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  The Relevance of Historical Truth: The 2012 GPTS Spring Theology Conference   
Assessing a theological landmark, with practical lessons for the church today

If you think the inspiration and authority of Scripture, the nature of the church, pastoral theology, evolution, evangelism and missions are only dry and dusty Ivory Tower concerns from the past, think again. The upcoming Spring Theology Conference hosted by Greenville Seminary aims to demonstrate otherwise.


Okay, yes, it's a theology conference and it will explore a unique corner of historic academia, but the conference will focus on practical lessons for today's church as it examines the powerful perspectives in Christian thought advanced by the landmark theologians of Old Princeton Seminary. If you're a serious Christian leader or layman, you will be spiritually stimulated by this conference.


Praised, maligned and misunderstood, the effects of Old Princeton have towered over theological discussion for a century. From the time God raised up this school in 1812 until 1929, the Princeton theologians were the stalwarts of experiential Calvinism. Princeton theology crashed headlong into the devastating effects of theological modernism, breaking down that edifice and reasserting the claims of biblically grounded Reformed truth. It "held a high view of Scripture and was unwavering in its commitment to its authority," notes Reformed scholar Tim McConnel. "This had been true of the Reformed tradition since the Reformation, and was the common, almost universal, position in antebellum American Christianity. Secondly, it was self-consciously confessionally Reformed, with a strict adherence to the seventeenth-century Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. This was in marked contrast to the American culture of the day, which was moving away from confessionalism to broad evangelicalism, even to the point of anti-confessionalism."


The founders of Greenville Seminary consciously adopted Old Princeton's approach as the foundation of instruction at GPTS. For this reason, the 2012 GPTS Spring Theology Conference (coinciding with the 200th anniversary of Princeton's founding and the 25th anniversary of Greenville Seminary's founding) will be devoted to an assessment of Princeton and the practical lessons for the church today. "The aim is to shape the discussion in a functional way that will benefit all who attend," conference organizers say.


The conference will be held on March 13-15, 2012 at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, S.C. For complete information and registration, visit the conference pages of the GPTS web site. The "Early Bird" registration discount has been extended to Feb. 13! Register now to save $25 off the regular price of $95. Special low rates are also available for students. A special luncheon for prospective GPTS students will be held March 13.


Dr. Paul Helseth and Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr. will be the featured speakers at the Tuesday and Wednesday evening services that are open to the public without conference registration.


Topics and speakers for the conference include:

  • Princeton: A Brief History of Origin and Contributions of Archibald Alexander – Dr. James Garretson

  • Samuel Miller’s Pastoral Theology – Pastor Andrew Webb

  • Scripture, Inerrancy, and the Role of Reason at Princeton – Dr. Paul K. Helseth (Tuesday evening)

  • Princeton and the Old Testament – Dr. Benjamin Shaw

  • Princeton and Missions – Dr. Tony Curto

  • Ecclesiology: The Hodge/Thornwell Exchange – Dr. Nick Willborn

  • Princeton and 19th Century Crosscurrents: Hodge, Finney, and Nevin – Dr. Darryl G. Hart

  • Biblical Rationale for a Reformed Seminary – Dr. Joseph Pipa Jr. (Wednesday evening)

  • Princeton and Evolution/Creation – Dr. Fred Zaspel

  • Theological Assessment of Warfield (with brief biographical sketch) – Dr. Carl Trueman

  • Machen and the End of Old Princeton – Dr. Darryl G. Hart


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25th Anniversary Feature  

Join Us for a Night of Remembrance and Hope: The GPTS Silver Anniversary Dinner and Auction


"The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts" (Leviticus 23:2).


For a quarter of a century, God has blessed the vision of the founding fathers of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. During this special 25th school year, the seminary community plans to memorialize those blessings with a feast of gladness, thanksgiving and trust in the on-going Providence of God.


On Monday, March 12, 2012, a Silver Anniversary Dinner will be held in the elegant surroundings of the Poinsett Club in downtown Greenville. We invite our 2012 Spring Theology Conference-goers and others to attend this dinner on the eve of the conference, which begins March 13.


The dinner will be an gracious and God-glorifying affair with two key purposes:

  1. Commemoration of God's Providence in the ministry of GPTS past, present and future. Professor Morton Smith, one of the original visionaries who gave birth to Greenville Seminary, will recount the vision and history of GPTS. President Joseph A. Pipa Jr. will address the present and future opportunities which we believe God may be leading us to.

  2. Building upon the foundation of God's Providence through the offering of gifts in support of the ministry. An opportunity will be given to make a pledge for regular support or a one-time gift. The Board of Trustees has determined to keep ticket prices at $35, only slightly above cost, to encourage widespread attendance. We are therefore appealing to special individual and business patrons to contribute to Dinner Sponsorships and Table Sponsorships. Dinner sponsorships are one-time gifts to help defray costs of the celebration, thus giving regular ticket sales additional profitability. Table sponsors may purchase a table consisting of 10 place settings per table. Table sponsors may distribute their 10 tickets at will or donate them to the seminary to benefit persons who may not be able to attend otherwise. Sponsors will be acknowledged in the dinner program.

 In addition, the evening will include a Silent Auction of quality goods and services, proceeds of which will go toward support of the seminary. For information on how you can help prepare for this auction, go here. If you are willing to visit businesses to solicit donation of auction items, click here for an introduction letter you may print, sign and present.


Bid on an ornately framed 24" x 36" print edition of this portrayal of the Westminster Assembly at the silent auction.





Music will be provided by well known contemporary Christian music artist Judy Rogers and classical guitarist William Dale Smith (click photo to hear sample of his music). Judy Rogers CDs will be available.




Preview of Judy Rogers's music:



Dress for the evening will be formal (black-tie) or semi-formal (business or church attire).


The menu for the evening provides guests with a choice of opening course, entrée, and dessert. The Poinsett Club kitchen needs to know your choices in advance in order to prepare the proper amount of each item. Order your meal and enter your reservation here. Choices include:


Opening course options:

1. Salad: Chilled fresh seasonal greens with cucumber, tomatoes & carrots.

2. Soup: Smoked tomato bisque with garlic croutons.


Entrée options:

1. Pork loin with port wine shallot sauce.

2. Rosemary-balsamico chicken with herb and carmelized onion vinaigrette.


Dessert options:

1. Marsala Sabayon: Creamy Italian custard over berries with almond cookie.

2. Red Velvet cake with cream cheese icing, garnished with chocolate curls.


For more information or reservations, call 864.322.2717 ext. 319 or go to the online form here for reservations or sponsoring a table.



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Public Invited to Attend Chapel Services

The Spring Semester is under way and, with it, a new schedule of campus chapel services. Our chapel services three days each week are a source of great spiritual blessing to our seminary community, including students' families. As always, we desire to share these blessings with the broader community and therefore renew our standing invitation for you to join us at 11:15 a.m. each chapel day.

  • Each Tuesday, a guest minister of the gospel from the Greenville area or region brings a message from the Word of God.

  • On Wednesdays, GPTS President Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. opens the Scriptures, usually with a series of sermons from a Book of the Bible. These sermons are also available on the GPTS channel at

  • On Thursdays, a member of the faculty or one of the advanced students leads our chapel services with a message from the Word.


  Welsh Lecturer to Speak at GPTS  

Dr. Tom Holland from the Wales Evangelical School of Theology will present a special lecture at Greenville Seminary on Friday, Feb. 10, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Dr. Holland will speak on "Death to Sin and the Death of Christ." The public is invited to attend.



Oceanside Property Available From Estate Bequest to GPTS


Greenville Seminary is the beneficiary of a Southern California estate bequest that  includes a townhouse/condo in an upscale gated golf community in the Pacific Coast city of Oceanside. The seminary is attempting to sell this property to help amortize our building mortgage. This lovely coastal Mediterranean-style home includes two bedrooms and two baths and a two-car garage. It is located 100 yards from the community's clubhouse. The city of Oceanside is a delightful beach community with close ties to Camp Pendleton Marine Base. If you are interested in this property or know someone who might be interested, contact President Joseph A. Pipa Jr.  Make an Offer!  •   MORE INFORMATION HERE, INCLUDING PHOTOS AND LISTING AGENT

κατέχω - Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.... Hebrews 10:23

"The importance of the question of images of Christ has often been downplayed or undermined in most modern discussions. However, what is viewed as a peripheral matter often proves to be a symptom of a firmly established and deadly disease. It is instructive to observe that the historic Reformed position on images of Christ is now being discarded almost as universally as it was once upheld. It is even more instructive to learn why the change has occurred."


So writes GPTS Alumnus Pastor Ryan McGraw in  a detailed review of In Living Color, a book by Daniel R. Hyde, in the January edition of Katekōmen. Mr. McGraw's article, Divinity in Media can be read here.


Two other new book reviews by Rev. McGraw include:

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Greenville Seminary's Got Talent! 

The GPTS annual Winter Dinner's Talent Show on January 27th featured a variety of performances from "the ridiculous to the sublime," including a comedy act, a hula hoop demonstration, a unicyclist piano performance, Irish clogging, and musical offerings ranging from opera to classical piano to sacred songs. Below are some photo highlights.



Avi Carrick sings "Jesus Loves Me" and recites comic poems.

Grace Liu favored us with a piano hymn and hula hoop demonstration.


Most of us displayed our eating skills.


The Walton family (Branch and Hillary shown here) with their annual offering of "silly songs."


Scotsman Rob Dykes had the crowd in stitches with his stand-up comedy act.


Dinner Emcee Jim McCarthy


Mike Hutchinson shares his musical tribute to a fallen Marine buddy..


Patrick Daly answers questions about his unique talent: Irish clogging.


Tenor Joshua Sparkman with his rendition of "O Sole Mio"


Sign of the Times

Thanks to  generous donations from a supporting church and alumni of the old Taylors High School, GPTS  finally has a new signboard to grace our four-year-old campus on Main Street in Taylors, S.C. An irrigation system has been installed on the grounds and landscaping will begin soon, D.V.


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The tables below show our General Fund and Capital Fund financial condition as of the end of January 2012. We are humbled and overwhelmed to find that donations to this ministry in January were nearly double what had been contemplated when our 2011-2012 budget was developed. How heartening to see that income for January, in God's abundant providence, exceeded expenses by $87,343. We feel blessed. Thanks for your financial vote of confidence and for responding to God's leading in your giving. All praise to Him!


Many thanks to those who supported GPTS during calendar year 2011.  Tax receipts have been mailed to all donors. If you did not receive yours or have any concerns about your receipt, please contact Development Associate Brenda Benson at or 864-322-2717, ext. 318.

General Fund for January 2012
  January Budget January Actual January Actual v. Budget
Expenses $80,252
Other Income
$47,528 +$29,339
Total Income
Net Income
+$87,343 +$87,273
  Fiscal Year to Date Budget Fiscal Year to Date Actual Fiscal Year to Date Actual v. Budget
Expenses $561,775 $565,240 +$3,465
$434,933 $656,784 $221,851
Other Income $127,323 $148,530 $22,197
Total Income $562,256 $806,304 $244,048
Net Income $481 $241,064 $240,583
Capital Fund Update
Goal $3,500,000
Received $2,787,288
Outstanding Pledges $613,516
New Income Needed $99,196
Outstanding Bills $55,000
Monthly Note $6,559
Remaining Mortgage $1,021,794

If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the  "Donate" button below. Whether or not you can contribute financially, here is another way you can help the seminary: Do you know someone that would be interested in learning more about our organization or supporting us? If so, fill out the form here and an e-mail message with a link to our website will be sent to them. Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.



Soli Deo Gloria!


Sharing in the Advancement of GPTS

Visit the GPTS Development Office web site for information on ways to support and spread the word about Greenville Seminary:

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For books related to the Princeton Seminary Commemoration, go here.



Visit our online Gift Shop to purchase GPTS golf shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and travel mugs. All net proceeds help support the seminary.


The family film More than Diamonds is now being offered on DVD to friends of the seminary. By special arrangement with the producers, each purchase made online through a special web page will generate a donation to GPTS. More info here.

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Earn money for GPTS while you shop or search the web. Make "GoodSearch" your Internet search engine and shop through "GoodShop" at thousands of online stores that give a portion of purchase proceeds to GPTS: More Here. There are currently 40 people registered as GPTS supporters with GoodSearch. We need hundreds more! Begin shopping or searching now by using the device in the right column above.


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