Founders' Society

FoundersGordon-Conwell Theological Seminary was founded in 1969 through the efforts of famed evangelist Dr. Billy Graham; Park Street Church pastor, Dr. Harold John Ockenga; and philanthropist J. Howard Pew. These men desired to establish an interdenominational, evangelical seminary dedicated to equipping students for "all facets of gospel outreach." Gordon-Conwell continues to fulfill that vision today, combining educational innovation with academic rigor and faithfulness to the Gospel.

Gordon-Conwell also continues to need the support of faithful friends and donors as it fulfills its founders' vision, now encapsulated in our mission to train students to think theologically, engage globally and live biblically. The distinguished Founders' Society recognizes and honors these friends and donors who provide planned giving gifts in support of this ongoing mission.

We are honored to extend membership in the Founders' Society to those who make a planned gift to Gordon-Conwell in a variety of ways. Visit our Ways to Give page for specific ways you can help extend the vision of our founders and further the mission of Gordon-Conwell.

About the Founders
Rev. Dr. Harold John Ockenga was pastor of Boston's historic Park Street Church from 1916 to 1969, and was involved in nearly "every major evangelical movement of the 1940-1980 period." Rev. Bill Graham, well-known evangelist and preacher, has been a key figure in Twentieth Century Evangelicalism. Mr. J. Howard Pew, former president of the Sun Oil Company, was a prominent philanthropist. These men saw the need for a strong, evangelical seminary in the Northeast, resulting in Gordon Divinity School and the Conwell School of Theology merger in 1969. The vision for the school was to "establish within a strong evangelical framework, an independent, interdenominational seminary whose constituents are united in the belief that the Bible is the infallible, authoritative Word of God...consecrated to educating men and women in all facets of gospel outreach." This vision continues to guide Gordon-Conwell to this day.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where you agree to make a gift to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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