Sovereign Grace Baptist Church of Silicon Valley

The church exists, according to the inspired New Testament pattern, not only to evangelize, but also to edify and equip the people of God to be gospel witnesses as "the light of the world" and "the salt of the earth" (Eph. 4:11-16; Matt. 28:18-20; 5:13-14). It is the only God-ordained institution which is to be and function as "the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Tim. 3:14-15). The ministry of the church is thus a ministry of the Word. The ministry of the Word is then to be predominant and to govern the principles of all activity on the part of the church as a corporate entity. In addition, the ministry of the Word necessitates the study of biblical subjects, not only on the part of the leadership, but by the entire congregation. (I Pet. 3:15; Jude 3; 2 Cor. 10:3-5).

The Pacific Institute for Religious Studies (PIRS) is the educational ministry of our church. PIRS provides an opportunity for advancement in such studies beyond the usual public ministry of the Word. Our more formal academic ministry is the Sovereign Grace Baptist Theological Seminary (SGBTS). SGBTS provides studies for men seriously considering or evidencing a call to the Gospel ministry and recognized by this or another church as possessing the necessary gifts (Rom. 10:13-15), "And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" This implies the role of the church in recognizing, evaluating and sending forth God-called men in the Gospel ministry.


Seal of the Pacific Institute for Religious Studies


The Pacific Institute for Religious Studies (PIRS) has been established for the following purposes.


The seminary exists to provide students with proper academic discipline, to enable students to open the text of Scripture, and strives to produce expository preachers with a doctrinal and practical emphasis. Acceptance is conditioned upon personal and academic evaluation, and is by invitation only. The seminary is state-approved to offer the Bachelor of Theology degree upon satisfactory completion of a four-year course without the prerequisite of a B.A. or B.S. degree. A three-year Master of Divinity degree is offered for students who have completed a regular collegiate degree and qualify for the graduate program.

The modern Bible College or seminary is usually patterned after the university of the medieval era--an institution separate from the local congregation and largely theoretical in nature. The ideal is to have the biblical and theological education within the context of the local assembly, to have theory turned to life, and to experience the ministry within this God-ordained context. The Sovereign Grace Baptist Theological Seminary is authorized by the state of California to grant religious degrees.


The ministry of the Word implies an in-depth study of the Word of God. This, in turn, implies the study of the Word in the original languages. Thus, a study of the biblical languages is as foundational as a study of the Bible itself. Further, a study in these languages is necessary for academic advancement and the attainment of a true, sanctified scholarship which can declare the Gospel and defend the faith.

Classes in beginning and advanced biblical Hebrew are offered as needed, as is an Old Testament Hebrew Exegesis class.


A.T. Roberson said it best, "The trouble with all translations is that one's mind does not pause long enough over a passage to get the full benefit of the truth contained in it. The Greek compels one to pause over each word long enough for it to fertilize the mind with its rich and fructifying energy. The very words of the English become so familiar that they slip through the mind too easily." Our students have found this to be true.

Classes in beginning, immediate and advanced biblical Greek are offered as needed.