News Articles

GGBTS trustees hire five professors, OK balanced budget

SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–Trustees of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary approved a balanced budget and hired five new faculty members during their regular spring meeting Apr. 15-16 in Mill Valley, CA.

The $8.8 million spending plan for 2002-03 is 3 percent larger than the current operating budget. A budget summary presented to trustees described the new budget as “very conservative” and noted it “reflects lower distributions from the Cooperative Program.”

The budget summary stated additional resources for the coming year are committed only to salary adjustments and higher utility and insurance costs.

“We are operating under a balanced budget for this year and we have a lot of confidence that we will finish the year that way,” said Joe Panter, chairman of the trustee’s finance and property committee. The seminary’s fiscal year runs from Aug. 1 through July 31.

Panter, a trustee from Paradise Valley, AZ, said indications are “favorable” that the seminary will finish the current fiscal year with a slight budget surplus. But he noted circumstances might change that outcome.

“We’re just not getting it done financially,” Panter declared. “We need more money.”

The projected drop in CP funding at Golden Gate Seminary is based on flat enrollment at the institution’s main campus. A dip in the number of “full-time equivalent” (FTE) students at the northern California campus in recent years resulted this year in a $150,000 reduction in CP allocations compared to 2000-01.

Under the funding formula for the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries, Cooperative Program dollars are allocated on the basis of a three-year rolling average of FTEs at each seminary’s main campus. Thus, Golden Gate receives no CP funds for hundreds of students enrolled at campuses in southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.

By hiring five new professors, Golden Gate trustees trimmed the number of faculty vacancies to three. Rick Durst, academic dean, said the five were selected from more than 100 applicants for eight teaching positions.

Two of the newly hired professors will teach at Golden Gate’s Arizona campus. Harry Hahne, New Testament professor at Tyndale Seminary in Ontario, Canada, will become associate professor in New Testament studies in Phoenix. Hahne received the Doctor of Theology degree from Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto.

Paul Smith was elected as assistant professor in Old Testament studies and will also teach in Phoenix. Smith received the M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently is pastor of Dayton Avenue Baptist Church in Peoria, IL.

Earl Waggoner, pastor of First Baptist Church in Morgan City, LA, was named assistant professor of theology and church history for Golden Gate’s Rocky Mountain campus in Denver. Waggoner received the M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Richard Gregg Watson was elected to join the Mill Valley faculty as assistant professor in Old Testament studies. Since 1995, Watson has been a teaching fellow at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, where he received the M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees.

Trustees named Karen Elaine Jones as associate professor of Christian education to teach at the Mill Valley campus. Jones currently is assistant professor of educational ministries at Huntington College in Huntington, IN. She received the Master of Arts in Religious Education and Ph.D. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Several trustees voiced concern about low salaries paid to seminary faculty and staff in pricey Marin County, home to Golden Gate’s main campus. Seminary officials said the starting salary for a professor typically is well below $40,000 a year.

“I was surprised to learn our youth pastor makes more than a professor here,” remarked Kenneth Long, GGBTS trustee and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Moriarty, NM.

In earlier remarks to trustees, President William O. “Bill” Crews identified faculty- and staff pay as one of five issues the seminary needs to address in the near future.

“We’re embarrassed at times to tell people what we can offer but we offer it anyway because that’s what we have,” Crews told trustees during the discussion about salaries.

In other business, a pair of bylaws changes designed to “satisfy the accrediting agency” received trustees’ approval. One of the amendments removed a requirement that the president of the seminary preside at faculty meetings. The other changed the title of the seminary’s second highest-ranking officer from provost to executive vice president.

Trustees accepted “with appropriate expressions of appreciation” the resignation of Kenneth Carpenter, a trustee from Waskom, TX. Carpenter was elected in 2001 to a five-year term but has never attended a meeting and recently notified seminary officials that he was unable to fulfill the responsibilities of a trustee.

Trustees named Jerry Stubblefield as senior professor of Christian education. Elected to the faculty in 1977, Stubblefield is retiring from active teaching at the end of the current academic year. He has occupied the J.M. Frost Baptist Sunday School Board Chair of Religious Education while serving at Golden Gate.

Trustees also re-elected three of their number to continue as officers for another year: David George, pastor of Lake Arlington Baptist Church in Arlington, TX, chairman; Gary Black, a retired insurance executive from Novato, CA, vice chairman/chairman-elect; and Steven A. Cavanaugh, pastor of Reynoldsburg Baptist Church in Reynoldsburg, OH, secretary.

The next meeting of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary trustees is scheduled Oct. 7-8, 2002 at the seminary’s Southern California Campus in Brea.

    About the Author

  • Mark A. Wyatt