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TRUSTEES: GGBTS budget reduced by 4.7%

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Trustees of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary adopted a reduced 2009-10 budget during their April 27-28 meeting at the seminary’s Northern California Campus in Mill Valley.

Trustees also approved a new master of missiology degree program and received reports on the recent visit regarding the seminary’s ongoing accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

The $10,028,000 budget for the coming academic year 4.7 percent, or nearly a half-million dollars, less the seminary’s 2008-09 budget. The budget was developed without resorting to layoffs, although a few vacant positions will be left open.

“Despite these difficult financial times, Golden Gate Seminary is standing strong,” President Jeff Iorg said. “We continue to thrive in a down economy by protecting our academic programs, expanding our faculty and maintaining a strong financial base while continuing our forward direction.

“While this is a conservative budget, we believe it reflects the current economic climate,” Iorg continued. “We have contingency plans for further reductions if necessary, but we anticipate moving ‘full speed ahead’ into the next academic year. The unity and willing sacrifice of our employees is making our positive response to economic uncertainties possible.”

The new master of missiology program approved by the board will be available to students by the fall of 2010. The degree will have two possible concentrations — urban missions and global missions.

Regarding the WASC/ATS visits, Iorg said the seminary had successfully completed the “capacity and preparatory review” phase of its accreditation process. “We spent two years preparing for the site visit which took place in March 2009,” he said. “While we do not yet have the final report, the preliminary report shared with us by the visiting team was very positive.”

The trustees also heard reports from each regional campus. Highlights of those reports included expansion to Las Vegas in the upcoming 2009-10 academic year, steady progress toward construction of the new classroom building in Arizona and new faculty members at the Southern California Campus.

The seminary, responding to a Baptist Press query for more information about its forthcoming expansion to Las Vegas, issued the following statement:

“GGBTS regularly assesses the ministry and educational needs of the churches in the West. As a result we periodically offer a limited number of courses in a location to judge the level of student interest and church support. In this case, we are going to Las Vegas at the invitation of the state convention and association. We are creating a teaching site there in response to their request, but it is not a new campus.

“We are in the planning phase of offering such exploratory programming in Las Vegas, perhaps as early as this coming fall. The program will be delivered initially as a remote teaching site of our Southern California Campus and managed by the SCC regional campus director, Reggie Thomas.

“GGBTS is excited about the possibility of an ongoing partnership with Southern Baptists of Nevada to train leaders for Kingdom work in their region. News regarding the developing of plans will be released as it becomes available.”

Trustees elected five new faculty members — Chris Chun, Glenn Prescott, Paul Kelly, Phil Conner and Kelly Campbell.

Chun, elected as associate professor of church history at the Northern California Campus, has been serving the seminary under a presidential appointment since the fall of 2008. He holds two master’s degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and recently completed his doctoral studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He serves on the editorial committee and is editing one of the 15 volumes of the forthcoming “The Works of Andrew Fuller.” He has also authored numerous journal articles.

Prescott was elected as director of theological field education and associate professor of ministry at the Northern California Campus. He comes to the position after a lengthy career with the International Mission Board and service in various capacities in Southern Baptist churches. A graduate of Golden Gate, he currently is an associate pastor at Tiburon (Calif.) Baptist Church.

Kelly was elected to a new position, associate professor of educational leadership, with the intent of strengthening educational leadership programs at the Southern California Campus. Kelly is a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary whose ministry has had a strong emphasis in youth ministry.

Conner was elected as director of the doctor of ministry program and professor of ministry at the Northern California Campus. He holds two earned doctoral degrees, including a D.Min. from Golden Gate, and has had a distinguished career as a military chaplain.

Campbell, the seminary’s current director of libraries, was granted faculty status as assistant professor of theological research. He recently earned a master of theological studies degree from Golden Gate and has been with the seminary for six years after a previous career as a public librarian.

In the seminary’s Partners for the Future campaign, trustees learned that the seminary has exceeded its enhancement goal of $5.5 million and is well on the way to meeting the $7.5 million endowment goal. With another year to go in the campaign, the focus is on achieving the endowment goal and reaching the $13 million total gifts goal by July 2010.

E. Randall Adams, team leader for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s church outreach team, was elected as trustee chairman. Joining him as elected officers are Milton Brock of Texas, President of Brock Insurance Group, as vice chairman and Bob Galey, pastor of Oakland Woods Baptist Church in Clarkston, Mich., secretary.

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention and operates five, fully accredited campuses in Northern California, Southern California, Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado. For more information: www.ggbts.edu.
Phyllis Evans is director of communications at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

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