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Fuller Seminary Inaugurates Its First Black President

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Fuller Seminary in California has officially inaugurated its first Black president.

According to a press release from the school, David Emmanuel Goatley officially took his post at the California school on January 21 at an inauguration ceremony at Lake Avenue Church.

Goatley is the college’s sixth president since it was founded in 1947.

“We live in the midst of formidable challenges locally, nationally, and globally,” Dr. Goatley said during the inauguration, where he talked about his vision of “The World is Our Village.”

“Christian higher theological education is as critical today as ever before, because churches need good leaders, and the world needs good churches. Fuller has a rich history of forming faithful pastoral, academic, mental health and community leaders, and we will continue to expand Fuller’s ability to help equip people for the work that God is calling them to do. I’m grateful to greet all who are part of Fuller’s family.”

Goatley’s inauguration was a part of the school’s 75th Anniversary Celebration weekend, which celebrated the original campus in Pasadena.

“For 75 years, Fuller has been at the forefront, serving the community of Pasadena in ways both meaningful and measurable,” said Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo. “And we are fortunate to welcome this next chapter in Fuller’s history under the leadership of Dr. Goatley. His wealth of experience and expertise will make him a groundbreaking leader of leaders at this pivotal time in Pasadena’s history.”

Today, Fuller Seminary has an enrollment of about 3,000 students in masters and doctoral programs.

Dan Meyer, chairman of Fuller’s Board of Trustees, said Goatley would be a “superb leader of our vision to provide indispensable, formational education for Christian leaders everywhere.” 

“The confluence of David Emmanuel Goatley’s professional expertise in the fields of theology, psychology, and missiology, together with his experience as an academic dean at a premier university, make him a remarkable match for Fuller Seminary at this pivotal moment in its history. For 75 years, Fuller Seminary has been blessed with uncommonly thoughtful, gracious, biblically rooted and culturally relevant presidents, and Dr. Goatley is another figure in this inspirational line.”

Photo courtesy: ©Creative Commons/Bobak Ha’Eri, image cropped and resized.


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.



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