However the Lord might use you to support the Gospel ministry of RPTS, know that you and our other friends are the primary reason the Seminary has been faithfully training pastors and church leaders for nearly two hundred years. We could not continue without your financial support!
First, supporting our Annual Fund with unrestricted gifts is a vital component of the health of the Seminary. Thankfully, concerted and generous support from our friends has kept the Seminary "in the black" for more than a decade.
Specified gifts to particular projects also are an enormous help to take major steps forward with new vision to meet growing needs. This page will keep you updated on major project and program goals and needs that our our top prioirites in addition to our Annual Fund. Consider what most excites you, and partner with us to make it happen!
New Building and Counseling Institute
A New Building for a New Vision of New Ministry!
One key need for RPTS to better serve Christ’s Church is to provide more training in Biblical counseling during preparation for the ministry of the gospel. We want our students to get practical counseling training by shadowing a Director of Counseling as well as having more classroom course options. We also hope to meet the needs of those currently serving in the pastorate who feel ill-equipped to handle the Biblical counseling required of them.
For the first time in decades, we have room to set up a counseling training site, having purchased a storefront property directly across the street from the Seminary at 7401 Penn Avenue! This new building is being named The Willson Center in honor of five professors who have served RPTS over its first 200 years.
A critical component of our plan is hiring a new full-time staff person to serve a dual role:
(1) Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Theology at RPTS; and (2) Director of a new Biblical Counseling Institute to be housed in the new building.
We are delighted to announce that Dr. George C. Scipione has just come on board to fill this new role and help us establish the Biblical Counseling Institute and offer more pastoral counseling courses.
This long-desired program could well be the biggest single advancement in our training of pastors that we have seen in our generation, with far-reaching benefits for Christ’s church.
Some initial plans include:
- Counseling with a training component. Students will need to observe or actually
do counseling with the oversight of the director. Local referring pastors could be invited to sit in on sessions to learn and gain experience and provide accountability.
- A thorough assessment would be made three years following the start-up of the Institute to determine the impact on students as well as those counseled, and its future viability.
And this is not all of our plans for the new building! In addition, we will address
the following needs:
- Additional Office and Classroom Space: for RPTS and possibly for the Center for Urban Biblical Ministry, whose offices and classes are housed at our Main Campus. Both RPTS and CUBM are experiencing incredible growth in students and staff, and limited space is restricting our ability to best serve.
- Library Expansion: Our continual accountability membership in the Association of Theological Schools is dependent on creating more space for Library overflow of books soon. In 2007, for our first ATS Self-Study in a decade, RPTS identified that more library space if vital, as our current library is near capacity and limiting what we can provide to our students and local pastors for theological research and ministry preparation.
- Student Housing: There are four very nice apartments currently on the second floor of the building which the Seminary has renovated and now rents to students to serve a growing need of married student housing.
- Storage: While the beautiful Mansion Campus of RPTS is an incredible asset, storage
is at a premium. The basement level of the new building offers much-needed storage space for various department and staff needs.
This is an Extraordinary Partnership Opportunity!
The $350,000 building purchase was paid for through gifts from Seminary friends as well as board-directed funds originally earmarked to begin our first endowed chair. An additional $240,000 is needed for current renovations to best use the store-front area for classrooms (buffering traffic noise, putting in a new floor, put up a new sign, maximizing the space and comfort), the basement areas for proper storage, and apartment improvements. Of that amount $50,000 is still needed to be raised to complete basic renovations.
Thank you for considering how the Lord might call you to be part of this very special project of our bicentennial campaign, From Strength to Strength, that culminates in 2010. Please contact the Development Office to learn more about how you can partner with us!
We are asking the Lord to establish a permanent fund for one department professor's salary. Most institutions of higher education have many endowed departmental chairs. RPTS has none. Endowing a chair would cover a professor's salary and benefits ongoing while relieving pressure from our Annual Fund so we can grow in other areas in a proactive and timely manner. An endowed chair may be named in honor of someone. $1.5 Million is needed to endow a department chair.
Financial Aid through scholarships helps students have the time and resources to devote to study. Scholarships can be named in honor of a professor, alumnus, denomination, church, family member, or friend. More scholarships increase student enrollment and help more part-time students increase to full-time; all while strengthening the Seminary’s finances and impact. A typical gift to begin a partial endowed scholarship is $25,000, $200,000 for a full scholarship.
Minority and Urban Student Scholarship
The Seminary began a MUSt program to develop more financial aid for minority students. Our Seminary is held in high regard by Pittsburgh’s African-American community – in fact, RPTS has one of the highest percentages of African-American students among Reformed seminaries. We know that if more financial aid were available, more minority students would enroll, and those currently here would take more classes. And this would have them ministering in churches sooner and more full-time. The MUSt fund is already established. We are trying to build it to $1 Million. Interest from added gifts to this fund are immediately used to help more students while it grows to our $1 Million goal.
Other Facility Needs
Windows that are double pane and more efficient to better regulate heating and cooling for people’s comfort and tremendous savings on utilities. Through foundation grants, a large section of the first floor of the Seminary mansion has been updated with modern windows, such as the Chapel and main offices, and the savings in utility costs has already been very obviously significant. Another foundation grant is finishing the first floor and all of the Library Wing on both levels. We aim to put new energy efficient windows that are also more aesthetically pleasing in all classrooms and offices of the second and third floor (where single students live) over the next few years. About $200,000 was invested in the previous and current window replacement projects on the first floor and Library Wing.
Point and Re-mortar the outer brick walls, necessary to keep up the nearly century-old building in proper shape.
Basement renovations, such as dry wall on the current brick walls, knocking out walls and combining rooms, sound and AV equipment, carpet, drainage, and modern bathrooms to beautify and improve what includes the student lounge and dining and event area.