RTS vs. SBTS vs. GPTS

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jmhall227

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello all, and happy Lord’s Day!

I’m currently in undergrad, planning on entering the ministry, and considering the following seminaries: Reformed, Southern Baptist, and Greenville Presbyterian. For background information, I’m a Reformed Baptist who’s open to the possibility of academic teaching at some point, but church ministry is definitely my first love. A few things in particular about which I’m curious:

1. How different are the RTS campuses (Jackson and Orlando in particular) and which do you think is the most solid?

2. I really like the accreditation that RTS and SBTS offer, but I know a guy at my RB church who attends GPTS and it seems like a very solid seminary, and I would be fine with the Presbyterian perspective they offer.

3.Would you recommend RTS over SBTS because it is more Reformed? I know there are many great professors at SBTS, tuition there is cheaper than RTS, and there are plenty of Reformed people there. However, I’m a little hesitant to enter the Southern Baptist world as it’s such a mixed bag, and if I’m spending the money on a seminary education, I really don’t want any Arminian professors.

Any additional comments you may have would be appreciated! Thanks for your thoughts!

Jacob
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I've been seeing references lately to Biblical Theology at Greenville, particularly Michael Morales. I doubt you'd want to make a selection based upon a particular area of theology, but the trend is promising. What does your session advise? What church would you plug into at any of these locations?
 

W.C. Dean

Puritan Board Sophomore
Everything I have heard about GPTS is great. Obviously, it is Presbyterian, but there are many opportunities to get tuition reduced or fully paid for, and they are noted for their positions on certain doctrines you might not find at all at RTS or SBTS. An example would be their defense of the historic view of the Sabbath.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Graduate
Jacob,

According to your profile, you currently reside in Greenville, SC. I would say, if that be true, this might be an easy decision. Just go with GPTS. If location is not an issue, I would pick either 1. GPTS or 2. RTS-Jackson if limited to your OP options.



they are noted for their positions on certain doctrines you might not find at all at RTS or SBTS. An example would be their defense of the historic view of the Sabbath.
@W.C. Dean ....what leads you to believe RTS doesn’t teach the Westminster view on the Sabbath? Speaking of RTS Jackson, MS, I have some testimony from our intern (who is enrolled at RTS Jackson) that RTS DOES teach the Westminster view of the Sabbath. Further, and kind of old news now, Dr. John Fesko (OPC) is now the Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology in Jackson. Fesko is pretty solid from a Presbyterian perspective. So what is your source for this claim?
 
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W.C. Dean

Puritan Board Sophomore
I suppose that was a bad way to word it. I've just gotten the impression GPTS is more known for their specific teaching on certain subjects. I have no idea what the consensus of the Sabbath is at RTS
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know specifically what is taught at RTS but it does not have the reputation of basically teaching the exceptions commonly taken in the PCA like on the Sabbath, as like at Covenant. We've heard more than one testimony here over the years from those who have been in examinations that this is a real issue with those coming out of Covenant. Not saying it doesn't happen with those coming out of RTS, but I've not heard of the reputation for it like with Covenant. On the other hand, it is certainly true that GPTS is known as the polar opposite on the Sabbath doctrine of the Westminster Standards.
I suppose that was a bad way to word it. I've just gotten the impression GPTS is more known for their specific teaching on certain subjects. I have no idea what the consensus of the Sabbath is at RTS
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
When I was at RTS-Jackson, Currid strongly upheld the Sabbath. I figure that was also the norm for other profs. Of course, he is no longer there and I don't know what the culture is like now. Orlando used to be "looser" in its outlook in general, but that may have changed.
 

Timotheos

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello all, and happy Lord’s Day!

I’m currently in undergrad, planning on entering the ministry, and considering the following seminaries: Reformed, Southern Baptist, and Greenville Presbyterian. For background information, I’m a Reformed Baptist who’s open to the possibility of academic teaching at some point, but church ministry is definitely my first love. A few things in particular about which I’m curious:

1. How different are the RTS campuses (Jackson and Orlando in particular) and which do you think is the most solid?

2. I really like the accreditation that RTS and SBTS offer, but I know a guy at my RB church who attends GPTS and it seems like a very solid seminary, and I would be fine with the Presbyterian perspective they offer.

3.Would you recommend RTS over SBTS because it is more Reformed? I know there are many great professors at SBTS, tuition there is cheaper than RTS, and there are plenty of Reformed people there. However, I’m a little hesitant to enter the Southern Baptist world as it’s such a mixed bag, and if I’m spending the money on a seminary education, I really don’t want any Arminian professors.

Any additional comments you may have would be appreciated! Thanks for your thoughts!

Jacob
May I ask why you haven't considered any seminaries within your own confessional heritage, assuming you are indeed a Reformed Baptist? I don't know how many RBs are actually at SBTS. I know solid RBs who came out of GPTS. And I know many great RB seminaries that will give you what you need. Why not add them to your consideration?
 

Jonathco

Puritan Board Freshman
Have you considered PRTS?
I've heavily considered PRTS myself; however, even though I am in Michigan, I am a solid 2 hours from campus. Unless it has changed recently, only 50% of the course work can be completed online, correct?

Jacob, as a Reformed Baptist, have you considered Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS)? They are confessional, reformed, and accredited, and their degrees can be completed online.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I've heavily considered PRTS myself; however, even though I am in Michigan, I am a solid 2 hours from campus. Unless it has changed recently, only 50% of the course work can be completed online, correct?

Jacob, as a Reformed Baptist, have you considered Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS)? They are confessional, reformed, and accredited, and their degrees can be completed online.

I think if you're considering further academic study, getting a degree from an institution with accreditation from a nationally-recognized accreditation agency is important. CBTS (and GPTS) are accredited by the non-government recognized ARTS. You should look for ATS or regional accreditation, or maybe TRACS.
 

usernamecrtamil

Puritan Board Freshman
Welcome to the board and glad you're giving such careful thought to Seminary!

I would likely agree with some of the expressed sentiments regarding considering a seminary that would be more along your confessional lines. Have you given any thought to IRBS (The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies Seminary)? Dr. Renihan (Both James and Samuel) are brilliant minds respectively and have attracted some very good brass as far as faculty is concerned. Additionally, you'll get a thoroughly confessional (LBCF 1689) education.

That aside, RTS Orlando (where I attend Seminary), is on very good trajectory, particularly with Dr. Michael Allen as the Academic Dean. You'd in no way be doing yourself a disservice by attending, and the Hybrid MDiv option offered at the campus is great as well.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Something else you might want to keep in mind is that RTS Jackson (if not all of the campuses) and SBTS have both, perhaps to varying degrees, embraced a “woke” social justice agenda.


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NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
If RTS were serious about upholding the Sabbath, they wouldn’t laud Frank Reich, who left his position at RTS Charlotte to coach in the National Football League. https://rts.edu/resources/a-faithful-foundation/


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That's disappointing to see; and the subject never came up, and it would be an obvious one if the Sabbath were front and center in importance I should think.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Graduate
That's disappointing to see; and the subject never came up, and it would be an obvious one if the Sabbath were front and center in importance I should think.
I agree. That was a disappointing read. When I read the interview questions and answers, I found myself asking, “is this even a reformed institution?” That was shocking.
 
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