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Golden Gate Ariz. campus relocates to Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (BP)–The Arizona regional campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary recently relocated from downtown Phoenix to Scottsdale, a growing suburban corridor east of Phoenix.

The new location was formerly owned by Coronado Baptist Church, which will continue to meet at the facilities Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. The property — more than five acres plus the buildings — was a gift to a charitable ministries trust of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention (ASBC), with the stipulation that it be used, perpetually, to house the Arizona regional campus of Golden Gate Seminary.

“Scottsdale is strategically located for us,” said Mark McClellan, campus director. “It has much better interstate access for our students, it’s in an educational corridor, near the University of Phoenix and the University of Arizona, which can be used for cross-research purposes, and it’s in a growing and prestigious area of the Phoenix metro region.”

Most of the five-plus acres are undeveloped, leaving room for the campus to expand. Arizona Baptist Builders, a volunteer group, donated labor for the extensive remodeling required — expanding some Sunday School classrooms and converting others to offices, creating a library, a chapel and multi-purpose space, and making various lighting, painting and aesthetic changes.

Whereas students once commuted to the offices of the ASBC, in downtown Phoenix, McClellan said, “This is a world better for us and our students. First of all, the east valley area is the best overall location for our campus. Second, we really have needed our own campus that we could develop and expand as we saw fit. Third, we needed a place where there was no rental cost, even though our rent was provided by the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention. This new location may not be a gift of a million dollars, but it’s worth that much to us.”

The Arizona regional campus is seven years old and is fully accredited to offer the complete master of divinity, master of theological studies and diploma of theology degrees. About 50 students are enrolled per semester, most of them from the Phoenix metro area.

“We are so grateful to God, to Coronado Baptist Church, to the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, and to the Arizona Baptist Builders for this facility and property and all of their support of the Arizona regional campus,” McClellan said. “We’re excited about the growth and ministry ahead of us.”

In other news, Harry Hahne and Paul Smith will join the Arizona campus this fall as trustee-appointed professors in New Testament and Old Testament studies, respectively.

Hahne was adjunct professor of New Testament at Tyndale Seminary, Ontario, Canada, for 12 years. During that time, he has also taught at Heritage Baptist Theological Seminary, Cambridge, Ontario; Ontario Bible College, Toronto; and Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

Hahne, who has extensive expertise in computer-assisted biblical research, holds a doctorate of theology from the University of Toronto (Wycliffe College), and a master of divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. He also has been a pastor and associate pastor and a campus minister with Campus Crusade for Christ.

McClellan said Hahne is “at the cutting edge of computer-assisted biblical research, and I believe he’s going to stay at the front of teaching methodology for seminaries in coming years. He’s also a southern Californian, has that western connection he’s returning to, and has been living and serving in an urban setting, which is important to us here at the Arizona campus.”

Smith, a native of Arkansas, was pastor of Dayton Avenue Baptist Church in Peoria, Ill., for five years. He has taught at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned both his Ph.D. and master of divinity degrees. Smith and his wife Jerri Lee have four children.

“Dr. Smith brings a lot of years of experience in the pastorate,” McClellan said, “as well as a great passion for Old Testament studies. He also has strong ties to missions programs of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

A third new staff person, Leslie Dodderall, began Aug. 1 by presidential appointment as director of student affairs and program development and assistant professor in Christian education.

“Leslie has worked for almost 30 years with Arizona Southern Baptist churches,” McClellan said. “She knows a lot about what their needs are and how to build relationships with them. She will greatly expand our Christian education courses.”

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  • Amanda Phifer