The Board of Trustees of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (GPTS) has elected Dr. Jonathan Master as the seminary’s second president, to start on July 1, 2020. Dr. Master is currently the dean of the School of Divinity at Cairn University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, where he has served as Professor of Theology since 2011.
He is the editorial director of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, founding editor of the Alliance content platform, “Place for Truth”, and co-host of the Alliance podcast, “Theology on the Go.” He is also associate editor for the Banner of Truth magazine.
Master is the author of the books “Growing in Grace” and “A Question of Consensus: The Doctrine of Assurance After the Westminster Confession” (Fortress, 2015). He co-edited “On Reforming Worship” (Covenant Publications, 2018) with Dr. David W. Hall, and he edited “The God We Worship” (Presbyterian & Reformed Publications, 2016).
As president, Master will lead the seminary’s faculty and administration, and he will teach theology and biblical studies. His appointment follows Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., who will step down as president in July 2020. Pipa will continue to serve the seminary community as full-time professor of Systematic & Homiletical Theology and as president emeritus.
“We thank God for so quickly making clear to us the right man to build upon Dr. Pipa’s work,” said GPTS board chairman C. Fredric Marcinak. “Dr. Jonathan Master has a strong background in pastoral and academic leadership that will greatly benefit our students, faculty, and staff. On behalf of the board, I can say that we are thrilled to welcome him as our co-laborer in service to Christ at Greenville Seminary.”
Master is a familiar face to GPTS community. He preached at the 2019 GPTS Spring Theology Conference and at the Banner of Truth East Coast Ministers’ Conference, and he has partnered with faculty, staff, and students through his editorial work with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
“Over the past year as I have gotten to know Jonathan, I have been impressed by his breadth of knowledge and experience, his devotion to Christ, his commitment to the Reformed faith as articulated in the Westminster Standards, and his desire to labor for the good of the church,” said Dr. Pipa.
“The faculty and I are fully supportive of the Board’s decision to bring Jonathan in as my successor. I have great respect for Jonathan, and I am looking forward to working under him as I continue teaching at Greenville Seminary.”
Master earned a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Aberdeen., researching the doctrine of assurance in the Westminster Confession and in the writings of Anthony Burgess. He earned both the M.Div. and the Th.M. from Capital Bible Seminary, and a bachelor’s degree in Bible at Cairn University.
While an undergraduate at Cairn, he worked on an archaeological excavation in Israel and in that capacity was a summer school instructor for Harvard University.
Ordained to the gospel ministry in 2002, Master first received a call to replant a church in East Windsor, New Jersey. During that time, he served as a pastor-theologian at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey. After moving from New Jersey, Master served as a pastor in Bowie, Maryland, while also teaching systematic theology at a seminary in Maryland. Master’s ministerial credentials are currently in the Presbytery of Philadelphia of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
In addition to his full-time position at Cairn University, Master serves on the Candidates & Credentials Committee for the Presbytery of Philadelphia, and on the session of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Ambler, Pennsylvania. He is the ministerial advisor and primary preacher while the church conducts a pastoral search.
“Moving is never easy, but Elizabeth and I are looking forward to coming to South Carolina next summer to join in the work of Greenville Seminary,” Master. “The doctrinal unity of the Seminary, along with its focus on equipping men to preach Christ’s Word and to care for souls within Christ’s church, make it an important place – much needed in our day. I thank God for this entire process, and I am eager to see how the Lord will continue to use GPTS and its graduates in the years ahead.”
Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is governed by an inter-denominational Board of Trustees made up of men ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Bible Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales, Presbyterian Reformed Church, United Reformed Churches in North America, and the Reformed Church in the United States. Established in 1987, the Seminary’s mission is equipping preachers, pastors, and churchmen for Christ’s Kingdom.