Discussion of the most significant transition in the seminary’s history highlighted the spring trustee meeting at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif., as faculty and students prepare to move their main campus to Southern California.
President Jeff Iorg affirmed the work that trustees have accomplished in the past few years. “I congratulate you both on the decisions you have made and the manner in which you have made them. We are now on course to do something that has never been done before – relocating a fully functional seminary,” Iorg said.
Golden Gate announced in April that it would sell its Northern California campus to North Coast Land Holdings. The terms of the sale agreement will enable the seminary to remain fully operational during the transition, leasing back the Mill Valley campus property and continuing present operations for at least two more academic years. After that, Golden Gate will operate a new commuter-style campus in the Bay Area, much like its current Southern California campus.
Iorg reminded trustees there is still much work to do in terms of the sale and relocation.
“We still have to close the sale of the Mill Valley property, purchase and develop the primary campus in Southern California and purchase the new Bay Area campus as well. And after we accomplish all of that, then we have to move one of the largest seminaries in the world over 400 miles without shutting down our academic program,” he said.
Iorg also reported on the seminary’s Diamond Plan goals that coincide with its 75th anniversary celebration in 2020. He said he is confident of a healthy future.
“In light of the sale and relocation, we are reconsidering many aspects of our Diamond Plan goals,” Iorg said. “The sale of the Mill Valley property will have a large impact on our endowment and future financial strength – including new capacity for expansion and improvement of our academic programs.”
Accrediting agencies have approved Golden Gate’s plan for transitioning current students during the relocation, Iorg said, noting that the plan includes a pathway for every student to remain on track to graduation, Iorg said.
Trustees approved a 5.6 percent budget increase from last year, bringing the operating budget to $12.6 million. Trustees also approved faculty status for two current staff members: Adam Groza, vice president for student services and enrollment; and Maury Robertson, director for online education.
A re-elected slate of trustee officers included Chairman Steve Sheldon, pastor of Wrightsdale Baptist Church in Peach Bottom, Pa.; Vice Chairman Bill Moffitt, a retired businessman from Pasco, Wash.; and Secretary Greg Bynam, pastor of St. Joe Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Tyler Sanders is coordinator for communications at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.)