Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March Conference and Open House Just Days Away

The 2017 Spring Theology Conference is set to open March 14. The program, "Trumpet Call: 500 Years of Gospel Freedom," will feature lectures by eight speakers over three days:

  • Luther’s Providential God — Dr. Robert Kolb
  • Luther’s Preaching on the Parables — Dr. Kolb
  • The Law as Friend and Foe in the Theology of Luther — Dr. Michael Whiting
  • Luther on Life without Dichotomy — Dr. James McGoldrick
  • Soli Deo Gloria: Life that Glorifies God — Dr. Michael Morales
  • Sola Gratia — Dr. Joseph Pipa, Jr.
  • Sola Scriptura — Dr. Joel Beeke
  • Solus Christus — Rev. Cliff Blair
  • Sola Fide: What Saving Faith Will Do — Rev. Carl Robbins

Attendees are invited to attend an open house at the seminary from 9 AM until 10:45 AM on Tuesday. Tuesday chapel is also open to the public, beginning at 11 AM. in Room 209 at the seminary. Conference registration opens at 11 AM at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church.

For more information, visit gpts.edu/conference or contact the Seminary at 864-322-2717.

Campus Preview Days Set for March 13-14

In advance of the annual Spring Theology Conference, we introduce prospective students to the Seminary community as they consider enrolling with us to prepare for pastoral ministry. The Explore GPTS experience includes participation in the main conference as our guest.

This gathering for prospective students offers opportunities to:

Student Michael Spangler (left) chats with prospective student
at last year's campus preview event.

  • Tour Campus
  • Attend Classes and Chapel
  • Engage with Faculty
  • Meet Students and Alumni
  • Access Theology Conference

The Explore 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

Be sure to register for the main conference for free, by following the instructions in the confirmation message you will receive after submitting your Explore GPTS 2017 registration.

Do you know someone who may be considering a seminary education and might benefit from a visit to the GPTS campus to learn more about what we offer?

Celebrating 30 Years of Service to the Church!

Celebrate Greenville Seminary’s 30th Anniversary of training men for the gospel ministry as we host a banquet at the Poinsett Ballroom of the Westin Poinsett Hotel in downtown Greenville, S.C. following the close of our annual Spring Theology Conference.

The evening will feature sacred and classical music by an award-winning string ensemble including members of the family of GPTS student Jessie Tam. Program speakers will include Dr. Joseph A. Pipa (President, GPTS), Mr. Chris Larson (President/CEO, Ligonier Ministries), Mr. James Norris (M.Div. 2016, GPTS), and Dr. Ryan McGraw (Professor, GPTS).

Please e-mail Zack Groff or call 864-322-2717 with any questions, concerns or post-deadline reservations.

Directions to the Westin Poinsett Hotel may be found here.

Stewardship Report: God's Generous Provision

March is a significant month at Greenville Seminary for a variety of reasons. We host our Spring Theology Conference, professors administer Spring semester midterms, seniors sit for Presbytery and Classis exams, and other students begin exploring options for Summer internships. This year, we are also celebrating our 30th Anniversary with a banquet at the Westin Poinsett Hotel on March 16th. This is an exciting time to be at Greenville Seminary!

The support of many churches and individuals makes these activities (and many more) possible, and we are pleased to present the following financial report. So far this fiscal year, we have nearly twice as much in Net Income as last year ($146,034 vs. $79,969).

We thank God for His generous provision for our every need. We are deeply encouraged by the faithful and sacrificial giving of many churches and individuals who are partnering with us in our mission of equipping the next generation of Reformed preachers, pastors, and churchmen.

Financial Report for February 2017

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

Actual Income and Expenses:

Donation Income (Unrestricted)



Total Donations (unrestricted)
Other Income
Total Income
Net Income
Donation Income (Unrestricted)
Other Income
Total Income
Net Income

Income and Expenses at a Glance:

 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 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. 

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.

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.

Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Library Receives Major Book Donations

Greenville Seminary’s Smith-Singer Library and Bookstore have recently received several sizable book donations.

The donations have been unusually rich in content. The majority of the books in these collections are being made available to our students at below market prices in order to help these future preachers, pastors, and churchmen build their theological libraries. Some volumes are added to our own library collection.

We also set aside some of the books for Reformed brethren in Nigeria. One of our master of arts students is ordained through a Reformed denomination in Nigeria, and is planning to take several boxes of books back with him for use in his ministry and in an orphanage that he is overseeing.

But where do these books come from? Sometimes book donations come from long-time supporters of the Seminary. At other times, we receive a call from someone in the community who has heard of the school through a local contact. Over the years, several individuals have also brought books with them to the annual Spring Theology Conference to donate to the library.

If you are interested in partnering with the GPTS Smith-Singer Library through donating books, please contact our librarian, Andy Wortman at awortman@gpts.edu or call 864-322-2717.

The Smith-Sanger Library at Greenville Seminary

Campus Briefs

Rev. Zecharias Abraham (M.Div., GPTS, 2016), once a refugee from persecution in Eritrea, preached at our Missions Chapel on Wednesday, February 22. He exhorted us and the church to minister the gospel to refugees coming into our communities. Listen to his message here. Mr. Abraham is pastor of Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Ga.

* * * * *

Rev. Al Baker was the guest chapel speaker and led the seminary community in prayer during our Spring Semester day of fasting and prayer (February 1st). Pastor Baker is an ordained PCA teaching elder and a preaching evangelist and board member with Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship (PEF). He is a colleague of Dr. Henry Krabbendam, one of Greenville Seminary's original faculty members, in promoting revival prayer and open-air preaching.
* * * * *

Alumnus Patrick Daly of the Banner of Truth USA in Carlisle, Penn. provided lunch and books to our students after chapel on February 15th. Banner of Truth, headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a long-standing publisher of Reformed books and literature.

* * * * *

Professor Ryan McGraw participated on February 26 in the installation service for his father-in-law Decherd Stevens as assistant pastor of the Carlisle Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA), Carlisle, Penn. Both men are Greenville Seminary graduates. Pastor Stevens previously served as pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Greenville, S.C.. Also participating in the installation was Mark Marquis, another GPTS alumnus and pastor of Immanuel Chapel, Upton, Mass.

* * * * *

GPTS Trustee and Adjunct Professor Rev. Ian Hamilton is joining Smithton Church in Edinburgh, Scotland, as associate minister on a rolling six-month appointment. Among other duties, Dr. Hamilton will help with the preaching schedule and assist in a leadership training program for the Highland congregation. Smithton is a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland. Dr. Hamilton was most recently the minister of Cambridge Presbyterian Church in England until his retirement last year. As well as being a regular conference speaker and trustee of the Banner of Truth Trust, he also teaches theology to students at Edinburgh Theological Seminary and at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

* * * * *

The Upstate South Carolina camps of Gideons International provided lunch and presentation to our students on February 22nd. The Gideons are a well-known Bible distribution organization.

Students Distribute Creation Statement at Movie Premier

Greenville Seminary students took the occasion of the February premier of the new movie "Is Genesis History?" to hand out copies of the GPTS Faculty Statement on Creation to moviegoers.

Zack Groff, Logan Shelton, Melwin Isaac, Isaac Koko, and Christopher Williams and his wife Patsy distributed the statements at two local theaters during the first showing of the film. Movie goers to the sold-out feature eagerly accepted the resource, leaving our students empty-handed by the end of the night!

The film, produced by Dr. Del Tackett, creator of Focus on the Family's The Truth Project worldview video series, debuted in movie theaters on February 23 to sold-out auditoriums around the country, ranking No. 1 at the box office for the day above all other major film releases, according to Global Dispatch. In addition, it had the No. 1 per-screen average that day, topping all other titles by more than five times their average. Due to this popular demand, encore screenings were scheduled in U.S. movie theaters for the nights on March 2 and 7.

"All told, we handed out dozens of the faculty's statement to like-minded evangelical Christians and their guests who went to view the movie. Praise the Lord for a good night!" said Mr. Groff. "May the Lord use this simple activity of resource distribution to glorify His Name, to encourage His people, and even to instigate fresh considerations of the confessional Reformed tradition and Greenville Seminary."

Earlier in February, GPTS President Dr. Joseph Pipa, Jr. hosted a special preview showing of the film on the seminary campus.

The film and extra features and resources are expected to be released for church licensing in April and May. Learn more here.

To read the GPTS Faculty Statement on Creation, go here.

New McGraw Book on the Trinity Released

Greenville Seminary's Professor of Systematic Theology continues his exploration of Puritan thinking on the Trinity with a new book released by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals' "Meet the Puritans" blog.

Knowing the Trinity: Practical Thoughts for Daily Life is Meet the Puritans's first book but not Dr. McGraw's first study on Puritans and Trinitarianism, others being The Foundation of Communion with God: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen and Is the Trinity Practical?

"It was John Owen who said, 'there is no grace whereby our souls go forth unto God, no act of divine worship yielded unto him, no duty or obedience performed, but they are distinctly directed unto Father, Son, and Spirit' (Of Communion with God)," note the publishers. "Everything we do in relationship to our God is related to him as Triune. The reality, though, is that we hardly think of the Trinity except merely as a doctrine we affirm against false theologies. This is where Dr. McGraw’s work is so helpful. He seeks to explain and apply God as Triune for all of our lives: how we think, how we speak, and how we act. The Trinity is not just the structural background of Christian theology it is the substance of living out Christian faith, hope, and love in relationship with the one true God and with each person in particular as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

Dr. McGraw has recently discussed his book and related subjects with hosts of the Reformed Forum podcast and the Iron Sharpens Iron Radio podcast in February and December. Listen to these interviews by tapping the links above.

Order the new book here.