RBS Tabletalk

the weblog of reformed baptist seminary

Profile: Seminary & Dean

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Historical Background

Since the early 1990’s, Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church (Grand Rapids, MI) has been providing ministerial education through the Reformed Baptist School of Theology (RBST). More recently, Covenant Reformed Baptist Church (Easley, SC) began providing ministerial training through Covenant Reformed Baptist Theological Seminary (CRBTS). In the spring of 2005, both congregations officially approved a proposal to merge the two ministries in order to form Reformed Baptist Seminary: A Church-based Ministerial Academy (RBS), which operates under the joint-oversight of both churches.

Nature & Purpose

As a “church-based” institution, RBS operates under the oversight of the local church and seeks the input and counsel of an advisory board, academic committee, and other likeminded churches. Furthermore, the seminary’s faculty consists primarily of instructors who not only have biblical knowledge and teaching ability but are qualified pastors engaged in pastoral ministry. Finally, RBS requires one of the student’s pastors to provide general oversight of his training and to serve as his mentor and proctor.

RBS exists primarily for the purpose of preparing men for the gospel ministry. Therefore, training men who aspire to the pastorate, as well as providing further training for men who are already engaged in pastoral labors shall be the main focus of the seminary. As an extension of the local church’s teaching ministry, the seminary exists secondarily to provide further instruction for laymen who desire to enhance their understanding of Scripture.

Doctrinal Beliefs

The doctrinal beliefs of the seminary may be summarized under three general headings:

Committed to Holy Scripture

We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of both the Old and New Testaments of Holy Scripture (66 books) in their original autographs. We believe that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in all their parts and are, therefore, trustworthy and authoritative in all that they affirm concerning history, science, doctrine, ethics, religious practice, or any other topic.

Committed to Reformed Theology

We believe that salvation always has been and always will be through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone. We believe that this central message of Scripture has been most clearly and accurately expounded in the Reformed Confessions of Faith, especially, in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, which is the seminary’s confessional standard.

Committed to Baptist Distinctives

We believe that baptism and church membership should only be bestowed upon those who make a credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We also believe that the local church is self-governing and under no other ecclesiastical authority except the Lord Jesus Himself.

Today’s Seed…Tomorrow’s Tree

When Sir Walter Mildmay founded Emmanuel College of Cambridge, England, he is said to have reported to the Queen of England, “I have set an acorn, which when it becomes an oak, God alone knows what will be the fruit thereof.” That school soon became a hotbed for Puritan theology and preaching. We too have planted an acorn, which we hope will some day become an oak.

Seminary Dean

Robert R. Gonzales Jr. has been a pastor since 1997 and currently serves as one of the pastors of Covenant Reformed Baptist Church. He is a graduate of the Reformed Baptist School of Theology, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also holds a Master of Arts degree (M.A.) in Theology and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Old Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University. He is an Associate Editor of and contributor to the Reformed Baptist Theological Review (RBTR) and a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). Bob and his wife, Becky, have five children.


Written by Joseph Bartosch

May 21, 2007 at 8:11 pm

One Response

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  1. Dear Bob,

    Thank you for your excellent work. I have read your posts for some time and have found them valuable and edifying. I have used one of them (Psalm 131) as a devotional at an Elders Meeting and distributed your articles to others in our congregation.

    I have been especially pleased with both the content and style of your articles–biblical, confessional, experiential but not triumphalistic. You have disagreed with some of our esteemed Reformed brethren in a gracious way. Your articles on the passions and the laity have been brilliant.

    I just wanted you to know that some out here in the foxholes value your material but don’t write to argue or spar with you.
    Since I met you first at the Holland Pastor’s Fraternal years ago, I have followed your work from afar. I am glad your health seems to have improved (judging from your output).

    May the Lord continue to prosper you and your work.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    Steve Martin

    Pastor Steve Martin

    May 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm

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