Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary closed its main campus in the San Francisco Bay Area on June 3 to prepare for its 400-mile move to Southern California.
After a ceremonial locking of the doors at 4 p.m., President Jeff Iorg sent out a campus-wide email that read, “The Mill Valley campus of Golden Gate Seminary is now closed. We press on!”
The Southern Baptist seminary had been located in the Bay Area since its founding in 1944.
Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, turns the key during a ceremonial campus closing June 3.
Employees at the new 150,000-square-foot facility in Ontario, Calif., will report for work June 20 to prepare for its official opening on July 5. The first group of students is expected to move into new student housing in late June.
The seminary also anticipates that messengers to the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis will vote for a final time on a name change to Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“Based on the overwhelmingly positive first vote on this issue in 2015, we have been preparing for immediate implementation of an affirmative decision if it is made by the messengers in 2016,” Iorg said. “This may make the 2016 convention unique as a new seminary identity likely enters the history of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Dedication events for the new campus in Ontario will be Oct. 5-8.
The seminary began its relocation after the sale of its main campus in 2014 and the subsequent purchase of new sites in Ontario in Southern California and, for the Bay Area, in Fremont. The seminary also operates campuses in Denver, Phoenix and the Pacific Northwest.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Kathie Chute is director of communications for Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.)