The Story of Fuller Northern California

The Legacy Continues

"Fuller Theological Seminary has seen a rich history of excellence in scholarship intertwined with innovation in theological education. It's a legacy that Fuller Northern California has sustained and enriched over its own 40-year history."

Beginning in 1947 with the combined visions of radio evangelist Charles E. Fuller and theologian Dr. Harold Ockenga, Fuller Theological Seminary has seen a rich history of excellence in scholarship intertwined with innovation in theological education. It's a legacy that Fuller Northern California has sustained and enriched over its own 40-year history.

In the early 1970s Dr. Robert Boyd Munger, professor of evangelism and church renewal, had an idea: to create a two-year extension program for training laypeople, offering courses in the evening and on weekends. A series of conversations ensued and in 1973 Dr. Homer Goddard, a pastor and associate professor of the ministry of the laity, was appointed Fuller's first director of extension.

Simultaneously, a group of local pastors and lay leaders began exploring the possibility of an extension site specifically in Northern California. An initial steering committee that included Dr. Paul Larson, Gilman Robinson, and Larry Langdon worked with Dr. Goddard and the faculty of the School of Theology to make the dream a reality-and in the fall of 1974, the new extension program offered its first two courses at Westminster Presbyterian Church in San Jose.

In 1985, New Testament professor Dr. Art Patzia was appointed the first full-time director of Fuller Seminary Northern California-and furthered its legacy of innovation by recruiting and developing an outstanding body of local adjunct professors, bringing the Marriage and Family Therapy program to the Menlo Park campus for a time, opening satellite campuses in Sacramento, Oakland and Walnut Creek, and expanding available library resources.

"Continuing the tradition of innovation, Dr. Longacre took the campus in several new directions-establishing Sacramento as an independent, degree granting site..."

Robert Boyd Munger
Dr. Robert Boyd Munger

Passion to create a 2-year extension program in Northern California

Homer Goddard
Dr. Homer Goddard

First Director of Extension

Art Patzia
Dr. Art Patzia

First full-time Director of Northern California

Curt Longacre
Dr. Curt Longacre

Second Director of Fuller Northern California

    Dr. Curt Longacre came on board in 1997 as administrator director, becoming FSNC's second director in 2003 when Dr. Patzia moved into full-time teaching. Continuing the tradition of innovation, Dr. Longacre took the campus in several new directions-establishing Sacramento as an independent, degree granting site, launching two Spanish-language degree programs, and bringing the Windrider Film Forum to the Bay Area as a means of engaging the surrounding community.

    FSNC has flourished through the contributions of not only these leaders but many others-faculty member Dr. Roberta Hestenes in the early years, associate director Rev. Brad Howell and professor Dr. J. R. Daniel Kirk currently-along with countless devoted faculty, support staff, students, alumni, and friends.

    This campus has inherited a rich history of creativity and innovation, a passion for church renewal and growth, Christian formation and discipleship, evangelism and mission, and an intellectually rigorous graduate theological education. That legacy continues today in equipping missional leaders for the work of the kingdom.