Frank Yamada, the new executive director of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), recently gave an interview to Faith & Leadership. In the interview, now available online, Yamada discusses the state of theological education and future goals of ATS.


The interview begins with Yamada explaining his faith background. Raised in a Buddhist home, he converted to Christianity at age 19 and developed spiritually in a number of denominations. He explains how this background, along with his work as president of McCormick Theological Seminary, prepared him for the ecumenical nature of ATS.

He also speaks at length about the current state of the church and the challenges this creates for theological schools. Yamada feels that the one thing they have in common is the “spirit of resiliency and change,” the desire to grow and adapt to new challenges.

Finally, Yamada briefly mentions some of his goals as ATS executive director, including learning more about ATS schools, continuing ATS’s current commitment to excellence in theological education and building on that legacy, and addressing the need for increased diversity in theological leadership.

You can read Faith & Leadership’s interview online now for more of Yamada’s thoughts and ideas going into his new role as ATS executive director.