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Iorg to GGBTS graduates: Put compassion in ministry

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary held commencement ceremonies for 187 graduates at all five of its campuses throughout the month of May. President Jeff Iorg traveled to the five ceremonies and challenged the graduates to have compassion for the lost and those they serve.

Citing the example of Jesus in Matthew 9:35-38, Iorg urged the graduates not to separate themselves from the people to whom they minister. “Jesus went among people and lived, worked and ate among them and, as a result, he had compassion for them.”

Iorg also challenged the graduates to see people for who they really are. “Do you see protesters in the street and rail about their politics, or do you see hurting people who are misguided without a Savior?

“Do you see addicts and complain about their lack of discipline, or do you see them for what they really are — hopeless and in need of deliverance from Jesus Christ?”

Encouraging the graduates to look beyond artificial barriers, Iorg told the graduates to see people as “hopeless and helpless, weary and worn out like sheep without a shepherd. When you do this, something ought to stir up deeply inside of you and motivate you with compassion to go after them in the name of Jesus.”

The degrees presented at the institution’s five campuses were: diploma in Christian ministries-CLD (Contextualized Leadership Development), diploma in theology-CLD, diploma in educational leadership, diploma in theology, master of arts in worship leadership, master of arts in intercultural ministries, master of arts in educational leadership, master of arts in Christian education, master of arts in theological studies, master of divinity, master of theology and doctor of ministry.

The Colorado campus had its largest graduating class of 12 at the ceremonies held May 14. Two of students were presented awards: Kelly Wheat received the LifeWay Pastoral Leadership Award and Teresa Broughton received the Broadman & Holman Seminarian Award.

On May 20, Chancellor William O. Crews presented the Graves Leadership Award at the Southern California commencement posthumously to John Funk. The award was accepted by his family. Funk, who died late in 2004, chaired the seminary’s board of trustees from 1999-2001 and had served as a trustee since 1991. The Graves award is the highest award given for service to the seminary.

The Pacific Northwest campus graduated 49 students from the Contextualized Leadership Development program at ceremonies held May 21. The students, who received a diploma in theology, are from Mien Fellowship Baptist Church in Portland and are training to go to Southeast Asia as missionaries to the Mien people.

At the Northern California and Arizona spring commencement ceremonies, two graduates received the Crews Presidential Leadership Award. Dong Goo Kim was awarded the honor at the Northern California ceremonies May 27. The Seoul, Korea, native came to Golden Gate after earning a Ph.D. in science and pursuing a career in the science field. Fred Harris, a master of divinity graduate, was awarded the Crews Presidential Leadership Award at the May 28 commencement ceremonies at the Arizona campus. The recipient is chosen by the president for exceptional leadership potential.

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention and operates five campuses in Northern California, Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.

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  • Jeff Jones