January 9, 2018 was a big day in the history of Westminster Seminary California. On that day the seminary welcomed distinguished visitors from across the globe as we celebrated the inauguration of the 4th president in the history of the seminary, Joel E. Kim. He follows in the footsteps of Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, who served as president for 24 years, Robert G. den Dulk, and Dr. Robert B. Strimple. We know how important inaugurations are. Americans witness them every four years as a president chosen by the electoral college takes the oath of office. So it was here. The faculty members were in their academic regalia, Dr Godfrey gave a charge to professor Kim, the chairman of the board read the oath of office, and perhaps most importantly, President Kim gave his inaugural address. Though it might be tempting to dismiss such remarks as mere formalities, history tells us that they are more than that. If one wants to understand the history of Westminster Seminary California since 1993 one need only read Dr Godfrey’s inaugural address, published in two volumes, Always Reformed and A New Old School, both published by Westminster Seminary California. The president inherits a legacy but he also sets the path for the seminary and the inaugural is the statement of that path. So it seemed like a good idea to sit down with Joel and discuss his inaugural and find out about the state and future of the seminary. He is President of the seminary and Assistant Professor of New Testament. He has taught New Testament here since 2005. He is also a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America and co-editor of and contributor to Always Reformed Essays in Honor of W. Robert Godfrey. This is part 1 of a two-part interview.
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