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Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary

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For more than 200 years, The Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS) has been educating students who love the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word, equipping pastors for the ministry of the gospel and preparing others in the church for effective service in His Kingdom, all within the framework of the historic Reformed faith.

RPTS is a special place for many reasons. Among other things, all of our professors have significant pastoral experience. They have ministered in the church. And they continue to serve in churches as members of sessions and presbyteries, and providing regular pulpit supply. Classes are therefore taught from the perspective of pastors, not mere academicians, and we believe this is a significant advantage to students preparing for real life ministry.

The Seminary is, without apology, committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. We take seriously the awesome privilege and responsibility of proclaiming the historic Reformed faith with a special emphasis on the mediatorial Kingship of Christ over all of life.

The Biblical Counseling Institute (BCI) at RPTS is a unique, hands-on program designed to equip those who desire to serve His Kingdom by using scripture to help restore people to a right relationship with God. Extensive classroom theory is blended with a tremendous mix supervised counseling experience, prepares students for the challenges of counseling real people with real life struggles. The BCI is the only National Association of Nouthetic Counseling (NANC) certified training center in Western Pennsylvania.

Located in Pittsburgh, this diverse campus draws students from many different denominations from around the country and around the world.

Seminary training should do more than inform you about theology. It should transform you for ministry.

ATS Member Status: Accredited

7418 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Phone: 412-731-6000
Fax: 412-731-4834

Jerry F. O’Neill, President Ph: 412-731-6000
Dennis J. Prutow, Dean of Faculty Ph: 412-731-6000

Denomination: Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America

Fall 2012 Data:
Enrollment: 106 (65 FTE)
Faculty Full-Time: 5
Faculty Part-Time: 23

Approved Degrees: MDiv, MTS with concentrations available in Biblical Counseling
D.Min. with concentrations in Biblical Counseling or Pastoral Ministry

Comprehensive distance education program: In Development

9 Reviews

  1. I attend the virtual campus for RTS, and can attest to the passion and knowledge of the staff, as well as to the academic rigor of the program

  2. RPTS is a quality Christ-centered seminary that appeals to a wide range of students from the US and abroad. In my time there, I have found that the staff is very interested in the whole person, not just intellectual knowledge. For this reason the staff are pastor-shepherds in their individual ministries.
    The quality of the education is first-rate and the curriculum still emphasises the original languages, which are essential to a well-rounded Christian pastor. Class sizes are small enough that individuals can develop one-on-one relationships with the faculty.
    Friendships are fostered at the seminary, some life-long. The daily chapel time is dedicated to prayer for one another, Psalm singing, and sermons both by the individual students as well as the staff and guests. RPTS is an ideal choice for quality Christian higher education.

  3. I am a 2012 MDiv Grad from RPTS, and I want to share with you some of the things that were encouraging to me about RPTS.
    The first thing I’d like to point out is the relationship the professors have with the students. It was a wonderful time for me personally to develop a deep relationship with the professors at the seminary. You can tell, if you spend any amount of time at the seminary, that the professors are interested in investing their lives in their students. It’s not just a job for them, but they really see it as their service to the Kingdom of God. You really get that impression as you sit in the classes and they pour out their hearts to you in the teaching they convey.
    One example of how the professors are willing to pour themselves into you is something that I experienced during my first internship between the first and second year of classes. I had the privilege of doing an internship in Iowa, at a church that didn’t have a pastor. I went out there only having completed one year of seminary and only having preached one time in chapel at RPTS. Upon arriving I realized that I would have to preach both morning and evening on the Lord’s Day for 10 weeks!
    That’s a lot of preaching! But one of the professors at RPTS, Dr. Denny Prutow, professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, graciously took time out of his summer to review every sermon that I would preach. I would email them to him, and he would review them and critique them, and send comments back to me before I presented them to the congregation. It was such a blessing to have him “there with me” so to speak. I took my notes with me from his Ministry of Worship class and used them extensively as I ministered to the congregation there. It was such a blessing to have him.
    That’s the heart of the professors at the seminary. You should expect anything less of them though, because what’s special about RPTS is that all the professors are pastors. This is such a valuable thing to have, because these men have “been there.” They know what it’s like to minister to men and women in the congregation—men and women who are doing well, and men and women who are broken. You see, at seminary it is too easy to focus on the abstract concepts; but theology is so much more than just abstract principles and concepts. Theology necessarily must change your life, and these pastors know how to teach it in such a way that it changes the student’s life, and as a result changes the lives of those to whom the student will minister. It is such a blessing to have pastors teaching students.
    Another thing I’d like to share about the seminary concerns the Counseling classes that are offered. But I would like to preface this by saying that during my second summer at RPTS I did another internship in Oklahoma (with a pastor this time!). The Pastor I worked with is a man with over 20 years of pastoral experience and a graduate of RPTS. During his time at seminary, RPTS didn’t have the kinds of counseling classes that are offered today. The seminary now offers six classes you can take.
    One of the things the pastor shared with me as I was working with him during my internship was his favorite saying: “Well, they didn’t teach me about THAT in seminary!” What he meant by this was that there are many circumstances and eventualities that arise that you almost can’t be prepared for, things that you can’t learn in a systematic theology textbook. He told me I needed to pay attention to the counseling classes. He said they would be some of the most important classes that I would take at the seminary, because so much of the work of the ministry is counseling and discipling members in the congregation.
    RPTS, through the counseling classes, has taken steps to remedy that saying, “Well, they didn’t teach me about THAT in seminary.” A seminary cannot prepare a pastor for everything, but RPTS has certainly gone the extra mile in its efforts to prepare its students.
    As I have stepped out to follow God’s call to a church, I am grateful to God that He had brought me to a place like RPTS to be prepared to preach and teach God’s people, to take what those pastors have taught me, so that I can teach it to others. I am so thankful to God for RPTS. May He continue to bless it and those who learn in it.

  4. When looking at a map of Pittsburgh, the tangled mess of roads often makes little sense. However, the streams and waterways stand out, because they know their divinely appointed course. They always get to The Point, the tip of downtown Pittsburgh where the rivers meet. Like Pittsburgh’s waters, RPTS stands out, because it knows its divinely appointed purpose – to train pastors. It gets to the point every day. Under the leadership of godly men, I grew personally, spiritually, relationally, and academically as a student. I graduated as one well-equipped to serve and grow as a pastor, and I will forever thank the Lord for the preparation he gave me at RPTS.

  5. People were surprised when I chose RPTS as a PCA guy. I was interested in Covenant, RTS, and Westminster when I was looking at schools. But i chose RPTS for three reasons. First, the men who teach their are pastors – they have pastored churches and they pastor the students. Dr. Kinneer teaches Greek so that you learn GREEK, not so that you can just pass some exam. I also chose RPTS for the price and financial aid available. As the slave is to the master so the debtor is to the lender, and I didn’t want to take on new debt before going to school. Finally, many people may be surprised to learn that the denominational seminary of one of the smallest and most white-bread presbyterian churches (although comparing how undiverse presbyterians are is like comparing Casper to the Boogey man in terms of whiteness) RPTS is a vibrantly diverse community! Men and women from the urban Pittsburgh churches come together with students from Japan, China, Korea, and Kansas! Almost every class provides significantly diverse groups studying God’s word together.

    Once I was there I’m so blessed to have come under the care of the New Testament Professor Jack Kinneer, and the Biblical Counseling Professor Dr. George Scipione. These men, through their love of the word and God’s people have prepared me for minstry. And everyone, from the ground caretaker to the president of the seminary, make themselves available to love, disciple, teach, and encourage students. Please contact me if you’re considering RPTS, because I’d love to share what God’s doing there!

  6. Several reasons compel me to rate RPTS so highly, especially after transferring from a much larger, more prestigious university school of divinity. I’ll give a representative few in a quick list, in no particular order. 1.) The professors are tested, insightful pastors, not merely academicians. Seminaries should train pastors for service in the local church, and RPTS does so – well. 2.) The seminary is located in an urban context, making possible day-to-day urban ministry connections. We need more urban church planting, and RPTS is near ongoing urban church plants. 3.) The seminary president has – literally – an open door. The faculty is every bit as accessible. The sense of community is tight. 4.) RPTS is the fifth oldest seminary in the country, but still completely faithful to the Scriptures and the subordinate Westminster Standards as a proper exposition of Scriptural teaching. 5.) The practical theology and counseling components are now much improved and expanded over previous years of the seminary’s development.

    Of course, RPTS is a smaller school, and has the typical constraints of a smaller institution. However, this could as easily be a strength in other ways, as larger schools lose a sense of community and so on. All in all, it’s an excellent choice for a solid, Reformed theological education.

  7. As a student over 20 years ago, I remain grateful for the godly men at RPTS who so influenced my life and ministry. As a board member for the past eight years, I have marveled at God’s blessing on RPTS. Under the shepherding leadership of President Jerry O’Neill, the Lord has raised up a new generation of faithful faculty and staff, strengthened the existing ministry, and expanded its influence in mighty ways. As an incoming member of the RPTS team, I am excitedly looking forward to joining them next year, Lord willing. To anyone reading this considering studying at a reformed seminary, I hope you will prayerfully look into RPTS.

  8. There are no perfect seminaries, but there are great ones. This is a great one. After seven years of pastoral ministry, I remain grateful for the teaching and friendship of the professors to their students, the deep fellowship among students of vastly different backgrounds (both theological and ethnic), and the care that Dr. O’Neill takes to shepherd the community.

  9. The profs all have tons of pastoral experience in addition to being great scholars. The President’s door is always open. It is that kind of place. Reformed Theology taught from scripture.

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