Home Christian News David Emmanuel Goatley Named President of Fuller Seminary

David Emmanuel Goatley Named President of Fuller Seminary

David Emmanuel Goatley Fuller Seminary
Photo courtesy of Fuller Theological Seminary

Fuller Theological Seminary, headquartered in Pasadena, California, has named David Emmanuel Goatley as its sixth president.

Goatley will be the first person of color to hold the position of president at the seminary. 

Prior to his appointment as Fuller’s new president, Goatley served as associate dean for academic and vocational formation at Duke Divinity School, as well as Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Research Professor of Theology and Christian ministry and director of the Office of Black Studies. 

Goatley holds an M.Div with an emphasis in pastoral care and counseling and a PhD in theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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“A constructive theologian and globally recognized missiologist with a background in pastoral counseling, Goatley brings a unique blend of experience and expertise that aligns with Fuller’s major disciplines of theology, missiology, and the psychological sciences,” Fuller said in a statement. “Having studied or worked in more than 35 countries, he brings a global perspective to his leadership and vision for Fuller, believing the gospel of the kingdom is truly good news and hope for all of the world, transcending politics, denominations, and single nations.”

“David Goatley will be able to blend an innovative vision for how Fuller trains leaders with a proven ability to execute plans and mobilize a team. He represents the right synergy between a deep passion for the church and an ongoing commitment to research and teaching that Fuller needs in this next season,” said Kara Powell, author, Fuller professor, and executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute. 

Compassion International CEO Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado, who served as chair of Fuller’s Presidential Transition Discernment Team, said of Goatley’s appointment, “It never ceases to amaze me how God works in people’s lives…always moving in powerful, life-giving, and transforming ways as we choose to follow him. David Goatley’s life stands as testimony to this reality. Blessed with an extraordinary collection of life experiences, healthy drive, innovative spirit, relevant capabilities all seasoned with wisdom, he brings a track record of building up diverse leaders for Jesus across the globe. Dr. Goatley stands uniquely prepared to further propel Fuller’s mission right into the heart of the opportunity our present reality demands.”

“Dr. Goatley is going to be a superb and ground-breaking leader of our vision to provide indispensable formational education for Christian leaders everywhere,” said Fuller Board of Trustees Chair Dan Meyer. 

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Goatley will be inaugurated in January 2023. Until then, Mark Labberton will continue his term as president of the seminary.