Frequently Asked Questions
How does RPTS prepare me for ministry?Our commitment to the church & our students is that students will receive:
Theological Grounding—a commitment to biblical orthodoxy, as expressed in the Westminster Standards and the RP Testimony.
Devotional Piety—our professors are pastors, we offer daily chapel services, and we place stress on personal holiness.
Practical Training—students are not only taught but given experiences to preach, counsel, evangelize, and defend the faith.
Can I schedule a counseling appointment at the BCI?
Yes! The Biblical Counseling Institute serves as a resource for those in the body of Christ in need of experienced counsel to address personal problems. To schedule an appointment with one of our counselors, please contact our office at 412-731-3000 or [email protected].
What does the RPTS community life look like?
A tremendous sense of community exists among students, faculty, and staff at the Seminary. Opportunities for formal and informal interaction abound, both inside and outside the classroom. Listen to what our students say and schedule a visit to experience it!
What is Seminary Women?
Seminary Women meet monthly throughout the academic year for fellowship, instruction, and encouragement. Faculty wives, student wives, and female students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity for fellowship and personal growth.
How to find information about soon-to-be-graduating students?
Students at RPTS maintain a student profile page with information about themselves, their status as they proceed toward ordination, and samples of their preaching and writing. You can access these profiles at profiles.rpts.edu.
What is the application procedure?
1) Complete and submit an application here.
2) Submit official academic transcripts for all college coursework, including all post-high school institutions.
3) Submit references:
• From a pastor or other church leader from your home church.
• From another acquaintance of the student’s choice.
• From an academic advisor or professor (Master’s level classes only).
You will have links to send a form to your reference as part of the application process.
4) Submit a non-refundable application fee of $50.00. This fee is waived if your application is completed by the start of classes in the academic quarter prior to the quarter you plan to begin study.
The Seminary encourages prospective students to apply as early as possible. We recommend that you submit all application paperwork three months prior to the first day of the quarter in which you want to start classes. Applications must be finalized (application, all references, transcripts, and application fee submitted) by two weeks prior to classes beginning in your intended quarter. Late applications are subject to a $50 late application fee.
Qualified applicants from other countries are welcome to become part of the student body, as the Seminary is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students who desire to serve the Church worldwide. International application requirements may be found here in our Academic Catalog.
5) DMin applicants only: Submit a previously submitted paper, of approximately 10 pages, from your master’s degree work.
Can I speak to the RPTS President?
Yes! President York greatly looks forward to meeting you personally and praying with you as you seek to discern God’s leading. Please submit an inquiry or schedule a visit.
Is there any housing available near RPTS?
Our main building, Rutherford Hall, has a limited number of furnished dorm rooms for single men. Several apartments are also available on campus for married students. Other accommodations are readily available in the community since the Seminary is located near three major universities in a large metropolitan area.
For questions or to inquire about housing availability, contact the Admissions Office at [email protected] or 412-731-6000
Is RPTS accredited?
The Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and is approved to offer the following degrees: the Doctor of Ministry, the Master of Divinity, and the Master of Theological Studies degrees, along with comprehensive distance education. Contact information and our Statement of Educational Effectiveness are located under our Academics tab.
How do quarter hours compare to semester hours?
Each quarter hour is 2/3 of a semester hour. Over the academic year, if you take 12 quarter hours for three quarters, you would have the same amount of seat/time as you would if you were taking 12 semester hours each semester.
Our 135 quarter credits required for our MDiv is the same amount of in-class time as a 90-semester-credit structured MDiv.
Why is RPTS on a quarter system instead of semesters?
You may think our answer is, “that’s the way we have always done it.” And, it is.
But we also believe a quarter system provides many benefits. You are provided with more classes in the same amount of time, which results in greater variety of course content. With more variety of material also comes greater faculty variation.
What is considered a full-time load? And, how long will it take me to complete my degree?
A full-time load is 9 or more credits. Students who desire to complete the MDiv in 3 years or the MTS in 2 years will need to average 15 credits per quarter over the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.
Will course credit from other seminaries transfer into RPTS?
Yes. We work at being generous in applying transfer credits from other seminaries to RPTS. We do have a few qualifying conditions which you can read about in our academic catalog.
How do I request a transcript?
RPTS has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to process secure online orders for official transcripts. The cost is $7 each, plus a processing fee.
The Clearinghouse website includes instructions on placing your order. Please note that all outstanding balances due to RPTS must be paid before transcripts will be released.
How do I become a Library patron?
Borrowing privileges are extended free to current students, faculty and staff, and students of the Geneva College Pittsburgh Campus. Student, faculty, and staff ID cards serve as library cards.
All other adults desiring borrowing privileges must pay for them. The cost is $30 for RPTS graduates, $40 for local clergy, and $50 for everyone else per twelve-month period, payable in advance. See TREE(rptslibrary.org) to register for borrowing privileges.
What are the Library’s business hours?
The Library is open twenty-four hours a day from Monday through Saturday but closed on Lord’s Day. Library staff members are available most weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., normal holidays excluded.
How do I access the Library Catalog?
You may access the Library Catalog by going to catalog.rptslibrary.org. There you can browse the resources and see what we have available.
If you have an RPTS Email, you can also log in and renew books or pay fines.
What is the Rare Books Room?
The Rare Books Room is where the library houses over 1700 volumes. They are grouped in three areas: “Rare Mini” for small books, behind the door; “Rare Oversize” for large books, opposite the door; and the regular size books, which are simply marked “Rare”, on the three main walls and in the closet.
Rare books do not circulate, but they are listed in the online catalog.
Nearly all our rare books date from before 1830; the earliest was published in 1534, the year after the conversion of John Calvin, but before he settled in Geneva (1536).
How do I connect to the Seminary Wifi?
As a student, you can select “RPTS Student Wifi” and then log in with your email username and password.
As a guest, go to the Library Circulation desk and ask for a guest pass code to “RPTS Guest WIFI”.
How do I connect to the Library Printer?
As a Student:
1. Download and install the software for the student printer (http://172.16.30.16:9163/client-setup/windows.html) when you are in the RPTS building.
– If given a choice, select [Sharp MX 3071] as the printer.
– Click here for more detailed instructions.
2. You may then print from your computer to that printer
– After printing, go to the student printer.
– Sign in by tapping your ID card.
– As long as you have funds in your account, the printer will print after you have signed in.
– If you do not have funds in your account, you will need to log in (manually) to the pay station on the printer and add funds.
3. For making copies, you can also log in with your student ID card.
As a Guest: Speak to either the Front Desk or the Circulation Desk, and they will let you know if it’s possible.