Two seminaries will pay reparations

Credit: Jay Blossom

Two seminaries have announced the creation of slavery reparations funds. Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) has announced the creation of a $1.7 million endowment, and Princeton Theological Seminary has created a $27 million endowed reparations fund, from which $1.1 million will be disbursed annually.

When announcing the reparations funds, both schools acknowledged that their schools had profited from slavery.

The reparation program at VTS will support local congregations connected to the school, the descendants of slaves who worked at the seminary, African American alumni, African American clergy in the Episcopal Church, and other social justice programs. At endowment at Princeton will be used to support scholarships and fund it's Center for Black Church Studies.

Following a recent trend, seminary moves from suburbs to city

In July 2019, Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) relocated its main campus to midtown Manhattan from Barrytown, New York.

The move of the seminary’s 260-acre campus, located in the Hudson Valley, to its former extension site in New York City was announced by seminary president Hugh Spurgin in May 2018, before he retired. According to Spurgin and the UTS board of trustees, maintaining the 120,000-square-foot, 90-year-old building in Barrytown had become unsustainable.

The new metropolitan campus is an 8,000-square-foot building owned by the Unification Church that contains two classrooms, a library, student lounge, and offices for the president and other administrators, faculty, and staff. In July 2018, the seminary signed a 10-year-lease for the space with the option to expand to additional classrooms and offices if the need arises.

The initial asking price for the Barrytown property was $18 million, later reduced to $15.5 million.

New president of AGB announced

Henry Stoever has been named president and chief executive officer of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). Stoever, who began his new position on July 1, 2019, succeeded Richard D. Legon, who retired after 13 years as president.

At the time of his appointment, Stoever was the chief marketing officer of the National Association of Corporate Directors, a position he had held for nine years. Previously he was a senior vice president at Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation. He has also held marketing leadership roles at several companies, including Sprint, LexisNexis, and Kraft Foods.

Stoever is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He and his wife, Glenn, have five children.

Cincinnati seminary expands campus

The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati has expanded its campus with a $12 million building addition. Fenwick Hall, which took two years to construct, adds 30 residential suites for seminarians and guests, as well as additional meeting spaces and classrooms.

Fenwick Hall
Credit: The Catholic Telegraph

The building was dedicated and blessed in October by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr. It is the first building addition for the school since 1959.  The additional residential suites will accommodate the increased enrollment for the seminary, which, according to a statement from Archbishop Schnurr, has more than doubled since 2010.

Changes at the top


 The board of directors of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, has named Dr. David W. Boshart as president. He succeeds Dr. Sara Wenger Shenk, who retired in June 2019 after nine years in the role. Boshart will assume the presidency in January 2020. In the meantime, Dr. Beverly Lapp, vice president and academic dean of the school, hasbeen serving as acting president.

Since 2010, Boshart has served as executive conference minister for the Central Plains Mennonite Conference of the Mennonite Church USA. He has been on the executive board of the Mennonite Church USA since 2007 and just completed a two-year term as moderator of the board. Boshart has also served on the board of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary as a member and as chair.

Boshart is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite College, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and Andrews University. He is married to Shana Peachey Boshart, and they have three adult sons.


 Dr. Angela D. Sims has been named president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. She succeeds Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, who has retired from the position after serving since 2012.

Prior to her appointment, Sims had served since 2008 in various roles at Saint Paul School of Theology in Overland Park, Kansas, including as academic dean, vice president of institutional advancement, Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers professor in church and society, and professor of ethics and black church studies. Prior to pursuing a career in theology, Sims was an accountant and controller.

Sims is a graduate of Trinity College (Washington, D.C.), Howard University School of Divinity, and Union Presbyterian Seminary.


  The board of directors of Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has named Dr. Scott Manor as president. He succeeds Dr. Samuel Lamerson, president since 2014, who stepped down from the role to return
to teaching at the seminary.

Manor has served at Knox since 2012 in various roles, including as associate professor of historical theology, dean of Knox Online, vice president of academic affairs, and dean of faculty. Prior to his arrival at Knox, Manor served for one year as a postdoctoral fellow in research and language studies at the Institut Catholique de Paris.

He is a graduate of Covenant College, Covenant Theological Seminary, and the University of Edinburgh. Manor and his wife, Rebecca, have two sons.


  The Rev. Dr. Jana Childers has been named the first dean of the newly formed Graduate School of Theology at the University of Redlands in California. The graduate school is a result of the university’s acquisition of San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2019. At the time of the acquisition, the Rev. Dr. James L. McDonald was the president of San Francisco Theological Seminary; he stepped down when the acquisition was complete.

Prior to her appointment, Childers had served at San Francisco Theological Seminary since 1985, most recently as dean of the seminary, vice president for academic affairs, and professor of homiletics and speech-communication. Previously she had served as assistant pastor of Pluckemin Presbyterian Church in New Jersey and as adjunct professor in speech and preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Childers is a graduate of Wheaton College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Graduate Theological Union.


  Dr. Mark M. Yarbrough has been named president of Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas, a position he will assume in July 2020. He will succeed Dr. Mark L. Bailey who will retire after 19 years as president. Bailey will remain at the seminary in the role of chancellor.

Yarbrough is vice president for academic affairs and academic dean at the seminary, a position he has held for seven years. Previously he was the seminary’s vice president for communications. He has been on the faculty since 2003 in the Bible exposition department. Before moving to Dallas Theological Seminary in 2001, he served as a vice president and professor of Bible at Dallas Christian College.

Yarbrough is a graduate of Dallas Christian College and Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Jennifer, have four children.

  Also: Matthew Hisrich was named dean of Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana, in March 2019. He had been serving in this position in an interim capacity for the previous year, succeeding Dr. Jay Marshall, who retired from the position after 20 years of service.

  Also: L. Gregory Jones, dean of Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, has had his term as dean extended until 2023. Originally, he was named dean in 2018 for a three-year term, but that has been extended to five years. 

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