Changing Scenes

Adrian Hinkle

Oral Roberts University College of Theology and Ministry

Oral Roberts University (ORU) has appointed Adrian Hinkle, Ph.D., as Dean of the College of Theology and Ministry. She assumed office in August.

Hinkle previously served as vice president of academic affairs at Southwestern Christian University (SCU), where she was department chair for the Theology and Missions department and academic dean for the school of graduate and professional studies.

Hinkle holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, a Master’s degree in Theology from Southern Nazarene University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Christian University.

She succeeds Wonsuk Ma, who served in the role for five years; he will continue to serve the university as Executive Director of the Center for Spirit Empowered Research.



Changing Scenes

Yolanda Pierce

Vanderbilt Divinity School

Yolanda Pierce, Ph.D., began her duties as the 17th dean of the Vanderbilt University Divinity School on July 1. She previously served for seven years as dean and professor of religion at Howard University School of Divinity, where she was the first woman to hold the office.

At Vanderbilt, she succeeds Emilie M. Townes, who will return to the faculty after a sabbatical.

Pierce earned a Ph.D. in religion and literature and a Master of Arts, both from Cornell University, and holds a B.A. from Princeton University. She served as a tenured member of the faculty at the University of Kentucky before moving into theological education at Princeton.

A native New Yorker, Pierce is an ordained Christian minister and was selected in 2015 as one of The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans.



Changing Scenes

Stephen Edward Fowl

Church Divinity School of the Pacific

Stephen Edward Fowl, Ph.D., began his duties as President and Dean of Church Divinity School of the Pacific on Aug. 1. He had previously served as Professor of Theology and Dean of Loyola College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore.

Fowl earned his Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, an M.A. in theological studies from Wheaton Graduate School, and a B.A. in history from Wheaton College. He is the author or editor of 14 books of theology and scriptural interpretation and many scholarly journal articles and book chapters.

As dean, Fowl led 20 humanities, social sciences, and natural and applied sciences departments; 271 full-time faculty members; and a $24 million budget.

Fowl has long been active in Episcopal Church leadership, having served on the House of Bishops Committee on Theology, helping lead the theological formation of deacons in the Diocese of Maryland, teaching as a visiting professor at Virginia Theological Seminary, and serving as a guest editor for Anglican Theological Review.



Changing Scenes

Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator

Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University

An internationally recognized scholar assumed the deanship in August of the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University (JST-SCU).

The Rev. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orabator, S.J., the immediate past president of the inter-provincial mission of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for the Conference of Africa and Madagascar, was appointed in May. He succeeds the Rev. Joseph Mueller, S.J., who died in January after serving the School since 2020.

A native of Nigeria, Orobator earned his Ph.D. in theology and religious studies from the University of Leeds in England, an M.B.A. from Georgetown University, and a licentiate in sacred theology from JST-SCU, from which he also received an honorary doctorate in 2012. He holds bachelor’s degrees in theology from Hekima University College in Kenya and in philosophy from Institut de Philosophie Saint Pierre Canisius in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.



Changing Scenes

Andrew Pomerville

Louisville Presbyterian Seminary

Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville began his service as President of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary on July 1 after serving in senior leadership roles at Alma College since 1998 and as a senior pastor for seven years.

Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2007, Pomerville earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and religious studies from Alma College, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He also holds a certificate in Adaptive Leadership from Michigan State University’s College of Business.

At Alma, Pomerville was the founding director of the Center for College and Community Engagement. He came to Alma College in 1998 from The Peoples Church of East Lansing, Michigan, which he served as senior pastor.

He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, who retired after serving as president since 2018.



Changing Scenes

Maria Sophia Aguirre

Catholic Distance University

Catholic Distance University’s Board of Trustees appointed The Honorable Maria Sophia Aguirre, Ph.D., a distinguished Ordinary Professor of Economics, as the institution’s third President, effective July 1.

A faculty member at The Catholic University of America, Aguirre has 30 years of teaching and research experience, while holding leadership positions at the academic program level, department and school levels, as well as the university at large. She was a Fulbright scholar in 2012–2013.

After completing Accounting and Business Administration degrees in Argentina, she earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

She has been active with domestic and international organizations engaged in population, family, and health issues.

She succeeds Dr. Marianne Evans Mount, who retired at the end of the 2022–23 academic year after 40 years.



Changing Scenes

Heather McCance

Atlantic School of Theology


The Atlantic School of Theology Board of Governors named the Rev. Dr. Heather McCance, a longstanding theological educator and parish minister, as President, effective Aug. 1.

McCance brings to her new position over 20 years in parish ministry in the Diocese of Toronto, and administrative experience as the Director of Field Education and of Pastoral Studies at the Montreal School of Theology.

She holds a B.A. from the University of Waterloo, M.Div. (and Master of Theology) from Trinity College of the University of Toronto, and a Doctor of Ministry from Tyndale University.


Changing Scenes

Grant Hagiya

Claremont School of Theology

Bishop Grant Hagiya has been named the eighth president of Claremont School of Theology, after serving as President ad interim since January.

Hagiya previously served as the resident bishop of the Los Angeles and Greater Northwest areas, and as Interim Bishop for the Desert Southwest Conference. He retired from active bishop status on Jan. 1, 2023.

He holds Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Divinity degrees from CST, and an Ed.D. from Pepperdine University.

He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, who stepped down June 30 after a 10-year tenure. Kuan will continue as Senior Advisor to the President, and both he and Hagiya will serve as professors to CST.


New Chairs

New board chairs since July 1, 2023

Douglas Sparks
Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation

Tracy Tiemeier
Loyola Marymount University, Department of Theological Studies

Stephen Cady,
Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

James Eugene Lewis
Campbell University Divinity School

Timothy Solomon
Ashland Theological Seminary

Darryl Franklin
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary


Top Topics
Roles & Responsibilities
Board Essentials

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