasting outreach, hosted by Bill Hill.

Mr. Hill has also announced that some future podcasts will be broadcast live. To learn more about this exciting new option, go here.

Tune in to listen to these broadcasts:

"Cheaper in Dozens" — Jim Holmes, the proprietor of a new venture called Cheaper in Dozens, was our guest as we talked about his goals and desires for people to read more books. Cheaper in Dozens aims to promote and supply biblically based resources in higher-volume quantities at affordable prices, and to encourage people to read and live transformed lives to the glory of God.

"Confessional Presbyterian / Church History Tour" — Adjunct Professor Dr. Nick Willborn discusses two topics. First, we spent a few minutes talking about The Confessional Presbyterian, a theological journal of wide popularity. Second, we spoke about the Presbyterian Church History class and tour that is offered every Winter Term at GPTS.

"Faith and Practice" #18 and #19 and #20 — GPTS President Dr. Joseph Pipa answers listeners' questions. In the latest edition (#20), Dr. Pipa answers questions related to union membership by Christians, special needs children, missionaries, baptism and apostasy, and more.

These broadcasts, along with a number of other recent editions, can be heard and/or downloaded at the Confessing Our Hope web site.

Daily Readings in the Westminster Standards


Many Christians resolve at the beginning of a new year to read through the Bible in a year, and a number of reading guides are available, such as this one compiled by Dr. Benjamin Shaw.

Greenville Seminary, as a confessional institution, also encouraging daily readings through the Westminster Standards, the great historic creeds of Presbyterianism, including the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism and the Shorter Catechism.

Now you can have short daily readings sent to you automatically from Westminster Daily. These electronic readings are based on GPTS President Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr.'s Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards. You can subscribe to the syndicated online daily readings from Westminster Daily through an RSS feed or through daily email delivery.

Here is a sample of what you will receive:

Confession of Faith

Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scripture

8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by his singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them,  therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,  that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner;  and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.