Fuller Theological Seminary Elects Two Distinguished Trustees during Fall Meeting


Pasadena, CA, Nov. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fuller Theological Seminary, proudly announces the election of two new Trustees during its recent Fall 2023 meeting. Reverend Doctor Nicole Massie Martin and Reverend Doctor Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. have been selected to join Fuller’s distinguished board of trustees, enhancing its capacity to engage and empower expanding communities of Christian leaders.

Dr. Nicole Massie Martin, a Baltimore native, brings a multifaceted background to her role as a Fuller Trustee. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Vanderbilt University with a triple major in Human and Organizational Development, Educational Studies, and French. Dr. Martin earned her Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, with a focus on African American Redemptive Leadership.

Currently serving as the Chief Impact Officer at Christianity Today, Dr. Martin is also the founder and Executive Director of Soulfire International Ministries, a dynamic organization that accelerates thriving for pastors, churches, and young leaders. In addition to her global work, she is also an active member of her local congregation, Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Maryland, where she supports the Discipleship Ministry. An accomplished author, Dr. Martin has written books such as “Made to Lead: Empowering Women for Ministry” and “Leaning In, Letting Go: A Lenten Devotional.” Her commitment to Christian leadership is further demonstrated through her role on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals and her induction into the esteemed Board of Preachers at Morehouse College. Dr. Martin is married to Dr. Mark Martin, and together they have  two daughters, Addison and Josephine.


Dr. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. has served as the senior pastor of Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana, since 1984. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Dr. Tolbert is the President of the National Baptist Convention of America, the second-largest historically African American Baptist denomination. He is also a member of the Board of Supervisors for the Southern University System in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Simmons College of Kentucky.

Dr. Tolbert’s academic background includes obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Historic Bishop College, formerly located in Dallas, Texas, a Master of Divinity degree from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio, and a Doctor of Ministry degree  from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. His global perspective and mission-minded leadership have been evident through his participation in numerous international mission assignments in countries such as the Bahamas, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe.Dr. Tolbert is married to Matilda Edwards Tolbert, and together they have two daughters, Candace and Kayla.

Fuller Theological Seminary welcomes Reverend Doctor Nicole Massie Martin and Reverend Doctor Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. to its Board of Trustees, confident that their remarkable expertise and deep commitment to Christian leadership will help shape the future of Christian ministry and education. 

Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley, Fuller’s President affirms the appointment of these two new Trustees noting that, “Dr. Nicole Martin and Dr. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. add to the depth and breadth of capacities among our gifted cadre of Christian Trustees.” Additionally, Dr. Goatley is confident that “her executive experience in congregations and complex ministries of global reach and his long career as a pastor and network leader with national and global impact will help us hear and respond better to expanding communities of Christian leaders. “

Board Chair, Dan Meyer, expressed his excitement about the new additions, stating, “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Nicole Massie Martin and Dr. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. to our Trustee Board. Each of them brings extraordinary experience, intelligence, and relational networks that will enrich the Fuller community. I know they’ll contribute immensely to our vision of equipping Christian leaders to bring Christ’s hope and healing to all the places it is so needed.”



Fuller Seminary is one of the largest nondenominational seminaries in the world, with a global enrollment of about 3,000 students in its 16 master’s and doctoral programs. Fuller students may take classes online, in person, or through a hybrid of the two via campuses in Pasadena, Houston, and Phoenix.church and culture worldwide. Apply today: https://www.fuller.edu/online-application-for-admission/


Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.

CONTACT: PR Fuller Seminary [email protected] 

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