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TRUSTEES: GGBTS seeing ‘God’s blessing’

BREA, Calif. (BP) — Trustees of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary received reports about seminary operations and toured the Southern California campus during their Oct. 8-9 meeting in Brea.

Trustees also approved the general concept for a master’s degree in Christian counseling and elected Don Dent as director of GGBTS’ David and Faith Kim School of Global Missions.

“While daily challenges of seminary operations are sometimes daunting, the trajectory of our school is healthy — with much evidence of God’s blessing on our work,” President Jeff Iorg said in his opening remarks to the trustees.

“Golden Gate Seminary continues to fulfill its mission of shaping leaders who expand God’s Kingdom around the world,” Iorg said.

During the meeting, trustees heard reports on such matters as fundraising, the search for a new vice president for institutional advancement, recruitment strategies and implementation of new academic programs.

Iorg reviewed accomplishments of the past two years in creating and accommodating growth in the academic program and emphasized that this year is a time to stabilize and strengthen these changes.

“While we are working on some new items, like the fully online master of divinity degree, most of our focus this year is on getting our new faculty integrated into our system and building enrollment in our new programs.”

Among the new initiatives at the seminary:

— Ph.D. program expanded to include theology as a major field.

— Korean-English bilingual program launched this year.

— Online master of theological studies launched this year.

— Master of arts in intercultural ministry launched in 2010.

— Master of missiology launched in 2010.

— Master of arts in Christian counseling to be launched next year.

Dent comes to Golden Gate at the 30-year point in his career to lead The Kim School’s programs in intercultural studies and mission preparation. He has worked in large Asian cities, leading a training team for an international corporation and, earlier, working for the International Mission Board. He has developed communities in urban high-rises, created strategies for penetrating new markets and provided leadership for numerous expatriate teams. His cross-cultural experience includes time in a variety of cultural environments, including Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu.

A native of Mississippi, Dent and his wife Anne have two children, Chesed and Rob, who grew up in Asia and have worked for several years overseas as adults.

Iorg, in his comments to trustees, highlighted the seminary’s financial health, noting, “I believe God is blessing us, in part, because of our decision to give ourselves away to help other seminaries strengthen their work,” referring to Golden Gate’s new partnerships with the Mexican Theological Seminary and Korean Baptist Theological Seminary and exploring associations with other likeminded institutions around the world.

Trustees heard presentations by two professors from the Southern California campus, Paul Kelly, associate professor of educational leadership, and David Gill, director of the Korean-English bilingual program, along with reports from the seminary’s four other regional campuses in Northern California, Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.
Phyllis Evans is director of communications for Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

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