A transdenominational Reformed seminary organized in 1987, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary understands itself to stand in the theological tradition of South Carolinian James Henley Thornwell and emphasizes a strict adherence to the seventeenth-century Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. It claims commitment to the “Authority of Scripture,” “Doctrinal Integrity,” “The Use of the Original Languages,” “The Preservation of Our Christian Heritage,” “Christ-Centered Preaching,” and a “Classical Curriculum.” While the seminary also emphasizes its accountability to the church, it is not owned and operated by a denomination or judicatory of a denomination. It seeks its accreditation from ecclesiastical bodies rather than accrediting agencies for higher education and the Association of Theological Schools.
The seminary offers six degrees ranging from the Bachelor of Divinity to the Doctor of Theology. In the fall of 2001, it had approximately eighty students and eight regular faculty members. Because the seminary believes “that the Bible prohibits women from teaching or exercising authority over men in the Church,” only men are admitted to programs leading to ordination. In its commitments and faculty, the seminary reflects a close connection to Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, organized in 1929 as a result of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
A “Propaedeutic” or introductory year with an emphasis on philosophy, logic, and rhetoric is required for men entering programs leading to ordination.