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TRUSTEES: God is blessing GGBTS, Iorg says

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary trustees adopted a 2011-2012 budget, learned about the recent reaccreditation review, approved the expansion of a current degree program, and heard about the conclusion of the Partners for the Future Campaign in their May 9-10 meeting.

Seminary trustees approved a budget of $10,725,000, an increase of $345,000, or 3.3 percent from last year.

Almost every revenue category is expected to increase as the current economic recovery continues and enrollment from new programs is added to the seminary, seminary president Jeff Iorg said.

In addition to tuition and fees, additional revenue increases were attributed to stronger gift income and improved performance by investments.

God continues to favor Golden Gate Seminary with His provision and protection, Iorg told trustees. As we move through economic turmoil and denominational reorganization, we recognize God’s hand. He enables us to do more than we think possible, to work together with remarkable spiritual synergy, and to experience results beyond those achievable by our efforts.

As part of his report, Iorg indicated the Association of Theological Schools and the Western Association of Schools & Colleges had completed their review and given the seminary a confirmation of the quality of its total program.

The process leading to the reaffirmation of Golden Gate Seminary’s accreditation has been long and arduous, Iorg said. The necessary activities, however, have been helpful to the institution, and the strong affirmation of the seminary is encouraging.

The report, which will be finalized by the accrediting commissions and released publicly later this summer, recommends full re-accreditation of all academic programs — including newer programs like the Ph.D. in biblical studies.

Continuing the development of new programs, trustees approved the creation of a master of divinity degree with a concentration in counseling. Iorg also reported that the seminary is developing a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) program in theology and a Korean language master of divinity degree. The seminary has received $175,000 as a matching gift toward the $350,000 needed to significantly expand its ministry in the Korean community, he said.

We appreciate this challenge gift and the other donors who are responding to make this expansion happen rapidly, Iorg said.

Trustees also celebrated the successful conclusion of the Partners for the Future Campaign. More than $13 million was given from 2005-2010, providing resources for a two-tier funding strategy — seminary enhancement and endowment. The enhancement phase provided funds for scholarships, faculty members, eCampus development, facility renovations at all five campuses, increased library holdings, and a variety of other expenses related to institutional growth. The endowment phase increased permanent holdings to sustain annual scholarships, key academic positions, and schools. During the five-year campaign, alumni and friends of the seminary gave a total of $13,663,000.

Trustees also heard an update on the Northern California campus’ master site plan amendment development process. County officials have called the proposal the most significant development plan submitted for southern Marin County (Calif.) in a generation. After formal acceptance of the proposal by Marin County, a two-year public phase of the approval process will begin.

Iorg announced the appointment of Lisa Hoff as assistant professor of intercultural studies through the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. He also announced that David W. McCormick has been appointed as senior professor of pastoral care and counseling for the 2011-12 academic year.

The seminary also announced a gift of $150,000 for the Harold Graves Endowment Fund from Bennett Valley Baptist Church in Santa Rosa, Calif. Former members of the church (which has disbanded and sold its property) and the Graves family presented the gift at the seminary’s spring banquet, which honored trustees, donors and seminary employees. Harold Graves was Golden Gate president from 1958-1977.

This gift will provide additional annual scholarships to assist students attending Golden Gate, Iorg said. The legacy of Harold Graves continues to bless the seminary.

Milton L. Brock (Texas), president of Brock Insurance Group, was elected board chairman. Steven R. Sheldon, director of missions for South Central Baptist Association (Pa.), was elected vice-chairman, and Richard C. Edds, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Salina, Kan., was elected secretary.
Phyllis Evans is director of communications for Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. 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, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado. For more information, visit www.ggbts.edu.

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  • Phyllis Evans