Dear Friend of RPTS,
Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ! When the Apostle Paul received aid from the church at Philippi to continue his work of spreading the gospel and planting churches, he exclaimed, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5). Each day at RPTS we rejoice in prayer over the gospel partnerships we enjoy with friends like you as we see the Lord use your support to help us with the ministries described below!
We will once again gather for the annual RPTS graduation service on Friday, May 19, at 7:00 p.m. in the beautiful facilities of our friends at Providence PCA located at 77 Phillips Lane in McKees Rocks. Dr. William VanDoodewaard, Academic Dean and Professor of Church History at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, will be our speaker. Please join us if you are able!
We are excited to see each of our Master of Theological Studies students graduate, especially Karla Byrd. Karla was the longtime Executive Director of the Center for Urban Biblical Ministries, which is housed in Rutherford Hall. Seeing her hooded at this ceremony after a significant providential delay in her studies will be special! We’re also grateful that we can award the Doctor of Ministry degree to four worthy graduates.
Though we have a smaller class of graduates in our Master of Divinity program this year, we are excited to see how the Lord is directing each of them. Jon Sturm will return to Indiana to work alongside Pastor Adam Niess as an associate pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Lafayette. Graham Smith is anticipating heading to Fresno, California, to serve a PCA congregation there. Graham and his family will be a great encouragement to his friend, Pastor Johnathan Kruis, a 2022 RPTS graduate pastoring the Fresno RPC. Martin Monteith and the saints in Fulton, New York, are seeking the Lord’s will over him potentially helping in the revitalization work that is taking place there under the leadership of an experienced pastor, Kit Schwartz. Keith Dewell is actively visiting churches in various locations, and I am confident it will not be long before he receives a call.
Sad Departures, but Happy Providences
Two young women who have served us well are leaving RPTS this summer – but for good reasons! Tori Mann, our Office Manager for the Biblical Counseling Institute, is not only graduating with her MTS with an emphasis in Biblical Counseling but is getting married to Michael Sturm and moving to Indiana in August. Abi Carroscia, Admissions Assistant, will be having her first child in late summer and will step down as well. Though we are sad to see these gifted young ladies leave, we rejoice over the Lord’s goodness to them and trust His provision for our needs at RPTS.
Chinese Language Program
With numerous Chinese students on campus, along with church plants among the Chinese people popping up all across North America, accompanied by RPTS graduates running underground seminaries who are asking for our help, I have been working with the faculty and staff here to see what we can do to further to assist the Chinese church. Recently, I hired Pastor Hao Lu to be our part-time Director of the Chinese Language Program. Hao will place Chinese script on course lectures, work on administrative matters, and communicate with those near and far so that we can serve them best. This program has potential to help many people, so please join us in praying the Lord would greatly bless this effort.
Our professors continue to stay active. Spring is the time for sowing seeds, and Dr. Rick Gamble, along with adjunct professor Ed Blackwood, have students busily engaging others in apologetics and evangelism, respectively. Dr. Jeff Stivason recently taught a one-credit course on Pilgrim’s Progress to 30 students gathered in the chapel at Rutherford Hall. Dr. C.J. Williams continues lecturing in churches and discussing on podcasts and radio programs his book, The Shadow of Christ in the Book of Lamentations. Professor Keith Evans recently spoke at a men’s retreat for the Ohio Presbytery of the PCA. Dr. David Whitla will deliver two messages at the Banner of Truth conference in May held in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. I’m enjoying helping lead a church planting effort in the Beaver County area with some RPTS students involved – nothing like it for making our instruction truly practical!
100 Years in Rutherford Hall
In 1923, the Synod of the RPCNA had the faith and foresight to purchase the Durbin Horne Mansion to house RPTS. After readying the building, the seminary began courses there the following year. For a century now, RPTS has called this beautiful mansion – now named Rutherford Hall – home.
To celebrate this anniversary and remember the great things the Lord has done, we have initiated a campaign called “100 Years in Rutherford Hall” so that we can continue our recent efforts to beautify and enhance our facility. Throughout this next year, we will be seeking to raise an additional $500,000 for needed renovations, from the roof to the basement and many things in between.
As you read of all the Lord is doing through us at RPTS, please continue to partner with us. Over half of our annual budget each year depends on the giving of friends like you. By faith, we are seeking to see the Lord bring in the extra gifts we need for the 100 Years campaign. If you would like to give to our work here, please consider sending a gift by check, calling us at (412) 731-6000 to use a credit card, or using our website at rpts.edu/give.
Thank you for your ongoing interest and partnership with us at RPTS! If you give to this ministry, please know, as Paul said to the Philippians, that your gift will be “a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).
In Christ’s Love and Service,
Barry J. York