Seminary Receives Estate Gift for Pastoral Care and Counseling Program


Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary has received a $1.4 million bequest from the estate of Cecil and Josephine Osborne. This gift, creating an endowment for Pastoral Care and Counseling, was received by the Seminary in May 2012. Further future distributions from the estate will ultimately bring the total gift to approximately $2 million.

Dr. Cecil Osborne, a renowned psychologist and author who died in March 1999, was a pastor for more than 40 years. He established several social ministries programs and started nine churches in addition to pastoring First Baptist Church in Burlingame, CA for 34 years. He also authored 13 books, among them two bestsellers – The Art of Understanding Yourself and The Art of Understanding Your Mate. He established Yokefellows, Inc. in 1957 and the Burlingame Counseling Center in the South San Francisco Bay Area.

Yokefellows was an organization devoted to the spiritual and emotional growth of individuals through small group counseling and Bible study. Dr. Osborne assumed full-time directorship of Yokefellows in 1970, which ultimately served 90,000 persons in churches of 30 denominations in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries.

Cecil and Josephine were married in 1986, and lived all of their married lives in California. Josephine, who died in April 2012, was a marriage and family counselor originally from England.

“The Osbornes spent many years ministering together,” said Victor Vanloo, Director of Development. “This gift will extend that partnership in ministry beyond their lifetimes, and we hope it motivates others to think about what kind of legacy they can offer.”

“We are grateful for the Osbornes’ vision for a counseling program and for creating an estate plan to fulfill their dream,” said Dr. Jeff Iorg, Seminary President, explaining that the Osbornes gave over 90% of their estate to Christian causes, with most going to the Seminary. “We are pleased to see their true desire come to life through this donation.”

The Seminary is currently designing a Master of Arts in Christian Counseling degree. Many of the required courses for the MACC will be available in 2012-13, and students will be admitted to the program in fall 2013.

“Students who want to begin the program immediately may take course work in the Seminary’s existing counseling concentration as part of the Master of Divinity curriculum,” said Dr. Michael Martin, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Along with counseling course work, the MACC will require many of the same Bible, history, and theology courses required in the MDIV. Once the MACC launches, students can transfer into the new degree and apply hours earned under the MDIV toward receiving the MACC.”
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