Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students at Southern California Seminary:

It is with much excitement that together we begin the 66th year of Southern California Seminary, and that our mission has not changed in that time, for we still strive “To bring glory to God by assisting local churches to equip believers of various cultures and languages to live and minister biblically based on the inerrant Word of God. This equipping includes building Biblical knowledge, Christian character and ministry skills, all at modest tuition.” As President of SCS I would like to share with you some of the exciting developments taking place at our institution.

SCS has surpassed recent enrollment records with a beginning Fall enrollment of 218 students in our eight degree programs. We are proud that so many of our students continue to actively serve in churches and Christian ministries while they are attending classes, and to have students and ministers from around the globe studying online.

SCS has made strides to recruit students in many arenas and have been successful. We have focused on our military recruiting by becoming a “Yellow Ribbon School” and having been designated a “Military Friendly School.” Our active military and veterans are able to receive tuition assistance and benefit from the generous new GI bill for post 9/11 military members. While this can never repay them for the serve they have given our country and the liberties they have protected, we are honored to have so many of them as our students.

There are some significant staffing changes I would like to inform you of as a number of our staff and faculty have transitioned into different roles:

Edward Herrelko, while finishing up his Ph.D with Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is our new Vice President for Academics. A graduate of our M.Div. program, he has served for the past year as director of our on-line program and some of you may remember him as our former Vice President for Student Services. We are excited to have him leading our academic department and for the vision he has for academics at SCS.

Dr. Chuck Emert, our esteemed colleague and wonderful professor has stepped down as the Vice President for Academics and will be on sabbatical this year. He has served SCS with much heart and passion over these last few years, and he will be back in the classroom as a favored professor in the next academic year. Though taking a year off, he is still available to counsel with students and will be spending some time on campus.

Additionally, Dr. Julie Hayden, herself a graduate of our school (MACP, PsyD) will be the new Dean of Behavioral Science. Dr. Barry Lord, the heart behind the Behavioral Sciences Division and the visionary of its programs will still be part of the SCS family and will help Dr. Hayden successfully transition into her role before pursuing the vision God has put before him.

In the Graduate and Undergraduate Bible Divisions Dr. Peter Oh (PhD, Baptist Bible Seminary, ’11) continues as our Dean of Graduate Biblical Studies and has great plans for strengthening the programs he will oversee. SCS also welcomes a new Dean of Undergraduate Biblical Studies in James Fazio (BABS, MABS, MDiv, all from SCS). Mr. Fazio will be tasked with growing the Bible College at Southern California Seminary and helping to develop the best undergraduate biblical studies programs available. We are also pleased to announce that Ezequiel Serrato will be our full time Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies. Mr. Serrato is an invaluable asset in the classroom, and is working on his PhD as well.

Added to our Student Services staff is Curtis Fahrlender who is studying in our MFT and MDIV programs. He begins his role in recruiting and is serving under the leadership of Thomas Pittman, Director of Student Services. The SCS family offers its heartfelt congratulations to Tom and Roxy who were married this past Saturday!

We also welcome Onesmus Ngoboka from Uganda who will be studying for his M.Div in preparation to return to Uganda as a pastor, Bible College leader and expositor of the Word of God. He will be serving as custodian at SCS during his time of preparation. If you should see him around campus please welcome him to our family and our country.

All of us at SCS warmly welcome each of you into our family. Many of you are continuing. Some are just beginning. The time spent on this journey of preparation is more than worth the effort because it involves two things that are eternal—the Word of God and the need for His people to be prepared to minister and reflect Christ in all that they do!

Gary_CoombsWith you forever in Christ,

Dr. Gary Coombs

Southern California Seminary is part of the ministry of Shadow Mountain Community Church, under the leadership of Dr. David Jeremiah. For more information about the programs of study at SCS, please visit us online at