SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–Recognizing a need to specifically address the issues of female seminary students and seminary families, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary has added a part-time women’s ministry coordinator to its staff.
Helen Groat, a member of Abiding Way Church, San Anselmo, Calif., joined the seminary staff Aug. 15. Her primary responsibilities will entail:
— being an advocate for female students.
— planning, coordinating and implementing campus-wide women’s ministries and events.
— advising existing campus women’s organizations.
— partnering with residence life leadership to minister to single female students.
— helping students and their families in times of family crisis and celebration.
“I am excited to have a formalized and structured time dedicated to doing what the Lord has equipped me to do and what I love to do — love and encourage women in the faith,” Groat said.
Groat has extensive experience ministering to women. For seven years at Criswell College in Dallas, she helped form and lead a ladies auxiliary, advised the Student and Student Wives Fellowship, ministered to faculty and staff wives and served as college liaison to a widow’s organization. She also served on the women’s council at First Baptist Church, Dallas, assisting in the institution and direction of a women’s lay mentoring program three of those years.
She served in various other women’s ministry capacities at Bellevue Baptist Church and Shelby State Community College, both in Memphis, Tenn.
Graduate exit surveys and student life surveys have consistently revealed a need for a seminary staff dedicated to women’s issues, said Mark Tichenor, dean of student life at Golden Gate Seminary. Female students and seminary wives have asked repeatedly for a woman who would mentor them and be available to address the unique needs of women in seminary life. This position is the initial response to those requests, he said.
Groat worked for The Hartford Insurance Group for seven years, becoming their first female assistant marketing manager. She then was an associate professor at Shelby State for seven years.
Groat and her husband, Gary, have one teenage son, Stephen. She said she considers her relatively late marriage — she was 37 years old — an asset in relating to single female seminary students as they deal with singleness and ministry. Her husband entered fulltime ministry after 21 years in the business world, a factor she said will help her in relating to student wives in various transitions.
“I can see so many ways God has prepared me for ministering to women in all kinds of different situations,” Groat said. “The long years of singleness, my business career and teaching experience in addition to being a partner with my husband in ministry and a mother — these have equipped me to mentor, encourage and motivate younger women.
“I am humbled at the privilege to continue in ministry to women at Golden Gate Seminary for God’s glory,” Groat said.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: HELEN GROAT.