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Remembering a Legacy of Service: Henry and Dawn Doorn

For 20 years, Henry and Dawn Doorn have served Westminster Seminary California (WSC) in development and stewardship of the school's resources. Now, WSC prepares to say 'farewell.'

Henry Doorn served the Lord and His people faithfully at WSC for 20 years and at the end of June retired as Director of Stewardship. Prior to coming on staff at WSC and before computers and the internet were household standards, Henry worked with Reformation Societies International (RSI), a partner ministry with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, developing their website. He used his skills in technological craftsmanship to the great advantage of the seminary developing the “Into the Word” cassette tape (and later CD) partnership program when he joined WSC in 2003. He was instrumental in the digitization of the seminary’s donor and alumni records, transitioning WSC into the database program used in the development department today. 

Henry continued his own professional development in the field, earning the Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) designation while focusing his efforts on church relations and donor stewardship. CCNL promotes biblical principles and professional standards in Christian nonprofit organizations. Henry Doorn brought a heightened level of biblical stewardship to the fundraising process at WSC. 

Dawn Doorn will be taking one step closer to retirement in July, moving away from full-time employment in her work as Vice President for Advancement. During this time of transition, she will work with the Seminary’s newest member of the Development Team, Rev. John Bales.   

Dawn’s career in Development spans more than 30 years, following her years as an educator. She worked for secular non-profits before her husband encouraged her to put her experiences and expertise to use for the Lord at WSC. Mrs. Doorn had earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation before joining WSC and assisting in the transition of White Horse Inn (now Sola Media) onto the WSC campus. She was one of 5,000 leaders worldwide to hold the CFRE distinction 20 years ago, and that training would serve her well during her years at WSC. 

Today there are 7,500 CFRE individuals in the world. The certification not only promotes professionalism within the fundraising and development arena, but it requires life-long learning and adherence to performance standards that are increasingly needed in a time when donors/supporters are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Fund-development staff must keep up with technology and legal changes in the field. At the same time, WSC staff must keep their focus on developing life-long friends of the seminary. 

One of Dawn’s strengths has been in knowing the importance of raising friends and building trust before raising funds. This mindset has helped create a sustainable future for the seminary as she sought to serve God’s people by inviting them to join in prayer and financial support for the work of the seminary. Her character and hospitable nature saw lasting friendships made, and encouraged great support and enduring partnerships with WSC. 

The faculty, board, and administration are grateful for the legacy of trust Dawn and Henry have cultivated over two decades. They will be missed, but they leave the seminary trusting in the Lord’s gracious provision for this critical kingdom work to continue until the Lord returns.