Our Purpose

Together, We Are the Ministry

Collectively, we

  • provide transportation for crews for their personal shopping needs and leisure activities;
  • receive packages that crews have shipped to our center which are delivered to their ship when it arrives at one of our Bay Area ports;
  • offer the International Maritime Center as a comfortable, quiet area to rest, play table games, or spend time in our chapel for prayer and reflection;
  • offer prayers, conduct sacred rites, and sacraments to crews on ships and at the International Maritime Center (when requested).

From its beginnings in the early 1900s until now, the Seafarers’ Ministry of the Golden Gate has been meeting the needs of seafarers as they come ashore from months of isolation aboard ships.  Yet, the times are changing.  The COVID-19 pandemic had devastating effects on all aspects of our world, especially for seafarers and the maritime sector, including maritime welfare organizations like the Seafarers’ Ministry of the Golden Gate.  To remain relevant, effective, and sustainable, we had to decisively answer several important questions:  What will seafarers need in the future?  How can we be of greater service to the maritime industry and to the greater community?  What will be the scope and range of maritime services?

In the fall of 2021, the leadership of the Seafarers’ Ministry of the Golden Gate at the International Maritime Center engaged in a thoughtful process to address these questions and other realities.  The result of those deliberations and discernment is a strategic direction that is now detailed in a three-year strategic action agenda-Full Speed Ahead 2027.  Our agenda is bold, innovative, and achievable with three primary pillars.

Full Speed Ahead 2027

Strategic Action Agenda


Ship Welcome and Visitor Force:  Ship visiting is the foundation of the seafarer welfare services.  We will recruit and extensively train community members to become Certified Ship Volunteers to ensure that every ship that docks at the Port of Oakland will be visited within twelve hours of their arrival.  In the hears ahead, the Visitor Force will serve all ports in the Bay Area.
Ship Shape Wellness Clinic:  A drop-in primary health center that will offer exams, blood pressure checks, and address minor injuries.  In partnership with the California State University East Bay Department of Nursing, the clinic will welcome seafarers and port workers.  Opens in the fall of 2024.


As the maritime industry continues to evolve, the need for well-equipped and compassionate individuals in maritime welfare and ministry becomes increasingly crucial.  Our Maritime Welfare Academy will offer professional development, education and experience for maritime welfare staff and volunteers.  Additionally, we will provide internships in Maritime Ministry and Chaplaincy, Maritime Welfare and Ocean Advocacy, and Maritime Welfare Management and Marketing for emerging leaders from faith institutions, local colleges, and community organizations.


Maritime Celebrations:  We host celebrations for

  • World Maritime Day (Pancake Breakfast – September 2024),
  • International Day for Women in Maritime (Luncheon – May 2025)
  • Day of the Seafarer (Festival – June 2025)

Gathering Among the Ships:  We host small breakfast and lunch fellowship gatherings for faith and community groups.