Skip to content

Fuller Theological Seminary Elects Two Distinguished Trustees during Fall Meeting

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 multidenominational seminaries in the world with a global enrollment of more than 3,000 students in its master’s and doctoral programs. Fuller Seminary students may take classes in person, online, or through a hybrid of the two via campuses in Pasadena, Houston, and Phoenix. Founded in Pasadena, California, Fuller Seminary is committed to providing indispensable, formational education to diverse Christian leaders everywhere. Responding to changes in the church and world, Fuller Seminary is transforming the seminary experience to create a global learning community where leaders can access Fuller Seminary’s traditional graduate programs, as well as non-degree courses through the digital learning platform FULLER Equip, and free resources created by FULLER studio. Fuller Seminary’s distinctive integration of its four major disciplines—housed in the School of Mission and Theology and the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy—is evident in its range of master’s and doctoral programs, uniquely equipping leaders for innovative, nuanced, and intellectually grounded service in a variety of roles and settings.