MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary has eliminated several staff positions, delayed indefinitely hiring for other staff vacancies and pulled back from a planned salary increase for employees as a result of actions taken by the Baptist General Convention of Texas last fall to reduce financial support for the Southern Baptist Convention’s six seminaries.
“We are saddened by the necessity of these organizational decisions,” said seminary president William O. Crews, “but our stewardship responsibility mandates that we plan, staff and implement the work of the seminary in accordance with the resources provided by our denomination’s system of financial support.
“We are confident, however, that God will continue to bless many congregations with growth in Cooperative Program missions giving,” Crews said, “and that our friends will step forward to partner with us in educating the men and women who choose Golden Gate Seminary for their ministry preparation.”
The reduction by the BGCT of its support to SBC causes translates to a loss of about $514,000 per year at Golden Gate Seminary, which represents about 8 percent of the seminary’s annual budget.
Four full-time positions were eliminated as a result of not filling positions becoming vacant or terminating positions in the business affairs office, the information technology department and the institutional advancement office. In addition to the elimination of staff positions, seminary officials are evaluating work consolidation issues and other reorganization plans that affect remaining staff positions and job assignments. The planned salary increase had amounted to an approximately 3 percent increase.
Seminary leaders and trustees had committed earlier to not make any reductions in the academic areas, in order to keep the degree programs and educational ministries of the seminary at full strength.
In spite of the need for making such crucial financial decisions, Crews was upbeat about the seminary’s future: “While we regret the necessity of these staff reductions, we remain confident in the mission God has given Golden Gate Seminary to shape effective leaders for the churches of tomorrow.”
Other seminary officials also voiced strong affirmation of the seminary’s future, citing increasing student enrollment projections and full housing on the seminary’s residential campus near San Francisco.
(BP) file photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. Photo title: BILL CREWS.