Spring 2013 Trustees Meeting Report

Golden Gate Seminary Trustees: Healthy Seminary Stays Mission-Focused

Trustees of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary approved the 2013-14 budget, learned of a new approach to scheduling, elected two staff members, and heard updates of successful programs.

“Golden Gate Seminary continues to experience the results of hard work by many coupled with the grace of God protecting, guiding, and using us,” President Jeff Iorg reported to the Board at the spring 2013 trustees meeting, held on April 15 and 16, at the Mill Valley, California campus. “We are a healthy seminary because we focus on our mission – shaping leaders who expand God’s kingdom around the world. We practice mission discipline rigorously, and we stay mission-focused.”

Seminary trustees approved a total budget of $11,904,000. This is an increase of $339,000 or 2.9% from last year. This budget also marks a two-year process of increased faculty compensation. “The importance of this upgrade,” noted Iorg, “is we are now compensating our faculty more appropriately and are able to attract stronger candidates for the future.”

As part of his report, the president shared the success of the Korean English Bilingual program, which launched in the fall of 2012. “This program has exceeded our expectations, and is the most successful new program launch in our history, both in enrollment and donations.” Iorg saluted David Gill in his development and growth of this program. In addition, Iorg shared how it has already become a model for other potential bilingual programs.

“The most challenging aspect of academic programming is keeping up with the changing nature of educational delivery,” Dr. Iorg reported to the Board. “Golden Gate is keeping pace with the expansion of online learning, and our online programs are the fastest growing segment of our academic delivery system.”

Iorg also described the retooling of the seminary’s regional strategy. “At our regional campuses outside California, we are revising how we offer classes and the number of classes we offer. We are integrating our options with more online courses.” The seminary has also revised its delivery schedule at its Brea, California campus. “The new teaching plan in Southern California is more commuter-friendly and focused on expanding our reach across that region.”

The Board elected Dr. Lisa Hoff to the faculty as Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies. She had been serving under a presidential appointment, but now joins the faculty in a continuing relationship. Dr. Hoff is a graduate of Golden Gate, having received the William O. Crews Presidential Leadership Award recognizing her outstanding potential for future service. She has served for more than 17 years in Southeast Asia before coming to Golden Gate.

In addition, Dr. Ben Skaug was elected Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Skaug is a native Idahoan who had previously served as Director of Development at Southern Seminary, and most recently has been serving in a pastoral role. “We are delighted to add someone with Dr. Skaug’s competence and passion for seminary education to our staff,” said President Iorg. “We are also thrilled to increase the diversity of our leadership team by adding a Native American as a Vice President.”

The Board also hosted a reception for the W. Morgan Patterson Collection: an extensive library composed of nearly 5,000 Baptist history and theology items that was recently donated by Dr. Patterson’s widow, Mrs. Ernestine North Patterson.

“This collection of rare books is a treasure for the west coast,” said Dr. Chris Chun, the seminary’s Chair of Historical/Theological Studies. “This collection will draw scholars from all over the world to visit and study Baptist history and theology at Golden Gate.”

Mrs. Patterson was the recipient of the seminary’s 2013 Harold K. Graves Award, given to an individual or family who demonstrates continuing support and service.

The Board also heard a detailed report about the seminary’s land development options, and the challenges of finding the long-term solutions to using the property and facilities to best accomplish Golden Gate’s mission. “We are confident God has a plan for all this and pray for his wisdom to discern the best steps forward,” said the president.

Rev. Steven R. Sheldon, pastor of Wrightsdale Baptist Church, Peach Bottom, PA, was elected as Chairman of the Board. Mr. William “Bill” Moffitt, retired executive from Pasco, WA, was elected Vice-Chair, and Rev. Greg Byman, pastor of St. Joe Community Church, Ft.Wayne, IN, was elected Secretary.