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Golden Gate students, faculty honor retiring Christian education prof

SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–Students, faculty and alumni of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary honored Dan Boling, professor of Christian education at the seminary since 1973, who is retiring July 31, at the end of the seminary’s current academic year.

Speaking during a special chapel celebration May 10 at the Mill Valley, Calif., campus, colleagues affirmed Boling’s commitment to God, the local church, his students and the ministry of teaching.

“It’s been a privilege to have Dan Boling as a senior member of our faculty,” said seminary President William O. Crews. “He’s been a respected leader in Christian education and he was the faculty member who led us to begin offering courses online. We would not be at the leading edge of technology in education without his commitment and ministry.”

“Dan Boling’s retirement is the end of an era at Golden Gate,” said Jerry Stubblefield, the seminary’s J.M. Frost Baptist Sunday School Board Professor of Christian Education. “My life has been very much enriched because of my friendship with Dan Boling.”

A native of Texas, Boling, 65, earned the bachelor of arts degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the bachelor of divinity, master of religious education, master of divinity and doctor of education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

Golden Gate academic dean Rick Durst praised the retiring professor’s commitment to local churches: “Dan has always sought in his ministry to also serve as a pastor or teaching pastor because he has always wanted to stay vitally connected to the edge of what’s happening in the local church. He’s a ‘gospel guy.'” Last year, Boling was called as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sonoma, Calif., located about an hour from the seminary campus.

Among the tributes, seminary provost Richard Melick Jr. presented Boling with a proclamation of honor signed by California Gov. Gray Davis. “It’s a privilege to know that your achievements are recognized by so many and that your influence extends farther than any of us could ever truly know,” Melick said.

“I thank Dan for the opportunity to be here at Golden Gate,” said Leroy Gainey, chairman of the seminary’s Christian education department. “I am grateful for the way he has modeled a deep commitment to students over the years.” Gainey was among several faculty members who noted the importance of Boling’s wife, Elaine, as a vital part of his overall ministry: “You can’t come under Dan’s friendship without being Elaine’s friend.” Boling and his wife have two daughters.

Durst told about how Boling quietly saved money over the years in order to endow the seminary’s biennial Christian education lectures and name them recently in her honor — the Elaine Southerland Boling Christian Education Enrichment Series. “She has been his true partner in ministry,” Durst said.

Keeping his own remarks brief, Boling told those gathered: “It’s been a great ride, a long one, difficult at some times, but a great ride.”

Prior to his tenure at Golden Gate Seminary, Boling served at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, for two years. Before that, he was Baptist Student Union director and teacher of the Bible Chair at the University of Texas, Arlington, for nine years.

He has served as minister of youth and minister of music and youth at a number of churches in Texas. For a two-year period, he was assistant director of the Baptist Counseling Center at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

He has written articles for Youth Leadership, Church Administration, Home Life and Search magazines, Sunday School teaching helps for college students, authored a number of stewardship lessons for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ stewardship division and has developed several devotionals for Encounter magazine. He was also a contributing writer for the book “Knowing and Helping Youth,” published by Broadman Press in 1977, and has written articles for Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists.

He has been listed in Who’s Who — Child Development Professionals, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who in American Education.

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  • Cameron Crabtree