"This is the largest budget increase in more than a decade," Golden Gate President Jeff Iorg said during the trustees' April 23-24 meeting at the seminary's Mill Valley, Calif., campus.
The budget increase, Iorg said, is based on increased enrollment anticipated from new programs being initiated by the seminary in the fall.
In addition, Iorg announced a recent gift of $1.4 million from the Cecil and Josephine Osborne estate to fund future counseling training programs.
"To accomplish our mission and vision, and to fulfill the seminary's board-adopted goals from 2011, the seminary must continually change -- both to accommodate the changing training needs of students and to meet new global ministry opportunities," Iorg told the trustees. "The past six months have been a time of intense change, and of initiating future changes that will be implemented in the upcoming academic year."
In his report to trustees, Iorg reviewed details of several programs. "Our new Korean-English bilingual program is moving forward and will launch in fall 2012," he said. "We will soon begin a new master's of Christian counseling degree and a master's of divinity with a concentration in chaplaincy. We are expanding our Ph.D. program to include theology as a major field."
Iorg also recapped a number of faculty and staff reassignments to facilitate the various changes.
Most of the changes in process at the seminary are "caused by and will produce additional growth and progress," Iorg said. "Morale is high and focused effort to keep the seminary moving forward is evident across the system."
Despite the changes, Iorg said, "there is one thing that remains constant, and that is our mission: shaping leaders who expand God's Kingdom around the world."
In faculty-related actions, trustees appointed Rick Melick to the rank of distinguished professor. Melick, professor of New Testament studies, also is director of the seminary's academic graduate studies program. "This is the highest honor the board can bestow on a faculty member," Iorg said, "and is a fitting recognition of Dr. Melick's significant academic and professional contributions to the seminary."
Faith Kim was appointed senior professor of intercultural education upon her retirement at the end of this academic year, while Harry Hahne was approved for promotion from associate professor to professor of New Testament studies, effective August 2014 when the new rank system currently being implemented is fully in place.
Trustees elected Paul Wegner as professor of Old Testament. "Dr. Wegner will strengthen our academic program with his significant teaching and writing portfolio," Iorg said. Sanghee Michael Ahn was elected associate professor of New Testament and associate director of the Korean-English bilingual program. Debbie Steele was elected associate professor of Christian counseling. She will direct the new master of Christian counseling degree, and begin teaching this fall.
"This meeting was a culmination of a year of profound change at Golden Gate Seminary," Iorg said. "We are making adjustments to programs and personnel, and we anticipate other changes on the horizon. We embrace these changes, but there is one thing that remains constant, and that is our mission: shaping leaders who expand God's Kingdom around the world."
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, Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado. For more information: www.ggbts.edu.
Phyllis Evans is director of communications for Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net