Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (GGBTS) serves the Western United States by training Christian leaders at five different campuses. GGBTS’ five physical locations include their:
- Seminary in Northern California, in Mill Valley, CA (The San Francisco Bay Area)
- Seminary in Southern California, in Brea, CA (Orange County, California)
- Seminary in Arizona, in Scottsdale, AZ (The Greater Phoenix, Arizona Area)
- Seminary in Washington, in Vancouver, WA (The Greater Portland, Washington Area)
- Seminary in Colorado, in Centennial, CO (The Denver Metropolitan Area)
In addition to these locations, GGBTS offers seminary courses online through its online seminary. GGBTS allows students to take up to half of a degree’s required coursework from their eCampus, the seminary’s online campus. The courses that are unavailable online are usually offered during January and the summer months in a modular format. Through the online classes, Christians can pursue a graduate-level degree without moving to GGBTS’ seminary in Colorado or elsewhere.
(Find more theological seminaries in California).
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s History
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary was officially chartered in 1944, but the vision for it began 85 years before its first classes were held. San Rafael, a Southern Baptist missionary in California had a vision for training men and women for ministry in California in 1859. However, the Civil War prohibited a seminary from being established in California at the time. It was not until Southern Baptist ministers returned to California in the 1930s that the need for a seminary in California became clear. The original campus relocated to the seminary’s current location in Mill Valley, California in 1959.
Since the first visionaries started GGBTS to train up Christians in California, the role of GGBTS has grown. Throughout the late 1900s, the seminary grew to have five campuses, which served Southern Baptist churches throughout the Western United States. Although GGBTS has not added another campus in over 15 years, it continues to grow. GGBTS now serves people all over the world through its online seminary courses.
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s Mission
As a graduate theological school, GGBTS exists to train people in Christian theology and develop leaders who are prepared to carry out the ministry of the Church. According to the school’s mission statement, it seeks to form leaders who:
- Follow Jesus
- Connect with fellow believers and leaders
- Live out their calling
- Are missionally oriented
- Are relevant in the world today
GGBTS: A Southern Baptist Seminary
GGBTS is a Southern Baptist seminary and graduate school. As such, the faculty teaches doctrines in agreement with the Baptist Faith and Message of 2000. The seminary is partially funded by the Southern Baptist Convention.
GGBTS offers many degree programs, which range from pre-baccalaureate to doctoral-level degrees. From the available seminary degrees, most people are able to find one that meets their qualifications, goals and timeframe.
The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree conferred by GGBTS is a terminal degree. After completing the four-year curriculum, which includes writing and defending a dissertation, people are qualified for to teach at most seminaries or bible colleges. A Ph.D. can also help pastors who want an advanced academic understanding.
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GGBTS’ doctor of ministry (D.Min.) degree is a terminal degree. Upon completion, graduates have earned the title “doctor,” as do Ph.D. graduates. Although equal in rigor, the D.Min. is significantly different from the other two advanced degrees. Doctor of ministry degrees are professional degrees, similar to M.D.s for a medical doctors. The purpose of enrolling in the D.Min. program is to develop one’s personal and professional abilities to minster.
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GGBTS offers a master’s of theology (Th.M.), which is similar to the Ph.D. program. The school’s Th.M. involves advanced levels of study and research, like the Ph.D. However, the Th.M. curriculum is significantly shorter than the Ph.D. coursework. Most people complete the Th.M. in two years. An M.Div. or equivalent degree is required for admission to the program.
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The M.Div. is a standard degree for pastors, and at GGBTS there are two tracks students can pursue. Both the standard Master’s of Divinity and the Master’s of Divinity – Advanced Track require three years of study. The Advanced Track allows students who already have formal training at a Bible college or other Christian institution to take more electives than the standard M.Div. does.
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The Master’s of Arts in Educational Leadership (M.A.E.L.) trains students to work in Christian education. This does not certify people to teach in public schools, but helps them understand how to minister to children in Christian settings.
GGBTS also offers a master’s of arts degree in intercultural ministries. The purpose of this degree is to help people effectively minister in a diverse community, by teaching them to bridge cultural gaps for gospel ministry.
GGBTS’ Master’s of Missiology
The Master’s of Missiology at GGBTS has a distinct emphasis on missions. A large focus of the Master’s of Missiology is cross-cultural ministry. There are two tracks students can pursue: one in international missions and another in urban ministries.
The master’s of theological studies at GGBTS includes two years of theological education. The core of the program is Old Testament, New Testament, Church History and Theology, but other courses are required also. This degree can serve as a stepping-stone to a more advanced academic degree.
(Find more theological seminaries with M.A.s).
GGBTS offers an array of certificate programs, which can be used to enhance one’s understanding in a specific area of study. These certificates are awarded to students who complete a specified program, which usually lasts between six months and one year. The certificates offered by GGBTS are:
- A Certificate in Bible Teaching
- A Certificate in Early Childhood Education
- A Certificate in Early Childhood Education Administration
- A Certificate in Youth Ministry
- A Certificate in Collegiate Ministry
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Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s Accreditation
GGBTS is accredited by two well-recognized institutions. The Association of Theological Schools (ATS), which accredits many of the top seminaries in California and throughout North America, recognizes the academic excellence of GGBTS. The school is also accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which accredits many of the best seminaries in California and other western states.
More Information About GGBTS
If you would like more information about Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, check out their website.
Schools Similar to GGBTS
For more seminaries and Bible colleges similar to GGBTS, head over to:
- Seminaries in Washington State (or in the Pacific Northwest), Arizona, California or Colorado (or in the Southwest)
- Seminaries that offer D.Min., Ph.D., Th.M., M.Div. or M.A. degrees, as well certificates
- Southern Baptist Seminaries
- Seminaries with traditional or online campuses