Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS), the historic Baptist seminary in Rochester, New York, has sold its 24-acre site to a local investment firm. The firm intends to develop the seminary’s campus into a hotel and conference center while making only minimal changes in order to preserve historic building exteriors. The campus (above) was built in the collegiate Gothic style with funding from John D. Rockefeller after the merger of the Colgate and Rochester seminaries in 1928.
According to President Marvin A. McMickle, the campus “no longer meets the needs of the CRCDS mission,” necessitating its sale. As part of the agreement, the investment firm has agreed to construct a new academic building at the edge of the campus for the divinity school’s use. Overall, the firm expects to invest $36 million in developing the property. Neighbors have expressed concerns about the new building’s placement. Although plans are still in development, the divinity school expects to move into its new building in 2018.
Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, has announced a new collaboration with Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in an effort to “expand the reach of both institutions.”
In August, the schools will begin the first phase of this cooperative effort, with the seminary beginning to offer the M.Div. degree program at Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Tulsa Center. (The extension site has been approved by the Association of Theological Schools, with authorization pending from the state of Oklahoma.) The second phase of the partnership will begin in 2018, with the university establishing an undergraduate-level degree-completion program at the seminary’s site in Jackson.
According to a statement on the seminary website, the two schools are “sister institutions,” with a shared Wesleyan heritage and a “common view of their mission.”
Amy Northcutt, a former board member of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools, died May 6, 2017, from complications related to a brain tumor. She was 57.
Northcutt was chief information officer of the National Science Foundation, where she previously served as deputy general counsel and acting director of the Office of Information and Resource Management. She was a member of the Oklahoma Bar. She is survived by her husband, Craig Middlebrook, and their two children. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to a scholarship fund supporting women pursuing theological education.
For a full obituary and more information on the scholarship fund: bit.ly/Amy-Northcutt.
■ The trustees of American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, California, have named the Rev. James E. Brenneman as president — the first Mennonite to lead the seminary, which is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches. He succeeds the Rev. Nick Carter, who was appointed interim president in May 2016 following the death of President Paul M. Martin. (For more information, see www.intrust.org/spring-2017/changing-scenes.)
Brenneman comes to his new role from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, where he has served as president since 2006. An ordained minister of the Mennonite Church USA, he founded and was the lead pastor of Pasadena (California) Mennonite Church from 1986 until 2006. In addition, he was a member of the faculty of Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, for 15 years. He has also served as an adjunct or visiting faculty member at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Westmont College.
A graduate of Goshen College, Fuller Seminary, and Claremont Graduate University, Brenneman and his wife, Terri, have one adult son.
■ The Rev. David Cassady has been named president of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, a freestanding theological school located on the campus of Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. Cassady succeeds the seminary’s first president, the Rev. Greg Earwood, who retired in 2016.
Cassady is the founder and president of Faithlab, a communications consulting firm for congregations and religious nonprofits. According to a seminary spokesperson, Cassady will remain with Faithlab in “an appropriate, albeit adjusted role.” For the last eight years, he has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. Cassady was previously executive vice president and publisher at Smyth & Helwys.
An ordained Baptist minister, Cassady is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Rejeana, have two adult children.
■ The board of trustees of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond has named the Rev. Linda McKinnish Bridges as third president of the seminary.
She succeeds the Rev. Ron Crawford, who is retiring after 10 years as president. At the time of her appointment, McKinnish Bridges was managing director of the International University Alliance and a senior director of Shorelight Education, a Boston consulting firm. She previously worked in leadership positions at Wake Forest University, including as associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and as an administrator in the School of Divinity.
McKinnish Bridges was the Richmond seminary’s first professor of Biblical interpretation, ancient Greek, and New Testament interpretation, serving on the faculty from 1991 to 2001. An ordained Baptist minister, she is a graduate of Meredith College, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Wake Forest University. She and her husband, Tilden, have one adult son.
■ The board of trustees of Chicago Theological Seminary has appointed Donald C. Clark, Jr. as acting president. He fills the seat of Dr. Alice W. Hunt, president since 2008, who will retire in June 2018 after an 18-month sabbatical.
An attorney, Clark has served as the seminary’s general counsel since 2004. He was chair of the board of trustees from 2007 to 2013, when he was named a life trustee. He also served as general counsel for the United Church of Christ for 15 years and has taught courses on legal issues at several theological schools.
Clark is a graduate of Williams College and Rutgers University School of Law. He and his wife, Ellen, have two grown children.
■ Dr. Joseph Jones has been appointed president of Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, California. He succeeds Dr. Richard Kriegbaum, who has been serving a second term as president since 2014; Kriegbaum was previously president from 1985 to 1997.
Since 2015 Jones has been vice rector of Forman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan. Previously he was provost and professor of justice and community development at North Park University in Chicago and, before that, academic dean of the School of Education and Social Sciences at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.
An ordained minister, Jones is a graduate of Colby College, Oklahoma State University, and the State University of New York at Albany. He and his wife, Yvette, have two adult daughters.
■ Earlier this year, the board of governors of Knox College in Toronto nominated the Rev. John A. Vissers to a five-year renewable term as the college’s 13th principal, succeeding the Rev. Dorcas Gordon, who is retiring after 18 years at the helm. The appointment was confirmed at the 143rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, held in June.
Since 2013 Vissers has been professor of historical theology and director of academic programs at Knox. Previously he served for 13 years as the principal of Presbyterian College, part of the Montreal School of Theology. From 1995 to 1999, he was senior minister at historic Knox Presbyterian Church in Toronto.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church of Canada, Vissers was the denomination’s moderator from 2012 to 2013. He is a former member of the board of directors of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools.
Vissers is a graduate of Victoria College (part of the University of Toronto), Knox College, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Lynn, have three adult children.
■ The board of trustees of Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has named Dr. Carl E. Zylstra as interim president. He succeeds Dr. Nicholas V. Kroeze, who retired this year after 22 years as president.
At the time of his appointment, Zylstra had been executive director of the Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities since 2012. Previously he spent 16 years as president of Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Zylstra is a graduate of Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. A widower, he is the father of three grown sons.
■ The Rev. Raymond Pickett has been named as the first rector of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. The school’s current dean, Dr. Alicia Vargas, will continue to oversee academic affairs.
The seminary became a graduate division of California Lutheran University in 2014. With his new role, Pickett will oversee seminary administration and work with external constituencies.
At the time of his appointment, Pickett had been a member of the faculty of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago since 2009. Previously, he served on the faculty of the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest for 12 years. He also taught at Phillips Theological Seminary, Wartburg Theological Seminary, and St. John’s College in England.
Ordained in 1989, Pickett is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, Wartburg Theological Seminary, and the University of Sheffield in England.
■ Dr. Jonathan Grenz has been appointed dean of the School of Ministry of Palm Beach Atlantic University. He succeeds Dr. E. Randolph Richards, dean since 2006, who became university provost earlier this year.
Grenz joined Palm Beach Atlantic in 2007, first as an assistant professor of ministry leadership studies and later as director of the school’s M.Div. program. Previously he served on the faculty of Sioux Falls Seminary. He has also served in pastoral roles in both the United States and Canada.
Grenz is a graduate of Taylor University College and Seminary, Sioux Falls Seminary, and Biola University. He and his wife, Susan, have two children.
■ Jesuit Father Thomas Worcester has been named to a five-year term as president of Regis College in Toronto. He succeeds Jesuit Father Joseph Schner, who has been serving as interim president. Father Schner originally retired from the presidency in 2011 and was succeeded by interim president Father Jack Costello before returning to fill the president’s role in an interim capacity.
Since 1994 Father Worcester has been a professor of history, Catholic studies, and medieval and Renaissance studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1983 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. Father Worcester is a graduate of Columbia University, the Centre Sèvres in Paris, Harvard Divinity School, the Weston School of Theology, and the University of Cambridge.
Regis College is one of seven member theological colleges of the Toronto School of Theology.
■ San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chancellor of the board of trustees of St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, California, has appointed Jesuit Father George E. Schultze as the seminary’s president-rector and vice chancellor.
A member of the faculty since 2005, Father Schultze is the seminary’s first leader since the Society of the Priests of St. Sulpice (the Sulpicians) withdrew from the seminary faculty and administration earlier this year. (For more information, see www.intrust.org/new-year-2017/changing-scenes.)
Father Schultze is associate professor of moral theology at the seminary and has served in a variety of administrative roles, including as director of the Pastoral Year Program. He was previously on the faculty of the College of Professional Studies at the University of San Francisco. He entered the California Province of the Society of Jesus in 1984.
Father Schultze is a graduate of Cornell University, the University of California at Berkeley, the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.
■ The board of trustees of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York, has named Father Chad Hatfield as president of the seminary for a two-year term starting on July 1.
Last year, the seminary adopted a new governance model, moving from an unusual bicameral leadership structure to a traditional single-president model. Starting in 2007, Father Hatfield had served as “chancellor/CEO” of the seminary, with Father John Behr in a collegial executive role as dean, but now Father Hatfield will serve as the seminary’s sole chief executive.
Prior to being named chancellor of St. Vladimir’s, Father Hatfield was dean of St. Herman Seminary in Alaska. He also served as pastor and spiritual advisor in several churches and organizations in Kansas. He was ordained to the Orthodox diaconate and priesthood in 1994.
Father Hatfield is a graduate of Southwestern College, Nashotah House, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Thekla, have two grown sons.
■ The board of trustees of Virginia Union University in Richmond has named Dr. Corey D. B. Walker as vice president and dean of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. He succeeds the Rev. John W. Kinney, who is stepping down after 27 years as dean of the seminary. Kinney will remain on the faculty and will also continue as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Beaverdam, Virginia, which he has led for 38 years.
At the time of his appointment, Walker was dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business, and Education at Winston-Salem State University. Previously he was chair of the department of Africana studies at Brown University and was a faculty member in the Carter G. Woodson Institute of African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.
Walker is a graduate of Norfolk State University, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Harvard University, and College of William and Mary.
■ The Rev. Theresa F. Latini has been named the first president of United Lutheran Seminary, a new consolidation of the Lutheran seminaries at Gettysburg and Philadelphia. She succeeds the Rev. Michael Cooper-White, president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, who is retiring, and the Rev. David J. Lose, president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, who has been named senior pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Both presidents agreed to step down simultaneously at the time of the seminary consolidation. For more information, see www.intrust.org/presidents-reflect.
Latini was most recently associate dean of diversity and cultural competency and professor of practical theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Previously, she served as the George C. Weinman chair of pastoral theology and ministry at Luther Seminary. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Latini is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College and Princeton Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Tom van Deusen, have one daughter. She and her family will divide their time between the seminary’s Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses.
■ Dr. Laurie Zoloth has been named dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School. She succeeds Dr. Richard A. Rosengarten, who had been leading the school in an interim capacity since the previous dean, Margaret M. Mitchell, returned to the classroom. Rosengarten previously served two terms as dean, from 2000 to 2010.
At the time of her appointment, Zoloth held a joint appointment at Northwestern University as professor of religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and as professor of bioethics and medical humanities in the School of Medicine. Previously she was professor of ethics and director of the Jewish studies program at San Francisco State University. Working in the field of bioethics and healthcare, Zoloth has served on the NASA Advisory Council and the executive committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.
Zoloth is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, the University of the State of New York, San Francisco State University, and the Graduate Theological Union. A widow, she is the mother of five children.
■ Dr. Colleen Derr has been named president of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Derr succeeds Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, who served as interim head of the seminary after the departure of founding president Dr. Wayne Schmidt. In 2016, Schmidt was elected general superintendent of the North American General Conference of the Wesleyan Church, the seminary’s affiliated denomination. Lyon, the interim seminary leader, is a former general superintendent of the church.
Derr, an associate professor at the seminary, joined the faculty in 2011 and has served in a number of roles, including assistant dean, chair of the faculty, and member of the university faculty senate. She is currently part of a team developing a doctor of ministry in formation.
Derr is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and Regent University. She and her husband, Wayne, have four adult children.
Wesley Seminary was founded in 2009 and currently has more than 500 students. The New Year 2010 issue of In Trust included an article about the seminary’s launch. See www.intrust.org/launching.
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