Archive for the ‘GTS News’ Category

Grace Receives ATS Accreditation

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Grace Theological Seminary has been awarded accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) following an intensive approval process.

The ATS is a membership organization of more than 250 graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry as well as for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. In the process of becoming accredited, Grace was first accepted as an associate member of ATS then began its candidacy process. The seminary conducted a comprehensive self-study before undergoing a site visit by the ATS accreditation team, who recommended Grace for approval by its Commission on Accrediting.

Dr. Jeff Gill, dean of Grace Theological Seminary, spoke about the opportunities afforded to Grace students as a result of the accreditation. “In addition to the strong affirmation of the excellence of our school, accreditation allows Grace to apply for student scholarships from large foundations like Eli Lilly and the Kern Family Foundation. We also look forward to a greater recruitment pool of prospective students since ordination in many denominations requires a degree from an ATS-accredited seminary.”

Grace has been granted full initial accreditation for a period of five years, which is the maximum awarded by ATS.

For more information about Grace Theological Seminary or to submit an application, please visit or call Lee Compson at 877.607.0012.

Dr. Rata Named to Editorial Board of Theological Journal

Monday, March 1st, 2010

 Dr. Tiberius Rata, Chair of the Biblical Studies Department and Professor of Biblical Studies has been named to the editorial board of Scripture and Interpretation, the theological journal of the Torch Trinity Center for Biblical Research, Seoul, South Korea. Besides contributing to the journal and provide suggestions for improvement, Tiberius will critically evaluate on Old Testament articles submitted by scholars worldwide.

FGBC Grace Seminary Scholarship Competition

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Grace Theological Seminary in conjunction with the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation is excited to host an exclusive seminary scholarship competition to students intending to enroll in the 2010-2011 school year. This exclusive scholarship competition is open to any student willing to serve in a Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC) ministry upon graduation from Grace Theological Seminary.

Goals of the Grant:

• Assist future FGBC leaders with the tuition costs associated with a residential Grace Seminary degree program.
• Enhance the theological, spiritual, and practical ministry training of FGBC current and future leaders enrolled in Grace Seminary.
• The hope is to use these funds as “seed money” for obtaining other matching gifts for FGBC students enrolled in Grace Seminary.

Conditions of the Grant:

• Four students in the 2010- 2011 school year will receive 33% of the tuition cost of their entire program (residential M.Div. or M.A.).
• The tuition grant will be forgiven over a three year period after graduation if the graduate is employed full-time within the FGBC.
• Repayment of the load will begin 1 year after graduation if the graduate is not employed in a FGBC ministry. Exception of these terms must be approved by the Dean.

Additional Opportunities for Grant Recipients:

• Students will be invited to attend one Central FOCUS Retreat with registration fee covered by the Seminary.
• Students will attend one FGBC Leaders Luncheon at no expense to the student
• Students will be placed in an FGBC church for the required degree program apprenticeship.

Interviews for Scholarship consideration will be held March 1st – 5th.  These should be scheduled through Tonya Cardin in the Seminary Administration office MC 215.

Grace Village offers Scholarship Opportunity for GTS students

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Grace Village is excited to offer a special scholarship fund for current Grace College and Seminary students.

The Grace Village Retirement Community Educational Fund has been established by a committee of residents and staff from Grace Village.  The purpose of the fund is to grant an award to a recurring Grace College student who wishes to further their education in Healthcare, Healthcare associated careers, and Seminary.  The recipient must demonstrate through their academic record at the college level, the ability to satisfactorily complete their chosen course of study.

For an official application, contact Lee Compson at

 For further details about the scholarship itself, contact Renea Salyer at

The deadline for submitting the application is April 1.

Dr. Rata and Dr. Harmon to present papers at the Evangelical Theological Society

Friday, November 6th, 2009

The 61st Annual Meeting of ETS will take place in New Orleans, LA, Nov. 18-20, 2009. Grace Theological Seminary’s very own Dr. Tiberius Rata and Dr. Matt Harmon will each be presenting papers at this convention. Below are the summary descriptions of their research to be shared at ETS:

Dr. Tiberius Rata

Chair, Biblical Studies Department
Professor of Old Testament Studies
Grace College and Theological Seminary

Does it take a village?  Issues in Ezra-Nehemiah authorship

The authorship of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah has been the subject of continuous debate, conjecture, and research.  Because both Ezra and Nehemiah write in the first person, many scholars agree with the Talmud that Ezra wrote most of the work, while Nehemiah finished it.  Most scholars also suggest that an editor/compiler put the book together in its present form.  My paper will examine the textual and linguistic arguments for and/or against these options, with a special emphasis on the analysis of the Hebrew/Aramaic employed in both books.

Matthew S. Harmon, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of NT Studies
Grace College & Theological Seminary

Title: Letter Carriers and Paul’s Use of Scripture


Within the discussion of Paul’s use of Scripture, scholars have frequently wondered how his predominantly Gentile congregations would have recognized his often subtle allusions to and echoes of the Old Testament, let alone their broader context. One solution has been to suggest that the carrier of the letter played a role in further explaining its contents. In order to assess the validity of this possibility, this paper begins by exploring the role of letter carriers in the ancient world. A survey of the Pauline epistles indicates that although his letter carriers performed a similar range of tasks; they were more than merely letter carriers. They were similar to Greco-Roman envoys, sent as a manifestation of Paul’s parousia and authorized to act on his behalf. As a result of this survey two implications emerge for the study of Paul’s use of Scripture and the audience’s competency to recognize it: (1) Paul’s use of envoys suggests they were authorized to further explain the contents of the letter, including his use of Scripture; (2) Given the letter’s role to mediate the very presence of Paul himself, it is reasonable to conclude that his envoys engaged in teaching, a central component of his own ministry. Thus there are solid grounds for suggesting that Paul’s letter carriers played a role in helping the audience to recognize OT allusions and echoes, as well as their original context.


Monday, April 6th, 2009



Grace alumnus Ben Thomas (BA 02, MA 05), who is currently a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, was a square supervisor for an Oriental Institute dig in Zincirli, Turkey. They excavated a well-preserved eighth century B.C. funerary stele for an official named Kuttamuwa. Archaeology magazine selected it as one of the top 10 discoveries of 2008. For a picture of the stele and Ben reading it, see Ben reports that he was called on to read the inscription (it’s in an old western Aramaic dialect in the Phoenician script). His success in translating it received public recognition from Professor Dennis Pardee and the dig director, Professor David Schloen.

Ben has published an article in ZAW 120 (2008) and has two articles awaiting publication (in Hebrew Studies and BASOR). He’s also a contributor to a forthcoming encyclopedia and a volume entitled,
Popular Controversies in World History. In addition he’s been presenting papers at SBL and AOS meetings. Ben is ABD and is working on his dissertation proposal: “Prophetic Historiography in the Books of Kings.”
* Note: Thanks to Dr. Brent Sandy for this information.

Dr. Stallter to present paper at EMS

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Dr. Tom Stallter, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Intercultural Studies, will present a paper at the North Central Regional meeting of the Evangelical Missiological Society on March 28 at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

The theme of the meetings is Ethics and Mission.  The title of Dr. Stallter’s paper is “Ethical Challenges for U.S. Expatriates in the Use of Cultural Intelligence for Problem Solving in a Second Culture.”  Papers will be selected at this regional meeting for inclusion in the program of the annual meeting of EMS at Minneapolis in September and then for publication.

Dr. Matt Harmon’s Blog Nationally Recognized

Monday, January 26th, 2009 recently released their Top 100 Theology Blogs and Grace Theological Seminary’s Associate Professor of New Testament Studies Dr. Matt Harmon was ranked #11. Check out his blog, entitled ‘Biblical Theology’ at compiled their list of top blogs and broke them down into several categories including general theology, criticism, history, etc. To see the entire list, go to

Dr. Rata’s Article Published

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Dr. Tiberius Rata wrote an article on David which was published recently in InterVarsity Press’ Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. The bibliographic citation is: Tiberius Rata, “David,” pages 86-88 in The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings, edited by Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns (Downers Grove: Illinois, 2008).

This third Old Testament volume in InterVarsity Press’ celebrated “Black Dictionary” series offers 148 articles covering all the important aspects of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth, and Esther. More than 90 contributers have provided information for this book. To read more, visit