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Golden Gate taps leaders for intercultural & theology studies


SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–Two key administrative positions have been filled at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

Curt Watke has been selected as the new director of the David and Faith Kim School of Intercultural Studies, effective Jan. 1, while Michael Martin has been serving as the seminary’s first dean of theology since Nov. 15.

Watke will oversee the faculty, programs, events and conferences associated with the Kim School, founded in 1997 through a gift from David and Faith Kim to train Golden Gate students in all facets of intercultural study and ministry, from the classroom to the field.

Watke has been a member of the North American Mission Board’s church planting staff conducting socio-cultural research among Neotribal groups, which are not necessarily defined by ethnicity but are groups of people who have similar behaviors, attitudes, and values. Watke has developed resource materials in helping church planters understand the estimated 62 Neotribal cultures in America today, and he frequently speaks on North American culture, contextuality and missional development at conferences throughout the United States and Canada.

Watke coauthored “Starting Reproducing Congregations” and “Ministry Context Exploration” as training aids for developing contextual reproducing congregations. He has served as a church growth consultant, professor and staff member with churches and church plants in the United States and Canada.

He holds a Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, with a major in evangelism and additional seminars for an equivalent major in missions, and a master of divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield, Pa.

Golden Gate President William O. Crews said Watke “will bring valued expertise and entrepreneurship into the influential missionary and church planter training programs of Golden Gate.”

Watke and his wife, Lou Ann, have three children.

Martin, a Golden Gate faculty member since 1984, in his role as dean of theology, is responsible for academic and administrative leadership for master’s-level theology programs at each of Golden Gate’s five regional campuses.

Martin has served in numerous capacities during his 19-year tenure at Golden Gate: as New Testament professor, associate academic dean, director of online education, director of the seminary’s master of theology program, and chair of various faculty and staff committees and work groups.

He led Golden Gate Seminary in applying for and receiving a $300,000 grant from the Lily Foundation for upgrading educational technology in the traditional classroom. He also led the school to develop and implement a master of theology program using Internet-intensive summer seminars.

“When Mike speaks, the faculty and the administration tend to listen because he speaks with reason and wisdom,” Crews said. “His years of careful teaching of the New Testament really pays dividends in his way of leading.”

Through an Association of Theological Schools grant, Martin has developed a digitized resource for teaching the New Testament, one version for classroom use and an Internet version (www.NTimages.com). He also is a frequent curriculum writer for LifeWay Christian Resources.

He holds a Ph.D. and master of divinity from Southwestern Seminary.

He and his wife, Beth, have two sons.
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  • Amanda Phifer