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Crews to grads: Love, God’s call vital for ministry effectiveness

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Effective ministry must be characterized by love and framed by what God desires, William O. Crews, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, told graduates at Dec. 19 commencement ceremonies.
Golden Gate, one of six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries and the only SBC agency in the western United States, awarded degrees to 48 students representing 16 states and five foreign countries.
“Students come to seminary with many questions, and I hope we’ve answered many of them,” Crews said. “Tonight, I want to leave you with a question to carry with you throughout your ministry, now and in the years ahead.”
Crews cited 1 Corinthians 13, the biblical passage in which the Apostle Paul stresses the importance of love and faithfulness. “Your ‘resumes’ are pretty thin right now, but they will grow as you get opportunities to do some things that people notice,” Crews predicted. “Every now and then, stop and ask yourself, ‘So what?’ Make sure that what you’re doing is what God is calling you to do.”
The commencement ceremony marked the first time a degree was awarded from the seminary’s David and Faith Kim School of Intercultural Studies, established two years ago to provide training for students committed to serving in cross-cultural ministry and professional settings, either in North America or abroad.
Mark Cole, youth minister at Concord Korean Baptist Church, Martinez, Calif., received a master of arts in intercultural studies from the Kim school. He thanked all his seminary professors for teaching him that relationships in ministry matter.
“I came to seminary with a desire to get a foundation in my faith — a lot of Bible knowledge to help me in returning to the Far East,” Cole told the graduating class during his testimony. “Our professors did a wonderful job of filling our heads with information we’ll use, but they showed us that what matters most is relationships — with God and with people.”
Graduating student Chung-Yan Joyce Chan, who earned a master of divinity with a concentration in biblical theology, also paid tribute to her professors during her testimony.
“What we have learned must not be just head knowledge, but it must be integrated with our hearts,” Chan said. “I’m grateful to our professors who have shown us such examples with their lives.”
Noting the seminary’s mission is “shaping Christian leaders for the churches of tomorrow,” Crews awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Leadership to Marcus D. “Goodie” Goodloe, a master of divinity graduate who serves as a youth minister at Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, Calif. Crews established the award three years ago to recognize students showing outstanding promise as a leader in ministry in the 21st century.
In addition to the residential campus in Mill Valley, Calif., the seminary operates regional campuses in southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.

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  • Cameron Crabtree