Baptist Seminary Report Focuses on Growth & Diversity

During the SBC Annual Meeting, Gateway Seminary President Jeff Iorg presented an optimistic report about the health of the seminary. Focusing on the importance of diversity, Iorg said, “Gateway is your daily demonstration of the power of the Gospel to unify people from a wide variety of cultural and racial perspectives.”

Iorg highlighted that the seminary now offers Master’s level courses in English, Korean and Mandarin, and diploma level courses in English, Korean, Spanish, Burmese, Cantonese, Chin, Thai, Lao, Karen, Main, Nepalese, French, Haitian-Creole, Hmong, Vietnamese and Mongolian.

Further, he expressed high commendations to the seminary administration for promoting diversity among faculty and staff. “We have current employees who are African American, Mexican, Romanian, Chinese, Korean, Pacific Islander, Filipino, Australian, Zambian, Taiwanese and Anglo,” Iorg said.

“Because of this diversity, Gateway has been addressing racial issues and the global problem of racism for decades.”

In response to a query from a trustee at the April meeting, Iorg reported the seminary is in process of outlining how it uses biblical, theological and missiological tools to equip students to combat racism.

“Our faculty responded to this request with pages of examples of how they address racism and racial issues throughout the curriculum – from biblical studies to theology to church history to counseling to spiritual formation to early childhood development and every discipline in between,” Iorg said.

During his presentation, President Iorg shared a personal story of his experience serving as the first Anglo elder at a historic African American church in Ontario, California.

“My relationships with the leaders at Mt. Zion [Baptist Church] have become a profound source of spiritual strength for me,” he said.

“It has been a life-changing experience to build leadership credibility in a church where we are learning new ways of being the church as white minority members within a majority black culture.”

Concluding his remarks, Iorg shared that Gateway has now graduated more than 10,000 students and expressed in an elated tone that Gateway’s 10,000th graduate was Yoon Sagong, who earn a masters of divinity degree and currently serves as a pastoral intern alongside a Gateway faculty member in a local church plant in southern California.

Iorg said, “Some of you may be surprised [by 10,000 graduates] because you think of Gateway Seminary as your small seminary out West. We are now a leader-producing powerhouse making a global impact. We thank you Southern Baptists for standing with us, giving through the Cooperative Program, praying for us and sending us students.”

Source: Baptist Press