Head of Fund for Theological Education takes college reins


The Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen has been named president of Texas Lutheran University, replacing Dr. Jon Moline, who is retiring June 30 after 13 years as president of the school in Seguin, Texas.

For the last four years, Svennungsen has been president of the Fund for Theological Education, which provides resources and scholarships to promote vocations in church ministry and teaching. Based in Atlanta, the Fund has provided more than 5,600 scholarships since it was launched in 1954. During her tenure, Svennungsen helped the Fund secure more than $20 million in grants from major foundations.

Married to William Russell, a historian, Svennungsen has three children. She is a graduate of Concordia College and Luther Seminary and previously served as pastor of Lutheran congregations in Minnesota and Iowa.

Age and tenure of college presidents increasing

The American Council on Education has released a study indicating that in 2006, college presidents were an average of eight years older than presidents in 1986. The average age of a college president increased from 52 years (in 1986) to 60 years (in 2006), while the number of presidents older than 60 increased from 14 percent to 49 percent.

The American College President: 2007 Edition also revealed that the average time that presidents are in office had increased from 6.3 years to 8.5 years over the two decades, and the number of presidents who were white and male had decreased slightly. In 1986, 92 percent of presidents were white and 91 percent were male, but in 2006, 86 percent of presidents were white and 77 percent were male. Sixty-three percent of female presidents are currently married, compared with 89 percent of male presidents.

In 2006, 31 percent of presidents reported that their last job was provost or chief academic officer (up from 23 percent in 1986); 21 percent reported that their previous job was another presidency (up from 17 percent); and 13 percent of presidents came from outside academia (up from 10 percent).

For more information: http://www.intrust.org/Blog/entryid/313/the-american-college-president-2007-edition-now-available.

Vietnamese priests are the "new Irish"

So many Vietnamese immigrants are seeking to become priests that some observers are calling them the "new Irish," the Los Angeles Times reported in an April article on the internationalization of the Catholic priesthood.

Asians account for only one percent of all U.S. Catholics, but Asian students make up 12 percent of Catholic seminaries. At St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California, 25 of the 94 seminarians are Vietnamese by birth or background. And in Orange County, California, with its large Asian community, 28 percent of diocesan priests are now Asian or Asian-American, and most are Vietnamese.

Vietnam began receiving Catholic missionaries in the 16th century, and today the Catholic Church ranks just behind Buddhism in the number of adherents in Vietnam, with more than 5 million.

For more information: http://articles.latimes.com/2007/apr/15/local/me-vietpriests15.

Succession planning ignored by many nonprofits

In March, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that two-thirds of the 2,200 nonprofit executive directors surveyed in a nationwide survey in 2004 wanted to leave their positions within five years. A local survey of 223 nonprofit groups in the Philadelphia region mirrored the national figures, with two-thirds of nonprofit leaders planning to depart by 2010. Ninety percent of the organizations said they had put no thought into succession planning.

According to Laura Otten, director of the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University, one problem with nonprofit leadership is the lack of a "Number Two." Many small nonprofits have one leader and several program professionals to carry out the organization's mission, but lack middle managers who would be the natural replacement for the outgoing leaders.

For more information: http://articles.philly.com/2007-03-25/business/25237581_1_nonprofit-sector-homeless-shelters-nonprofit-groups.

China's largest seminary

In September, the Xinhua news service reported that China's largest seminary had completed a new 12-acre campus in the Daxing District south of Beijing. The National Seminary of the Catholic Church in China was first opened in 1983 but has changed locations several times since then. The new home, with 10 buildings, was built with a $9.2 million grant from the Chinese government.

Liu Bainian, vice president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, announced that the seminary would be the top advisory body in theological affairs for his organization, which is supported by the Communist Party and does not recognize Vatican oversight for Chinese Catholics. The Vatican, in turn, does not recognize the legitimacy of the Catholic Patriotic Association.

Changes at the top

■ The Rev. Ron Crawford has been named president of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, replacing the Rev. Thomas Graves, who announced his retirement last fall because of ill health. A trustee of the seminary, Dr. Crawford has been a pastor for 33 years, most recently at College Park Baptist Church in Orlando. Previously he was a pastor in North Carolina and Virginia and served as president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia.

A graduate of North Carolina State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Crawford is married to Cyndia Ray Crawford; the two have two grown sons. The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. 


■ The Rev. David E. Garland has been named dean of the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, replacing the Rev. Paul W. Powell, who is retiring May 31 after six years as dean. Powell will remain on duty as special assistant to the new dean. 

Dr. Garland has been associate dean for academic affairs and William B. Hinson professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett. He joined the faculty in 1997 and was named associate dean in 2001. Before coming to Baylor, he taught for more than 20 years at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he held an endowed chair in New Testament.

A graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southern Baptist Seminary, he is married to Dr. Diana R. Garland, dean of Baylor's School of Social Work, and they have two adult children. Baylor is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. 

James Maxwell III (FBBC&TS)

■ The Rev. James Maxwell III has been named ninth president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, replacing interim president John Hartog III. Hartog was named interim in 2005 when the school's president of 10 years, Richard Houg, began a health-related sabbatical. Dr. Houg subsequently retired in June 2006.

Dr. Maxwell is a graduate of Faith Baptist Bible College, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Since 1997 he has been pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Married to Leslie Maxwell, he serves on the council of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, with which the school is affiliated. 

Stephen Andrews (Thornloe University)

■ The Rev. Stephen Andrews has been appointed to a second five-year term as president of Thorneloe University in Sudbury, Ontario. A founding member of the Laurentian University federation, Thorneloe is an Anglican school that offers programs in the humanities and in theology. Together with the nearby University of Sudbury and Huntington University, it offers bachelor's degrees in theology through the Northern Theological Institute.

A graduate of Wycliffe College (Toronto), Regent College (Vancouver, British Columbia), and Cambridge University, Dr.Andrews was formerly dean in the Anglican diocese of Saskatchewan and rector of the Cathedral Church of St. Alban the Martyr in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He was also formerly principal of the James Settee College for Ministry, which trains leaders for Canada's "First Nations" church communities. Dr. Andrews and his wife, Fawna, have two children.

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