SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary Chancellor William O. Crews, at the historic First Baptist Church in San Francisco, noted to the seminary’s winter term graduates they will face times of discouragement in their ministries.
“You are leaving here to lead people … and it is not always going to be encouraging,” Crews told the 47 graduates, representing 10 states and three foreign countries.
Citing God’s discouraging mission to Nehemiah, Crews noted that the people to whom the prophet was ministering were both tired and without vision.
When faced with discouragement, Crews exhorted the graduates to:
— Remember: “When discouraged, get a fresh picture of who Christ is.”
— Resist: “Fight for the family of God.”
— Rally: “People are discouraged many times because they are by themselves.”
Crews presented the GGBTS Award for Excellence in Leadership to Wenwei Wu, a Chinese medical doctor who earned the master of divinity degree.
In addition to Crews, two students at the ceremony shared how God had shaped them at seminary.
Kelly Womack of Arkansas told how God provided peace in the midst of her husband and sister being diagnosed with cancer. “In the midst of the pain, God provided healing through our church family and the seminary family.”
Michael Sandefur of Washington, reflecting on major changes placed in his life during his seminary experience, shared how changes in career and family can open new doors for growth in Christ.
Of the 47 graduates, 10 different degrees were presented: certificate in Christian studies-seminary extension, diploma in Christian ministries-CLD, diploma in theology-CLD, master of arts in educational leadership, master of arts in worship leadership, master of arts in intercultural ministries, master of arts in theological studies, master of divinity, master of theology and doctor of ministry.
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention and operates five campuses in Northern California, Southern California, Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.