Over the last 20 years, RTS Charlotte has been pleased to develop a great relationship with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) denomination. While we serve many different denominations (over 40 different ones), and while the PCA is still our largest constituency, there is a special regional connection with the ARP in the Carolinas.
This relationship will only get stronger, we pray, with the newly announced Glenwood ARP Scholarship here at the Charlotte campus. This scholarship provides full tuition for 3 years for qualified ARP students who are in the M.Div. program. Although the application process for these scholarships is competitive, we encourage people to apply. For more info, see here.
In light of this relationship with the ARP, the next installment in the Where Are They Now? alumni series is with Matt Miller (class of 2004), senior minister of the Greenville ARP Church. For the prior installments in the series see here, here, here, and here. Here is what Matt had to say:
1. What are you currently doing?
For the last 5 years, I have had the privilege of serving as the Senior Minister of the Greenville ARP Church, about a mile from downtown Greenville, SC.
2. Why did you originally come to RTS Charlotte?
I came only seeking a theological education as a foundation for other pursuits (I was planning to pursue further studies in economics or law). The quality faculty at RTS-Charlotte made it the only seminary I applied to. But the Lord had other plans – my seminary education would indeed prove to be preparation for the Gospel ministry.
3. Is there one thing that you learned at RTS that has come back to you as you have ministered to others? A phrase, encouragement or advice?
“Be patient.” I heard that across the board, from systematics to practical courses. Preach and pray, trust that the Lord is working through the means of grace more than you can see, and in a matter of years, you’ll begin to see fruit.
4. What do you enjoy most about your current ministry?
Seeing lives substantially transformed by Christ Jesus (especially seeing believers come to the point that they can forgive enemies). I also enjoy helping believers learn enough about the Bible that they begin to feel confident reading it for themselves on a daily basis. Greenville ARP has a lot more daily Bible readers than it did five years ago, and this is greatly encouraging.
5. What has been a struggle in your ministry?
Knowing that people “talk”, and that a good bit of what’s said is quite far-fetched (sometimes you really just have to laugh). I’ve been learning to entrust my reputation to the Lord’s keeping and just patiently plow forward. This really becomes a matter of personal sanctification – do I trust Him that much? Do I fear Him more than man?
6. If you could give any encouragement to a current student in seminary, what would it be?
GET TO KNOW YOUR PROFESSORS! And I would repeat that ten times. If you can come out of seminary with one or two professors that you’re close to, it will be a huge help and support going forward, especially in the early years of your first call. Secondly, I would exhort students not to lose their habit of daily personal devotions (unrelated to seminary homework) while in seminary. The students I saw fall out of that habit during seminary did not regain it afterward, and the students who retained it through seminary seemed to retain it afterward. A personal devotional life is essential to a vibrant Gospel ministry – make sure that habit is firmly-rooted BEFORE you graduate.
For a taste of Matt’s ministry, see the highlight video below of their 2010 church retreat to Bonclarken in Flat Rock, NC: