Three new partnerships


■ Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California, is exploring the possibility of embedding within Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. In June, Claremont’s board of trustees gave its approval to proceed with the due diligence process to determine whether the partnership would be mutually beneficial. 

Claremont has noted a number of benefits of embedding within Willamette, including dual degree programs, financial sustainability for the seminary, and alignment with another United Methodist institution. 


On its website, Claremont indicates that if the partnership proceeds, they will sell their campus after property disputes with the Claremont University Consortium are resolved. More details about the possible consolidation will be shared as the process progresses, but the proposal under consideration will allow students beginning programs this year to finish their coursework in California. 


■ Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis is considering an arrangement with neighboring Butler University that would involve the institutions sharing space and collaborating while continuing to operate independently. 


Under the proposal, the seminary would remain on its current campus through a long-term lease. Butler would purchase most of the seminary’s real estate, preserving the seminary’s buildings and accepting responsibility for campus upkeep. 


According to the seminary, the sale of property and reduction in maintenance costs would increase resources for furthering the seminary mission. The proposed agreement will be voted on this fall. 


■ Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, and Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, signed an affiliation agreement in July. The agreement will see Andover Newton Theological School become Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School on the New Haven campus. 


Andover Newton will remain in Massachusetts for the time being to allow current students to finish their programs, while prospective students interested in attending Andover Newton Seminary at Yale will apply directly to Yale Divinity School. 


Andover Newton recently finalized the sale of their Newton Centre campus to Eversail LLC, from whom they will rent the Franklin Trask Library building on campus for the upcoming academic year. According to a statement by both schools’ leaders, this affiliation is a step towards their mutual goal of making tuition virtually free for students with demonstrated need by 2022.     


Changes at the top

Bill Kincaid

 ■ The board of trustees of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis has named Dr. Bill Kincaid as interim president. He succeeds Matthew Myer Boulton, who will return to teaching after serving as president since 2011. 

Kincaid is also Herald B. Monroe Associate Professor of Leadership and Ministry Studies at the seminary. He has been a member of the seminary faculty since 2008 and served as interim vice president and dean of the faculty from 2014 to 2016. From 1997 to 2008, he was pastor at Woodland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. 

Kincaid is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Lexington Theological Seminary. 

Mark A. Smith

■ The board of trustees of Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina, has appointed Dr. Mark A. Smith as president of the university. He succeeds Dr. Bill Jones, president for the last 10 years, who stepped down from the chief executive role and was named chancellor of the university.


At the time of his appointment, Smith had been president of Ohio Christian University for 11 years. Previously he was vice president for adult and graduate studies at Indiana Wesleyan University. 


Smith is a graduate of Hobe Sound College, Northeastern State University, and West Virginia University. Smith and his wife, Debbie, have two children.

Kelly Brown Douglas

■ Episcopal Divinity School has appointed the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas as the first dean of the divinity school following its affiliation with Union Theological Seminary. Beginning in fall 2018, Episcopal Divinity School will provide theological education for Episcopal students on the Union Seminary campus in New York City, and Brown Douglas will be appointed to the Union faculty. 

At the time of her appointment, Brown Douglas was Susan D. Morgan Professor of Religion at Goucher College and canon theologian at Washington National Cathedral. She was previously a member of the faculty of Howard University School of Divinity and Edward Waters College. She is an ordained Episcopal priest. 

A graduate of Denison University and Union Theological Seminary, Brown Douglas and her husband, Lamont, have one son.

Walter L. Kimbrough

 ■ The Rev. Dr. Walter L. Kimbrough has been named interim president-dean of Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He succeeds Dr. Albert D. Mosley, who led the seminary from 2011 until earlier this year, when he was named executive vice president and chief operating officer at Bethune-Cookman University. 


Kimbrough was pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta from 1974 until 1986 and again from 1992 until his retirement in 2006. From 2012 to 2014 he was pastor at Columbia Drive United Methodist Church in Decatur, Georgia.


Kimbrough is a graduate of Morris Brown College and the Interdenominational Theological Center. He and his wife, Marjorie, have two grown sons. 


Gammon Theological Seminary is one of the constituent members of the Interdenominational Theological Center, a consortium of historically black theological schools in Atlanta. 

Yolanda Pierce

■ The Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce has been named dean of Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C. She succeeds the Rev. Alton B. Pollard III, dean since 2007, who will return to the divinity faculty after a one-year sabbatical.

At the time of her appointment, Pierce was Elmer G. Homrighausen Associate Professor of African American Religion and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary and director of the seminary’s black church studies department. While on the faculty at Princeton, she also served as curator and director of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture. 


An ordained minister with roots in the Church of God in Christ, Pierce is a graduate of Princeton University and Cornell University. 

David H. Crawford

■ The board of trustees of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago has appointed David H. Crawford as interim president for the upcoming academic year. He succeeds the Rev. Frank M. Yamada, president since 2011, who became executive director of the Association of Theological Schools in July. (For information, visit  


Crawford first joined the board of McCormick in 2004 and was named chief financial officer of the seminary in 2008. He currently serves as executive vice president and chief business officer. 


An attorney and an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Crawford is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Georgetown University Law Center. Crawford and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters. 

Micah McCreary

■ The board of trustees of New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has appointed the Rev. Dr. Micah McCreary as president. He succeeds Dr. Gregg Mast, who retired in June after leading the seminary since 2006. Mast was named president emeritus. 

Prior to his appointment, McCreary served as president and CEO of McCreary and Madison Associates, a psychological and human resources consulting firm in Virginia. He was also a member of the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University for more than 20 years, serving in a number of roles including assistant vice provost for diversity and co-director of the counseling psychology program. 


A graduate of the University of Michigan, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, and Virginia Commonwealth University, McCreary and his wife, the Rev. Jacqueline E. Madison-McCreary, have one adult daughter.

Scott R. Swain

■ Chancellor Ligon Duncan and the board of trustees of Reformed Theological Seminary have appointed the Rev. Dr. Scott R. Swain as president of the seminary’s campus in Orlando, Florida. He succeeds the Rev. Donald W. Sweeting, who led the Orlando campus from 2010 until he was named president of Colorado Christian University in 2016 (See 


Swain has been a member of the faculty of Reformed Theological Seminary since 2006 and has served as academic dean of the Orlando campus since 2012. Prior to 2006, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.


Swain is a graduate of the University of North Florida, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife, Leigh, have four children. 

 Thomas Knoebel

■ Father Ed Killianski, provincial superior of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, has announced that Father Thomas Knoebel will be interim president-rector of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He succeeds Msgr. Ross Shecterle, whose five-year term ended in June and who now serves as pastor of two Catholic churches, the parishes of St. Mary and St. Anthony, both in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Father Knoebel is professor emeritus of systematic theology at the seminary and is a member of the board of directors. A member of the seminary faculty from 1981 until his retirement in 2013, he served two previous terms as interim president-rector. 


Ordained in 1969 as a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Father Knoebel is a graduate of St. Francis de Sales Major Seminary and Fordham University.

Kae Neufeld

■ Dr. Kae Neufeld has been appointed acting principal and dean of St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton, Alberta. She succeeds Earle Sharam, principal and dean since 2006, who will return to the college as professor of theology after a leave of absence. 


A former public school teacher and principal, Neufeld was for six years the associate pastor at Lendrum Mennonite Brethren Church in Edmonton. She later chaired the doctor of ministry program at St. Stephen’s College and then spent several years working in volunteer positions, including with traumatized women and children in Rwanda. 


Neufeld is a graduate of the University of Alberta and St. Stephen’s College. She and her husband, Don, have three grown children. 

Johnny Bernard Hill

■ Dr. Johnny Bernard Hill has been named dean of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He succeeds Dr. David Forbes Sr., retired minister at Christian Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh, who served as interim dean of the divinity school from 2014 to 2016.

Hill most recently served as the chair of the Department of Humanities and associate professor of philosophy and religion at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He previously served as associate professor of theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and scholar in residence at the Interdenominational Theological Center. 


Hill is a graduate of Morehouse College, Duke University Divinity School, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has two children. 

Shaw University has also announced that Dr. Paulette Dillard has been named interim president of the university. She succeeds Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy, who led the university for two years before being named executive vice president and chief operating officer at Howard University. A graduate of Belmont University and Clark Atlanta University, Dillard is a cell biologist who has been serving as the university’s vice president for academic affairs.

Stanley N. Olson

■ The board of directors of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, has appointed Rev. Dr. Stanley N. Olson as interim president for a five-month term. He succeeds the Rev. Rick Barger, who retired in August after a four-year term. The seminary is in the process of reintegrating with nearby Capital University (see and will be led by a newly appointed dean.  


Olson was president of Wartburg Theological Seminary from 2011 until 2015. Previously he served as executive director for vocation and education of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 


Olson is a graduate of Waldorf College, St. Olaf College, Luther Seminary, and Yale University. He and his wife, Nancy, a Lutheran deacon, have two adult daughters. 


Joel E. Kim

■ The Rev. Joel E. Kim has been named president of Westminster Seminary California in Escondido. He succeeds Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, who retired in July after 24 years as the seminary’s president. 

Kim has been a member of the faculty of Westminster Seminary California since 2005, teaching New Testament. Previously he taught at Calvin Theological Seminary and International Theological Seminary in Los Angeles. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, he has also served as pastor at churches in Michigan and California. 


Born in South Korea, Kim migrated to the United States at the age of 8. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Westminster Seminary California, and is a doctoral candidate at Calvin Theological Seminary. Kim and his wife, Sharon, have two children. 



■ The board of regents of Canadian Baptist Seminary in Langley, British Columbia, has appointed Richard Ang as president. Ang is lead pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Vancouver and has served as interim president of the seminary since 2014 when Dr. Cal Netterfield, president for three years, retired from the position. Ang and his wife, Sarah Shirley Tan, have three children. 


■ The board of trustees of Erskine College and Theological Seminary in Due West, South Carolina, has named Dr. Robert E. Gustafson Jr. as president. He has served as interim president since November 2016, succeeding Dr. Paul Kooistra. (For more information, see New-Year-2017-Changing-Scenes.) 


Requiescat in pace


Max De Pree (1924–2017) 

Seminary trustee for 41 years


Son of the founder of Herman Miller Inc., De Pree joined his father’s firm in 1947, was chair of the board from 1971 to 1995, and served as CEO and president from 1980 until 1987. His books Leadership Is an Art and Leadership Jazz established the concepts of “servant leadership” and “inclusive capitalism,” ideas rooted in his Christian faith, and won him the admiration of corporate leaders, politicians, and theological educators alike.


De Pree was a trustee of Fuller Theological Seminary from 1964 until 2005 and chaired the board for six years. In 1996, the seminary established the Max De Pree Center for Leadership in his honor and to further his ideas. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality,” he wrote in Leadership Is an Art. “The last is to say thank you.”

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