Spring 2008 Semester Enrollment and New Student Spotlights

“This semester we have a total enrollment of over 800 students at our five campuses,” announced Dr. Jeff Iorg, President of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, speaking at the new student orientation for the spring semester. 

The exact figures have been tallied and the registrar reported total enrollment as 838 students for the spring semester. Breakdown on each of the five campuses is:
Arizona: 97 students
Northern California: 483 students (including DMin and eCampus students)
Pacific Northwest: 47 students
Rocky Mountain: 70 students
Southern California: 141 students 

This semester the Seminary welcomed 87 new students to the five campuses. One of those new students is Erin Gillum, pursuing a Masters of Theology on the Southern California campus. Erin is a student minister with Christian Challenge at USC, a program similar to Baptist Student Union. Erin has been mentoring female USC students for seven years. While a co-leader of two summer mission teams to Asia this past year, Erin was impressed with the stories of several seminary students on her teams. She realized a seminary education could give her the tools and equip her for her current ministry, and would prepare her if God opens the door to go overseas (her lifelong dream). Because of her USC campus ministry, she received a GGBTS scholarship which made seminary possible. 

Steven Rotz is another new student attending the Southern California campus, pursuing a diploma in Theology. Since 2001 A part-time student, working full time as an associate in charge of administration at La Sierra Baptist Church in Riverside, he is also involved with a past president of the San Bernardino/Riverside Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Married with three adult children, he chuckled as he recalled his first day of class. He pulled out a pad and pen to take notes, when everyone else pulled out a laptop. He now owns two laptops. 

Israel Ade Ayoko is a new student at the Northern California campus. Born and raised in Nigeria, he is pursuing an MDiv degree. He serves at Victory Christian Fellowship in Oakland, and is also working as a phlebotomist, “helping to save lives in the medical field..” Israel grew up in the African Church and gave his life to Christ as a child, but it wasn’t until recently that he heeded God’s call to preach. He chose GGBTS based on the recommendation of his pastor, a GGBTS graduate. Israel comes from a family of 34 children (he is number 17). He explains that “at that time the African culture allowed for multiple wives, and my father had eight throughout his life – he lived to be 110 years old.” 

John Ramirez is a new student attending the Arizona campus. The child of a broken home, he lived with various relatives and moved between California and Arizona throughout his childhood. As a teen he became involved with drugs and alcohol, and ended up in jail. “While there I stumbled across the New Testament, and with the help of a couple of people God revealed the truth to me.” After 535 days he was released and found himself at the door of an inner city church in Phoenix. “I’ve been here 11 years and counting!” John serves the church in various ministries include facility maintenance, Bible studies and the sound system. He was introduced to GGBTS through a pastor’s luncheon, and attends on a scholarship from First Baptist Church of Sun Lakes, AZ. 

“I am amazed at the quality and commitment of students that God brings our way each semester, “ said Iorg. “Though their backgrounds are varied, their resolve is the same…to become better and more effective leaders for the Kingdom.”