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TRUSTEES: GGBTS relocation to be ‘mission-focused’

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP) — Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary President Jeff Iorg presented building plans for both the new primary campus in Southern California and commuter campus in the San Francisco area to trustees during their spring meeting.

Iorg said the seminary would use a “mission-focused design scheme” to best utilize space in the new locations.

Iorg told trustees the seminary’s executive leadership team worked carefully through the design needs of the new campuses, using input from current employees and a facility use study.

“We have decided not to put in a preschool or daycare, a gym or other facilities that often appear on seminary campuses but don’t necessarily contribute to its educational goals,” Iorg said. The seminary’s new campuses are being specifically designed to operate efficiently and with a sharp focus on raising future ministry leaders, he reported.

Iorg presented a floor-by-floor overview of the campus in Ontario, Calif. Due to built-in design constraints, such as weight limitations, the library will be housed on the first and second floors. Also located on the first floor is the chapel, a coffee shop and the student services office. The third through fifth floors each have space for classrooms and faculty and staff offices.

“Though there is a certain logic to designing each floor to have a specific focus, an integrated approach will allow natural community to build between students, staff and faculty,” Iorg said.

The campus in Fremont in the San Francisco area will be housed in a completely new building on land donated to the seminary by a church. Valued at $2.9 million, the property is the largest single gift ever received by Golden Gate Seminary. The design of the new campus in the Bay Area, while mirroring the current Mill Valley campus in some ways, will be significantly modernized, Iorg said.

Trustees approved budgets for the seminary’s relocation, made possible by the sale of its Bay Area campus in Mill Valley in April 2014. The seminary also has requested a name change — Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Seminary, to be presented to messengers during the June 16-17 SBC annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

Also during their April 20-21 meeting, trustees elected Tom Hixon, current president of the Northwest Baptist Foundation and former vice president at two Baptist universities, as vice president of business services; approved a sabbatical for Rodrick Durst, prior to his beginning service as director of the Fremont campus; elected Rick Melick and Shera Melick as senior professors and recognized them upon their retirement for their service to the seminary; and elected J.T. Reed to the faculty as associate director of the doctor of ministries program.

New trustee officers — Bill Moffitt, chair; Larry Felkins, vice chair; and Rickey Scott, secretary — also were elected. Moffitt is a former naval officer and retired business executive from Washington state.

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  • Tyler Sanders