In Trust president honored with seminary leadership award

Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy and Dr. Christa R. Klein

Credit: National Catholic Education Association

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has awarded its 2012 seminary leadership award to Christa R. Klein, president of In Trust, for working with ecumenical sensitivity to provide “outstanding service on behalf of priestly formation in the United States and Canada.” The honor, called the Pope John Paul II Seminary Leadership Award, was presented at the NCEA’s annual meeting on April 10.

“Dr. Christa Klein is being recognized for outstanding efforts to assist theological schools in North America in strengthening structures of governance,” said Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy, executive director of the NCEA’s Seminary Department, who presented the award and who also serves on In Trust’s board of directors. “The award recognizes her thoughtful care and attentiveness to the unique patterns of governance required for the administration of programs designed to form priests according to Roman Catholic ecclesial requirements.” 

Klein helped found In Trust in 1988 as an occasional periodical for seminary trustees. She later served as an original member of its board of directors and has been president of In Trust for nine years.

New head for the Fund for Theological Education

The Rev. Stephen Lewis has been named the new president of the Fund for Theological Education, an ecumenical organization that encourages and provides funding for students pursuing pastoral ministry, theological scholarship, and community service. Lewis took the helm of the organization in October 2011, succeeding interim leader Peg Birk, president and chief executive of Interim Solutions in Minneapolis, who had guided the organization for a year after the resignation of previous president Trace Haythorn.   

Fund for Theological Education

An ordained Baptist minister, Lewis joined the Fund for Theological Education in 2003 and initially led the organization’s Calling Congregations initiative. In January 2011 he was named vice president of programs, with responsibility for program strategy and managing the Fund’s various initiatives in fellowships, congregational outreach, and communications.

Lewis is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Duke Divinity School, where he is a member of the board of visitors. He is a former banking officer and was a training manager for the Institute for Church Administration and Management in Atlanta, where he focused on developing business and administrative capacities among clergy and lay leaders. 

Seminary leader to be next moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada

Credit: Jay Blossom

John A. Vissers, vice chair of In Trust’s board of directors, will be the sole candidate for moderator when the 138th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada convenes in Oshawa, Ontario, in June. 

Vissers has been principal of Presbyterian College in Montreal for the past 13 years, and he has also served two terms as director of the Montreal School of Theology, a consortium that includes three denominational theological colleges and the faculty of religious studies at McGill University. In January 2013, he will leave Montreal to become director of academic programs and professor of historical theology at Knox College in Toronto. Knox is a federated college of the University of Toronto and a founding member of the Toronto School of Theology. Vissers has served on the In Trust board of directors since 2007.

Bangor Seminary suspends master’s programs

The board of trustees of Bangor Theological Seminary has voted to suspend the school’s master of divinity and master of arts programs at the end of the 2012–13 academic year. The seminary has seen a steady drop in enrollment over the last four years, and current head count is 71 students (with a full-time equivalent of 40).

Board chair H. Lowell Brown said in a news release that suspending the academic programs would allow the seminary to explore “a range of options” for continuing its ministry in service to the church. Robert Grove-Markwood, interim president, said that the board chose to make the decision to suspend the programs now so that faculty, students, and staff would have time to make plans consistent with their needs.

National study of Hispanic ministry

The Our Sunday Visitor Institute has awarded the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry a $200,000 grant to conduct a comprehensive study of Hispanic ministry at Catholic parishes in the United States. The two-year study, which was announced in June 2011, is surveying parishes nationwide to assess how the spiritual needs of Latinos are being met. Assistant Professor Hosffman Ospino will direct the research.

Ospino estimates that 30 percent of all U.S. Catholic parishes have some kind of Hispanic ministry, and more than 40 percent of all U.S. Catholics are Hispanic. He believes the study results will be of interest to universities and seminaries as they welcome ever-larger numbers of Hispanic students. 

Online magazine and blog offer content and resources for Christian leaders

The online magazine Faith and Leadership, with its companion blog Call & Response, offers content and resources designed for Christian institutional leaders. The content draws on multiple disciplines and appears in a variety of formats, including feature articles, Q&As, videos, reflections, and sermons. 

Faith and Leadership is the communications arm of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, an initiative with support from a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. and ongoing funding from The Duke Endowment and other donors. Faith and Leadership is online at, and the Call & Response blog is at

Changes at the top

 Jeff Pehl

■ In August 2011, Father Jeff Pehl was installed as rector of Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas. He succeeded Father Jose Arturo Cepeda, who led the seminary for one year before he was named an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Father Pehl is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Assumption Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1995. He served parishes within the Archdiocese of San Antonio until 2007, when he was appointed to the formation faculty at Assumption Seminary.

Assumption Seminary provides spiritual and human formation for candidates for ordination in the Archdiocese of San Antonio and throughout the Southwest. Since 1970, its students have received their academic formation from Oblate School of Theology or other nearby universities. In order to be effective in a multicultural environment, all the seminary’s graduates are expected to be fluent in both Spanish and English.

 Mark Morozowich

■ John Garvey, the president of the Catholic University of America, has appointed Father Mark Morozowich as acting dean of the university’s School of Theology and Religious Studies. His appointment took effect on July 1 and will continue until a permanent dean is appointed. Father Morozowich succeeded Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, dean from 2005 until June 30, 2011, who returned to the teaching faculty as professor of liturgical studies and sacramental theology. 

A priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Father Morozowich is a graduate of St. Basil College Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington, D.C., and the Oriental Institute in Rome. Since 2003 he has taught liturgical studies and sacramental theology at the Catholic University of America, and he has also served as associate dean for seminary and ministerial programs since 2006.

The School of Theology and Religious Studies is one of 12 schools within the Catholic University of America, a comprehensive university that opened in 1889.

 Jon L Berquist

■ In 2010, the board of trustees of the Disciples Seminary Foundation named Jon L. Berquist as president of the organization, effective February 1, 2011. He succeeded interim president Tamara Nichols Rodenberg, who had led the organization since the previous president, Mary Anne Parrott, retired in 2009 after nine years at the helm.

Berquist is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A graduate of Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Oregon, and Vanderbilt University, he taught Old Testament at Phillips Theological Seminary, where he was also associate dean. For the 16 years prior to his appointment as president, Berquist worked in religious publishing at Chalice Press and Westminster John Knox Press.

The Disciples Seminary Foundation partners with three institutions — Claremont School of Theology, Pacific School of Religion, and Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry — to prepare students for ministry in Disciples of Christ and ecumenical settings.

Joseph Chinnici

■ Franciscan Father Joseph Chinnici has been named president of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California, effective July 1, 2011. He succeeds Franciscan Father Mario DiCicco, who retired after leading the school since 2004.

Father Chinnici joined the faculty of the Franciscan School of Theology in 1975, and in 1980 he was named professor of church history. He was interim president of the school in 2003 and was academic dean from 2000 to 2005. He is a graduate of San Luis Rey College, the Graduate Theological Union, the Franciscan School of Theology, and the University of Oxford.

From 1988 to 1997, Father Chinnici was provincial minister (chief executive officer) of the Province of St. Barbara of the Order of Friars Minor, which owns and operates the Franciscan School of Theology. The school was founded at Mission Santa Barbara in 1854; in 1968 its name was changed to Franciscan School of Theology and it was relocated to Berkeley to become part of the Graduate Theological Union. 

 Charisse Gillett

■ The board of trustees of Lexington Theological Seminary has named the Rev. Charisse Gillett as the seminary’s 17th president. She succeeds the Rev. James P. Johnson, president since 2008, who retired in 2011.

Gillett assumed office in September, the first woman and the first African American to head the seminary, which is located in Lexington, Kentucky. During the prior 18 months she was vice president of administration and special projects at the school, and she had previously served on the board of trustees as an officer of the board.

Gillett is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois University. She is a former moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is currently associate minister of East Second Street Christian Church in Lexington, where her husband, Donald K. Gillett II, is senior pastor.

Founded in 1865 as the College of the Bible, a division of Kentucky University (now Transylvania University), Lexington Theological Seminary is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

 Philip L. Hougen

■ The Rev. Philip L. Hougen, chair of the board of directors of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, was named interim president at the board’s May 2011 meeting. He succeeded the Rev. James K. Echols, president of the school for 14 years, who resigned intending to return to parish ministry.

Hougen served as board chair from 2009 until 2011 and was acting president during the previous president’s 2010 sabbatical. In 2008, Hougen retired after two six-year terms as bishop of the Southeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He had previously been pastor of Lutheran congregations in Illinois and Iowa.  

Hougen is a graduate of Augustana College and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He and his wife, Diane, are the parents of two adult children. 

 Joseph V. Betschart

■ Father Joseph V. Betschart, a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, will become president-rector of Mount Angel Seminary on July 1, 2012, succeeding Msgr. Richard Paperini, president-rector since 2001. Msgr. Paperini will assume new duties within the archdiocese.

Father Betschart has been a formation adviser and academic dean at the North American College in Rome since 2007. Previously he was parochial vicar at St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church in Beaverton, Oregon, pastor of Our Lady of the Mountain Church in Ashland, Oregon, and chaplain at the Newman Center at Southern Oregon University. 

Father Betschart is a graduate of Oregon State University, Notre Dame Institute (now Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College), and the Gregorian University in Rome. After his undergraduate education he served five years as an officer in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.

Mount Angel Seminary educates about 25 lay students, 114 seminarians from 30 dioceses, and 40 candidates for priestly formation from religious orders. It is operated by Mount Angel Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1882 in St. Benedict, Oregon. Mount Angel’s abbot, the Right Rev. Gregory Duerr, is chancellor of the seminary and appoints the president-rector, chairs the board of directors (which includes the archbishop of Portland as well as lay and monastic members) and chairs the board of members (the monks of Mount Angel Abbey).

 James P. Moroney

■ Boston Archbishop Cardinal Seán O’Malley has named Msgr. James P. Moroney as the 20th rector of St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. His appointment takes effect July 1, when the seminary’s current rector, Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy, will become the archdiocese’s episcopal vicar for the New Evangelization.

Msgr. Moroney is a priest of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, and a former rector of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Worcester. He currently teaches liturgy at St. John’s Seminary and is executive secretary of the Vatican’s Vox Clara Committee, which developed the new English translation of the Roman Missal that was introduced last year.

Msgr. Moroney is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, the North American College in Rome, and the Gregorian University, also in Rome. From 1996 to 2007, he was executive director of the Secretariat for the Liturgy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since 1999, he has served as a consultor to the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship.

St. John’s Seminary, founded in 1884, prepares seminarians for the Archdiocese of Boston and 11 other dioceses, as well as five religious communities.

 Mark Hagemoen

■ Msgr. Mark Hagemoen has been named president of Corpus Christi College and principal of St. Mark’s College, two Catholic institutions in Vancouver. Msgr. Hagemoen’s appointment to the two related schools was effective July 1, 2011, and he succeeded John Stapleton, who had led the institutions since 2009 and who returned to his previous faculty position at the University of Manitoba.

A priest of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Msgr. Hagemoen was pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish in Vancouver from 2004 to 2011, and he had served on the  board of Corpus Christi and St. Mark’s for five years. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario, and Trinity Western University. 

Corpus Christi College is a two-year liberal arts institution. St. Mark’s College is a theological college founded in 1956 by the Archdiocese of Vancouver and the Congregation of St. Basil, a religious order. The two schools share a board of directors and facilities on the campus of the University of British Columbia.

 David Toups

■ Father David Toups, a priest of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, has been named the new rector of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. He succeeds Father Keith Brennan, rector since 2005, who will return to the Diocese of Saint Augustine, Florida, in July. Brennan was previously chancellor of the diocese and will be appointed to a new position on his return.

Father Toups is pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa and was previously director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, an agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He was ordained a priest in 1997.

A graduate of the North American College and the Gregorian University, both in Rome, as well as St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, Father Toups has also served as professor of theology and dean of students at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary.

St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary was founded in 1963 and is owned and operated jointly by the Catholic dioceses of Florida. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is chancellor of the seminary. 

 Thomas C. Machalski Jr.

■ Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit has appointed the Rev. Canon Thomas C. Machalski Jr. as rector-president of Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan, effective July 1, 2011. He succeeds Msgr. Charles G. Kosanke, rector since 2005, who returned to priestly duties within the Archdiocese of Detroit.  

Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary was founded in 1885 to serve Polish candidates to the priesthood, and today it continues to educate immigrants from Poland, as well as priesthood candidates from elsewhere in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Effective January 1, 2012, Father Machalski was also appointed chancellor of the Orchard Lake Schools, which includes the seminary, St. Mary’s Preparatory School, and the Orchard Lake Polish Mission, a cultural organization.

Father Machalski is a graduate of St. Mary’s Prep and St. Mary’s College, an undergraduate institution in Orchard Lake that is now part of Madonna University. He is also a graduate of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Fordham University, and the Catholic University of America. A two-time president of the Polish American Priests Association, he is a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn and was pastor of St. Josaphat’s Church, a Polish parish in Queens, at the time of his appointment. Father Machalski is an honorary canon of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Baptist in Lublin, Poland.

 Gregory E. Sterling

■ Yale University president Richard Levin has announced that Gregory E. Sterling, dean of the Graduate School of the University of Notre Dame, will be the next dean of Yale Divinity School, effective August 1. He will succeed Harold Attridge, who has completed two five-year terms as dean and will return to teaching at Yale Divinity School after a sabbatical.

Sterling is a graduate of Houston Baptist University, Pepperdine University, the University of California at Davis, and the Graduate Theological Union. He has been a faculty member in the University of Notre Dame’s theology department since 1990 and has been dean of the graduate school since 2008. 

Sterling and his wife, Adrian, have four adult children. A minister in the Churches of Christ, he was for 16 years the part-time minister of a congregation in Warsaw, Indiana. 


Richard B. Hays, a New Testament scholar who has served as dean of Duke Divinity School for the past two years, has been appointed to a full five-year term.


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