During the winter and spring of 1985-1986, two seminary students approached Dr. Morton H. Smith about the need for a theological seminary that fully met “The Uniform Curriculum” adopted by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). They were joined by Pastor Paul Settle and Ruling Elder J. Ligon Duncan, Jr. of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. On February 26, 1986, Mr. and Mrs. Duncan hosted a group including those named above and the Duncans’ sons, Ligon, John, and Melton, in their home to discuss the possibility of moving forward with such a project. They agreed: the need for a seminary was present, and Greenville, SC was an ideal location.
Soon thereafter, the Session of Second Presbyterian Church formed a steering committee consisting of Pastor Settle, John C. Neville, Jr., Dr. Smith, the Elder Duncan, and C. Stuart Patterson. In the fall of 1987, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary began equipping preachers, pastors, and churchmen for Christ’s Kingdom, and the school has faithfully continued in this work ever since.
The Seminary has experienced a number of significant changes over the past 30 years: three buildings, thirty-one graduating classes, over 280 graduates, and many faithful professors, staff workers, and trustees who have served the seminary and its students at one time or another. Throughout, the faculty has remained committed to giving men the equipment needed to preach God’s Word, pastor God’s people, and faithfully, carefully, and lovingly serve God’s church.
Over the years, a distinguished faculty has taught our students. At the launching of the Seminary, Dr. Smith recruited Dr. C. Gregg Singer (Church History & Apologetics) and Dr. Henry Krabbendam (Biblical & Theological Studies). In the early nineties, Dr. Benjamin Shaw (Hebrew & Old Testament) and Dr. Sidney Dyer (Greek & New Testament) joined the faculty, as well as a host of adjunct faculty from Greenville-area churches. Dr. Jerry Crick (Apologetics) and Dr. John Carrick (Homiletics & Theological Studies) taught for several years. In 1998, Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. (Systematic & Homiletical Theology) joined the faculty as the Seminary’s first President. Shortly after Dr. Pipa’s inauguration, Dr. James E. McGoldrick (Church History), Dr. C.N. Willborn (Historical & Biblical Theology), and Dr. L. Anthony Curto (Missions & Apologetics) joined the faculty. Since 2014, Dr. L. Michael Morales (Biblical Studies) and Dr. Ryan M. McGraw (Systematic Theology) have joined the faculty. In 2020, Dr. Jonathan L. Master joined the faculty as the Seminary’s second President. In 2022, Dr. William VanDoodewaard (Church History) joined the faculty. Adjunct faculty currently include Dr. Willborn, Dr. Kevin M. Backus (Biblical Counseling), Dr. Ian Hamilton (Pastoral Theology), Dr. Benjamin Dunson (Biblical Studies), Mr. Bebo Elkin (Ethics), Mr. Scott Cook (Applied & Systematic Theology), Mr. Breno Macedo (Applied Theology), and Mr. Roland Mathews (Hebrew & Exegesis).