Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Martin, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    The Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is one of the Southern Baptist Seminaries that does not get a lot of attention. It seems to fall behind Southwestern, Southeastern, Southern, New Orleans, and Mid-America. Another Southern Baptist Seminary that falls behind is MidWestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Does anyone here know, or have opinions, why these two schools don't get the attention the others do? From their websites, both schools look to be fine institutions. If that is the case, why don't they get the attention the others get?

    Any ideas?
     
  2. tank1976

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    Maybe it is the fact that they do not bring attention to themselves. Just a thought.:wavey:
     
  3. StefanM

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    1) Mid-America is not really a Southern Baptist seminary. It's an independent institution with a Southern Baptist identity. It receives no funds from the Cooperative Program, and the SBC has no authority over it. That being said, all of the faculty are Southern Baptists. It was founded before the rise of the conservatives, so it has charted its own course outside convention support.

    2) Golden Gate is reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllly far away from the majority of SBC churches. It's a good resource for the SBC churches on the west coast, but it's extremely difficult to relocate to the San Francisco area when you are a poor seminary student. Moving costs alone are astronomical, and the cost of living is outrageous.

    3) Midwestern...I think it's a victim of several factors. It's quite small, and the facilities honestly aren't that great. They're not awful or anything, but when I visited there, I didn't think "WOW" like I did when I visited Southern or even Mid-America (where I have decided to go to seminary). Also, it's pretty far north without a lot of history.

    4) Also, MBTS and GGBTS don't have well-known and developed PhD programs. GGBTS has one, and MBTS is working on one, but PhDs make a difference.
     
  4. EdSutton

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    I would tend to agree with tank1976 and StefanM in this, for starters, although I think StefanM is maybe giving Mid-America a fair amount more prominence than it might otherwise rate. One might add Luther Rice, Liberty and some others into the mix, as well, although they are also not technically "Southern Baptist" institutions, as is not Mid-America, with only the other six above being properly designated as such.

    Geography and history are big factors, here, especially as they relate to the center of the SBC organization.

    "Name" professors play a role; Curriculum plays a role; "Name Presidents", likewise, affect this perception, as well. And New Orleans, Southeastern, Southern, and Southwestern each have more students, individually, than do Golden Gate and Midwestern combined, partly because of all the above, I'd say.

    But I'd say one is going a bit far to assume that there is any one entire overriding factor in this, however. But put all of them together, and you have it.

    But even that is also changing, somewhat, as both are growing, these days, although both Golden Gate and Midwestern still have a lot of "catching up" to do. Golden Gate's "satellite campuses" will undoubtedly help them move forward, here. Midwestern apparnetly has some self-inflicted wounds, as well, and they will take a bit longer to 'heal', IMO.

    Ed
     
    #4 EdSutton, Dec 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2007
  5. StefanM

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    I only mentioned Mid-America because Martin did. I would not normally mention them with the SBC 6. Their facilities, however, are definitely impressive. Their new campus is simply tremendous. For an institution their size, their facilities are second to none. As far as its reach goes, MABTS seems to be more of a regional seminary.

    I wouldn't mention it in the same terms as Luther Rice and Liberty, though. Liberty is more independent Baptist than anything. Only recently has the SBC entered the picture. Luther Rice, though SBC in orientation but not funding/control (like MABTS), lacks the regional accreditation that MABTS holds. MABTS has more influence with the "six," also. E.g. Hershael York at SBTS.
     
  6. PastorSBC1303

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    As a graduate of Midwestern, I would tend to agree with this analysis.

    I would also say the seminary made the wrong choice in firing Dr. Mark Coppenger as the President. He had things going really well there and IMO since he was let go things have went down hill.

    I do not forsee Midwestern or Golden Gate ever being on the level of the other four SBC seminaries, but I do think they have a role to play.
     
  7. EdSutton

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    Hard to say with any certainty, though.

    There was a time, not all that long ago, when Southeastern was pushing at the bottom of the SBC food-chain, and descending deeper, by the day.

    The enrollment had doubled in one decade, then fallen by over half in the next decade, back to below what it was two decades earlier, and even the accreditation was in jeopardy.

    No more, though.

    A new day dawned and the school tripled in size in less than eight years, and has grown some more in the last decade.

    As my own late mother once said, "'Never' is an awful long time."

    Ed
     
    #7 EdSutton, Dec 26, 2007
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  8. PastorSBC1303

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    Ed, that is true for Southeastern. However, I would say that greography helped them out greatly. MBTS and GGBTS do not have such an advantage.
     
  9. SaggyWoman

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    Paige left, I think.
     
  10. StefanM

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    SEBTS grew under his presidency.


    "Trustees elected Dr. L. Paige Patterson as the fifth president of the institution in 1992. The Patterson presidency was marked by rapid growth. Southeastern's enrollment grew from 623 in the 1991-1992 school year to more than 2,000 in 1999-2000."

    http://www.sebts.edu/prospective_students/who_we_are/brief_history.cfm
     
  11. EdSutton

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    Granted, the geography certainly didn't hurt SEBTS, IMO.

    Ed
     
  12. Squire Robertsson

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    Another of Golden Gates problems is for years the school was considered one of the more liberal seminaries in the convention. Add to that its location in the land of peacock feather massages, you can get the picture of what went through the minds of Eastern parents.
     
  13. Rhetorician

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    Squire Reply!!!

    Squire,

    It is good to hear from you as always. I hope you had a blessed Christmas!

    I would make a few observations if you don't mind:

    First, I was blessed to go to GGBTS last Summer and see the campus, go to an open house function and just look around. It would be a great place "to suffer for Jesus" as it is sooooooooo beautiful there yet expensive.

    Second, I studied with Dr. Rick Melick at Mid America in the early-mid 80s. He is one of the SBC's preeminent NT Scholars at this time. He is a great writer, editor, and classroom teacher besides all of his other credentials.

    He is also one of the most Godly and humble men I have ever know personally. He contributed a chapter to Dr. Dockery's and my work on John A. Broadus (coming out in the Fall and I hope you will all buy. I just had to get a plug in here!).:laugh:

    Thirdly, Dr. Melich has just finished; setting up, and getting permission from the RA boys, and the ATS boys; a brand new PhD program. It looks like it will be a great degree and I look forward to seeing some of the work that the grads do.

    Fourthly, GGBTS and New Orleans were set up and grew up as "missions schools." As can be seen from the locale and geography. They were needed to train, and send, and be "missions laboratories" for the ones doing and going into cross cultural missions. That has been the emphasis of both since the "get go!"

    Fifthly, and this relates to another brother's remarks above concerning MABTS.

    The country music song said, "I was country before country was cool!" Mid America was conservative before conservative was cool. It predates Pressler/Patterson by almost a decade. (Now don't throw stones at me, I know that statement is a bit simplistic and hyperbolic). It "fought the good fight" of conservatism; when it sought out SACS accreditation, when it established a very rigorous PhD-ThD-ThM program, when it established a 96 semester hours "Diploma of Theology" (now the ADiv, which was basically the same as their MDiv program "without languages."), when they were one of the first (I want to say "The Very First") to fight for a SACS accreditation decline to be overturned, when they were having the "Calvinism Debate" before it was "cool," and on-and-on I can go.

    Number four will in no doubt shine some new light on the above discussions. But Number Five will be "news to some" and "old hat" to others!

    FYI and IMHO!:laugh:

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
    #13 Rhetorician, Dec 27, 2007
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  14. TomVols

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    There has been talk for years (mostly rumors and low-level) of selling the very lucrative property GGBTS takes up, and closing MWBTS, and having one seminary near Glorietta in New Mexico or perhaps a more central location (Denver was thrown out as a possibility - a couple others escape me). But California Baptists tend to sway the discussion, and MWBTS have a lot of loyal followers that do not want to see it closed. There was a rumor of closing NOBTS after Katrina and reorganizing the seminaries altogether, keeping SWBTS, SEBTS and SBTS, while possibly putting a seminary in Florida, somewhere in the Midwest/Northeast Footprint (Cleveland or Columbus OH), and a Denver/NM seminary.

    But that's talk, and probably always will be. GGBTS is probably the most tenuous. MWBTS should never have fired Coppinger. Roberts is not proving to be a great leader. They will need someone with gravitas, like a Russell Moore or Thom Rainer to turn that place around.

    Let's remember: nothing should happen to take any prestige, honor, or glory due SBTS - the greatest seminary on the planet :thumbs:
     
  15. PastorSBC1303

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    I would love to see either one as the President of MBTS.
     
  16. preachinjesus

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    GGBTS is a good school with an AMAZING campus. The biggest issues for them are a) where they are located...pretty hard to convince a prof to move out to the most expensive locale in the country for a measely salary and no acclaim, b) they are considered by some (wrongly imho) to be tending towards liberal but that is silly.

    I think the big thing is that they can't attract a good faculty because of the location and ridiculous cost of living.

    MwBTS is an okay school but has never really gotten anywhere.

    I'll go ahead and be "that guy" again ;) and mention that the best bet for the SBC would be to sell off GGBTS campus (or turn it into a great pastoral training retreat center) and consolidate the two schools out of Colorado to really make an impact with satellite centers around the Pacific coast. California already has some good seminaries and GGBTS has never made a significant impact in that realm.

    But I'll also second the notion that was already proposed:
    Ah yes, out of sight/smell/hearing or out mind...maybe if GGBTS started offering a "homemaker degree" or courses on how to knock up your wife in ministry they would get more media coverage...;)

    or build a godless, monstrousity of a chapel...:D
     
  17. Martin

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    ==I doubt Denver would be a good option since Denver Seminary is already there. Putting a SBC seminary in Denver would be like putting one in Wheaton, Illinois. I would never support closing Golden Gate since it is our only seminary on the west coast.
     
  18. StefanM

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    What about relocating the seminary to somewhere else on the west coast?
     
  19. Martin

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    ==I suppose they could relocate it, but why spend the money? The school already has several campuses in California, Washington, and Colorado (Denver, Pheonix, Vancouver Washington, Orange County California, Mill Valley California, and a e-campus). They would probably be better off working on its image. They could even strengthen their online program. They need to make Golden Gate standout from the others. Maybe they could change the name. The SBC has Southern, Southeastern, Southwestern, Midwestern, etc. Why not have a Western Baptist Theological Seminary or a West Coast Baptist Theological Seminary. Just an idea.
     
    #19 Martin, Dec 28, 2007
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  20. StefanM

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    They could probably save money by moving to a less expensive locale. The GGBTS campus is prime real estate. I'm sure they could make a good profit from selling the land.
     

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