David Emmanuel Goatley was officially installed as Fuller Seminary’s president on Saturday during an inauguration ceremony held at Lake Avenue Church, following a three-day celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.
Goatley is Fuller’s sixth president and the institution’s first Black president since it was established in 1947. The Seminary is located in located near downtown Pasadena.
With an inaugural theme of “The World is Our Village,” Goatley depicted a vision for the future of Fuller that will expand beyond its traditional American borders and more broadly establish itself as a global institution that supports the Christian community across the world. He expounded upon his holistic vision for Fuller’s mission to equip leaders for faithful and effective service to the church wherever they reside.
“We live in the midst of formidable challenges locally, nationally, and globally,” said Dr. Goatley. “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.”
“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.”
Dan Meyer, chair of Fuller’s Board of Trustees, described Goatley as a “superb leader of our vision to provide indispensable, formational education for Christian leaders everywhere.”
Meyer went on to say: “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.”
Goatley’s inauguration was part of a special 75th Anniversary Celebration weekend on the school’s original campus in Pasadena—the city where the seminary was founded. Highlights of this two-day event included music from award-winning gospel artist DOE, tours of Fuller’s historic Pasadena campus, original art installations from Fuller alums, and the inaugural festivities.
For 75 years, Fuller Seminary has been a center for innovative theological training and world-class scholarship, and a leading voice in the evangelical movement. The seminary has dedicated the 2022–2023 academic year to celebrating this milestone anniversary, framed by the theme “Faithfully Forward” in recognition of Fuller’s past legacy and future opportunities in learning, innovation, service, scholarship, and hope.