Martin Luther University College
Martin Luther University College’s Board of Governors announced last year that the Rev. Dr. Kristine Lund has been appointed to a five-year term as principal dean of the school, located in Waterloo, Ontario. She began her duties in May 2021, after serving as interim principal-dean for one year.
Lund becomes the first woman to serve in the top administrator’s role at Luther, which is the founding institution of Wilfrid Laurier University. She previously led the Master of Arts program in Theology Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy, served as assistant principal, and in 2013 founded The Delton Glebe Counselling Centre.
Prior to joining Luther’s faculty in 2005, Lundserved as program coordinator for the Master of Arts program in Pastoral Psychology and Psychotherapy at St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton, Alberta, from 1998 to 2005.
Azusa Pacific Seminary
Azusa Pacific University Provost Rukshan Fernando, Ph.D., announced the appointment of John Ragsdale, Ph.D., as the interim dean of the School of Theology. Ragsdale, who has been at APU since 2017, is an Old Testament professor and previously served as an associate dean in the School of Theology and an interim associate provost.
As interim dean, Ragsdale oversees the Azusa Pacific Seminary, Undergraduate Division of Religion and Philosophy, and the Center for Vocational Ministry. He leads more than 40 full-time faculty in delivering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.
Before Azusa Pacific, Ragsdale served as the associate dean of Learning and Outcome Assessment in the School of Professional Studies at Saint Louis University, as the associate dean in the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Franklin Pierce University, and as an associate professor and the chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Ragsdale holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies with a specialization in Hebrew Bible from Marquette University; an M.A. in Biblical Languages from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary; and a B.C.A. in Pastoral Ministries and Evangelism from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas.
Ragsdale replaces former School of Theology Dean Robert Duke, Ph.D., who currently serves APU in a new role as the Interim Associate Provost of Faculty Affairs. Duke also is a professor in the School of Theology, Azusa Pacific Seminary, and Honors College.
University of Chicago Divinity School
James Theodore Robinson, a noted expert on Jewish history, thought, and literature, was named interim dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School for the 2021-22 academic year.
He continues his academic work (with research that focuses on medieval Jewish intellectual history, philosophy, and biblical exegesis in the Islamic world and Christian Europe) as the Caroline E. Haskell Professor of the History of Judaism, Islamic Studies, and the History of Religions; he is also appointed in the Program on Medieval Studies, Religious Studies, Fundamentals: Texts and Issues, and the Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies, and he is an affiliated member in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
Robinson succeeds David Nirenberg, now the Director of The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.
A member of the University of Chicago faculty since 2003, Robinson received his M.Phil. from Oxford University and the M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary
Timothy Geddert, Ph.D., professor and program director of New Testament, was appointed interim dean of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary in August 2021.
He succeeded Valerie Rempel, Ph.D., who joined The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) as a director of accreditation, and he will serve until a new dean and vice president begins in July.
Geddert earned his Ph.D. from Aberdeen University (Scotland), his M.Div. from Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (the former name of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary) and his B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan.
Before joining the Seminary faculty in 1986, he planted and pastored a Mennonite Brethren Church in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada from 1978-83, then completed his doctoral studies in New Testament in Scotland in 1986.
The university and seminary are both affiliated with the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.
Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier was named the new director of Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana’s (AETH), the institution’s Board of Directors announced in December 2021.
Conde-Frazier has been associated with the AETH since its inception in 1992, and has served the association in various capacities over the years. Prior to her appointment as director, she worked as the Coordinator of Relations with Theological Entities.
Conde-Frazier is a practical theologian and an ordained pastor of the American Baptist Churches with over 10 years of pastoral experience. She was the founder of the Orlando E. Costas Hispanic and Latin American Ministries Program at Andover Newton Theological School, and previously served as Associate Professor in Religious Education at Claremont School of Theology. Earlier in her career she was Academic Dean and Vice President of Education at Esperanza College of Eastern University.
Conde-Frazier earned the Ph.D. from Boston College, an M.Div. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.
R. Clifford Jones
A distinguished scholar-teacherconference administrator, and pastor, R. Clifford Jones, Ph.D., was appointed July 1, 2021 as Dean of the Religion Department of Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala.
Jones previously served as president of the Lake Region Conference of Seventh Day Adventists in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Prior to service at Lake Region Conference, Jones served as associate dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and a professor in the Christian Ministry Department, and as a pastor in the Northeastern Conference from 1979-1995, where he mentored and equipped seminary students at Andrews University as lead pastor of the New Life Fellowship. He served as professor at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary for 19 years.
Jones is a graduate of Fitchburg State University and of Andrews University; he completed his D.Min. degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1980, and earned a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. He has published three books and authored numerous articles in professional and scholarly journals.
Kenneth R. Pruitt
The John Leland Center for Theological Studies
Rev. Dr. Kenneth R. Pruitt became the president of the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington, Virginia, by unanimous vote of the Center’s Board of Trustees in March 2022.
Pruitt is in his third year of service to the board, which he serves as a member of the Executive Committee. He also teaches New Testament and Formation of Ministry at Leland as an adjunct faculty member.
He earned his D.Min. degree from Truett Seminary at Baylor University, and his M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also studied for a year in the School of Religious Education. His undergraduate degree in Religious Studies is from Charleston Southern University in South Carolina.
Pruitt has served for many years as a pastor of churches in South Carolina, Texas and North Carolina, as well the full-time senior pastor of King’s Grant Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, Va.
He and his wife Terry have three daughters.
Pruett succeeds provost and acting president Michael Hines, vice-chair of the board who served an interim term following the retirement of former President William H. Smith.