Golden Gate's Spring 2009 Graduation
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary conferred 226 degrees at the Seminary’s five commencement ceremonies during the month of May. At the Northern California graduation, three married couples jointly received degrees or diplomas, two sisters received diplomas, and two CLD directors graduated with their students.
Coinciding with commencement, the 65-year-old Seminary celebrated a special two-day Homecoming event on the Northern California Campus, in recognition of 50 years on Strawberry Point, which was an early name of that location. The highlight of the festivities was honoring the Seminary’s “Golden Graduates” during commencement on May 29.
Twenty-eight of those who graduated from the Berkeley and Oakland campuses from 1949-1958, donned golden robes and walked with the Class of 2009.
President Jeff Iorg challenged the graduates in his commencement address at each campus to consider the words of Jesus in John 14:12. “Jesus said something so audacious as to intimidate us, almost frighten us and certainly sober us – it demands our allegiance and fulfillment. Jesus said the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do, and he will do even greater works than these.”
Iorg challenged the graduates to pray a prayer that is worthy of being asked in the name of the Savior of the universe – to pray bigger prayers. “Don’t ask for a city, ask for a country; don’t ask for a trickle, ask for a flood – ask in Jesus’ name!”
“As you go forward in the culture in which we live,” Iorg told the graduates, “into a culture of moral disintegration and into a larger world in which we live that knows nothing of the Judeo/Christian mindset, you will discover that the more you obey the word of God, the more you will stand out as an anomaly in this world.” He continued to explain, “When you teach others to obey the word of God, Jesus will transform them in ways you cannot do, and He will be revealed.”
“And so tonight,” Iorg concluded, “minister in the authority of Jesus’ name, be empowered by the companionship of the Holy Spirit, obey the transforming word of God and watch your ministry unfold with the supernatural happening around you, and the greater works being accomplished.”
The Seminary’s highest student award, the William O. Crews Presidential Leadership Award, was given to doctor of ministry graduate Terry W. Dorsett from the Northern California campus.
The Will Edd & Lila Fae Langford Endowed Scholarship was given to master of divinity graduate Stewart Marvin Moody, from the Northern California campus.
Also at the Northern California campus, Sang Hyun Boo, a master of divinity graduate with a concentration in Biblical Studies, was recognized as the 7,000th graduate of the Seminary. Boo was one of two graduates who shared the story of his experiences at Golden Gate Seminary. Travis G. Nichols, who received a master of divinity with a concentration in church planting, also spoke of his experiences.
The total degrees conferred during Golden Gate Seminary’s spring commencement ceremonies, held throughout the month of May at the Seminary’s five urban campuses:
• 61 master of divinity degrees, including those with concentrations in areas such as biblical studies, Christian education, and church planting
• 11 master of arts in educational leadership degrees
• 18 master of theological studies degrees
• 10 doctor of ministry degrees
• two diplomas in theology
Through its Contextualized Leadership Development centers across the country operated in partnership with local churches, associations and state conventions, the Seminary conferred 108 diplomas in Christian ministry and 16 diplomas in theology.
Graduates broken down by campus:
• Northern California 128 graduates
• Southern California campus 32 graduates
• Pacific Northwest Campus 21 graduates
• Rocky Mountain Campus 29 graduates
• Arizona 16 graduates