MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary will offer a doctor of philosophy program beginning this fall.
The Ph.D. program at the Southern Baptist Convention’s sole Western seminary will offer degrees in Old Testament and New Testament studies, with minors in theology and church history. The new program has been approved by two independent accreditation agencies -– the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Theological Schools.
“I believe Golden Gate’s Ph.D. program will offer a niche, and that is chiefly the unique atmosphere of the West,” said Rick Melick, professor of New Testament studies and director of the graduate studies program at GGBTS. “And our program will be small and therefore especially interpersonal, relational, and with the mentoring nature of a Ph.D. program taken very seriously.”
Melick said the seminary already has received some completed applications and several more are in process. The program, which requires 42 hours of study to complete, will consist of seminars, research and a dissertation.
“Golden Gate is committed to being a strong voice in the West for biblical scholarship based on a strong commitment to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture,” GGBTS President Jeff Iorg said. “I look forward to the day these graduates are leading churches and teaching in seminaries and universities around the world.”
Students will be required to attend all seminars at the Northern California campus of GGBTS in Mill Valley, Calif., per accreditation stipulations. Classes will be scheduled to accommodate faculty based at all five Golden Gate campuses.
Melick noted that the Ph.D. program at Golden Gate will require interaction with other schools in the San Francisco Bay Area to stimulate networking and research skills.
“I believe this program will help us fulfill our mission to train leaders for the churches of the West,” Melick said. “While a Ph.D. is primarily for those who want to teach, it also helps pastors be better prepared, especially in the demanding intellectual and spiritual climate of the West.”