Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary to Revive Music Dept.

May 20, 2003 10:22 AM EDT

MILL VALLEY, Calif.— The Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s Board of Trustees affirmed the recommendation to “reconfigure the master of divinity concentration in church music degree,” May 5-6. The board accepted the changes, presented by the seminary’s President, William O. Crews, during their meeting at the Mill Valley campus.

"We intend to keep teaching music," Crews said. "We are committed to identifying the best way to do that."

Crews noted that "major changes in the music department nine years ago had proved unsuccessful and the music department has been a financial drain on other degrees."

He added, "Most churches in the West are small, staffed by volunteer worship leaders who are not candidates for seminary training." Academic Vice President Rick Durst said only 24 students are enrolled for both music master's degree programs currently offered, and "that is not enough to sustain them."

Following the changes, Crews will appoint a task force to assess the worship leadership needs in the churches and to recommend how the seminary might respond more effectively to those needs. The volunteers, both paid and unpaid, will include local church worship leaders, denominational church worship leaders; faculty members; and others who are recognized as leaders or stakeholders in the field of effective worship in the churches. The task force will be in charge of approving new courses for the degree, and sill report such recommendations directly to the board.

The trustees also approved the master of arts in educational leadership degree during their meeting. The MAEL is a retooling and renaming of the existing master of arts in Christian education. The MAEL is a 49-hour degree designed to enable persons to specialize their training according to the needs of their ministry. It allows students to focus in areas of early childhood, student or collegiate ministry while also receiving a foundation in Bible, theology, leadership and discipleship.

In non academic matters, the board approved sabbatical leaves for two faculty members: Kon Yang, fall 2003-spring 2004 and Gary McCoy, fall 2004-spring 2005. Faculty members Paul Smith, Earl Waggoner and Gregg Watson were promoted to associate professor. The board also approved a feasibility study to conduct a $6 million, three-year fund-raising campaign. The campaign will include funds for the annual student sponsorship fund, capital projects and endowment.

Trustees elected a new board chairman, Gary Black of Novato, Calif. Elected to the trustees' executive committee were Joe Panter of Paradise Valley, Ariz., vice chairman; Janie Finlay of Houston, secretary; David Gill of Antioch, Calif., instructional committee chairman; John Funk of Westlake Village, Calif., property and finance committee chairman; Calvin Kelly of Birmingham, Ala., student relations chairman; Ed Adams of Hesperia, Calif., institutional advancement chairman; and at large members Bob Fargarson of Brownsville, Tenn., E.W. McCall Sr. of La Puente, Calif., and Bob Swift of Mayfield, Ky.

The seminary honored outgoing members for their years of service on the board: David George of Lake Arlington, Texas, a past board chairman; Jerry A. Coleman of Bellevue, Wash.; and Kenneth V. Simons of Ouray, Colo. George and Coleman served 10 years on the board and Simons two years.

By Pauline J.