During an online meeting Friday, August 28, the Erskine Board of Trustees, led by outgoing Board Chair Jill Gazzaway of Davidson, N.C., received reports on institutional enrollment and other campus news; approved a new mission statement for the seminary; and announced new members and officers.
The Rev. Stacey Cox, a trustee from Gainesville, Ga., offered a devotional based on Psalm 34:15—“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.” He asked, “Do you really believe that God’s eyes are fixed on you?” and challenged board members to “live, pray, and work like children of the king.”
Exciting enrollment news was presented to the trustees. Not only was summer session attendance high for both the college and seminary, but the fall semester enrollment, with some 830 students in the college and about 125 in the seminary, is the highest in the institution’s history.
The Rev. Josh Chiles, a graduate of Erskine Seminary who previously served as assistant athletic director for recruiting as well as athletics chaplain, has been appointed Erskine’s interim chaplain. The Rev. Paul Patrick, former chaplain, has accepted a call to serve as pastor of Greenwood Presbyterian Church but will continue to lead Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) this year, assisted by RUF intern Ramsey Conner, a 2020 graduate of Erskine College.
Erskine President Dr. Robert Gustafson, along with his administration, faculty, and staff, worked throughout the summer to prepare for the new academic year in the midst of COVID-19 concerns. “There are a lot of heroes on our campus who are vigilant about being here every day,” the president said. “They love Erskine, and they want it to be the best it can be. I thank the heroes, and I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing us to open in person.”
In addition to hearing an encouraging report from the seminary, the trustees approved the seminary’s new mission statement: “The mission of Erskine Theological Seminary is to prepare men and women to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ through theological higher education that is ecclesial, missional, and confessional.”
Board Chair Jill Gazzaway said, “We had a very positive meeting. Over and over again we heard what a miracle it was that students were on campus this fall. It is clear that the Lord’s hand is on this place.”
The trustees welcomed new members and said farewell to several who completed their terms. New trustees are Margaret Kiser of Rock Hill, S.C., the Rev. Andrew Shoger of Mooresville, N.C., and Kelly Sims of Lancaster, S.C. Rotating off the board are the Rev. Bryan Bult, Catherine Davis, Jill Gazzaway, Dr. Sam Gray, and Dr. Gordon Query.
Officers for 2020-21 are the Rev. Clint Davis of Chester, S.C., chair; Michael Whitehurst of Chapin, S.C., vice chair; and Dr. Alan Broyles of Rock Hill, S.C., secretary.