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TRUSTEES: God’s hand on Golden Gate

PHOENIX (BP) — The board of trustees of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, meeting Oct. 12-13 in Phoenix, expressed appreciation for the seminary’s faculty, staff and students for their “efforts, endurance, prayers and amazing positive approach to the entire transition project.” After adopting the resolution of appreciation, trustees erupted in spontaneous applause for the efforts of seminary personnel during the relocation effort.

“They have displayed a remarkable spirit during this transition,” vice chairman Larry Felkins said, “while moving one of the 10 largest seminaries in the world 400 miles across the state.”

Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Seminary, reported on the institution’s progress and overall health during and despite the transition. A highlight was the news that the number of those enrolled in the seminary’s core programs — 777 students — has remained the same since the announcement of the seminary’s move to Ontario, Calif.

“While we have worked hard to manage the transition, I cannot explain these results by those efforts,” he said, “except to say it is God’s hand on Golden Gate Seminary.”

Iorg told trustees that the spring would be a busy time as the seminary prepares to hire about 50 new employees and seven new faculty members — an unprecedented opportunity in the institution’s history. While the seminary will have about the same number of employees in the future as it has now, the deployment of those employees is changing significantly.

“We will have many more employees in communications, technology and recruiting and fewer in facility-related roles,” Iorg noted.

In other action, trustees expressed thanks to Tom Hixson, who assumed his duties as vice president of business services in July 2015, and Gary Groat, now serving as vice president for strategic services and chief financial officer, for their leadership during the transition.

“The seminary’s financial performance is a blessing. It’s a positive part of the overall transition,” Stuart Smith, chair of the board’s business services committee, said. “God has put His hand on this seminary.”

An audit of the seminary’s finances revealed a clean audit with no material findings.

The board elected Warren Haynes as director of the Contextualized Leadership Development Program. Haynes currently serves as director of missions for the Northwest Indiana Baptist Association. The seminary operates about 60 CLD centers in partnership with Baptist state conventions or associations. These centers operate in multiple languages for students with limited English skills and also serve people who do not otherwise have the educational background to enter the seminary’s core academic programs.

The fall 2016 board meeting was changed to Friday, Oct. 7, to allow trustees to attend grand opening events and the dedication of the new campus in Ontario, Calif., on Oct. 5-8.

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  • Katherine Chute