Changing Scenes

Carmichael Crutchfield

Memphis Theological Seminary

Carmichael Crutchfield, Ph.D., has been named Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS) in Tennessee. He succeeds Dr. Peter R. Gathje, who stepped down in December 2023.

Crutchfield, the Clara Scott Chair of Church and Ministry at MTS and Professor of Christian Education, Spiritual Formation, and Youth Ministry, has recently served two terms as faculty chair and as a member of the President’s Cabinet. He is an alumnus of MTS and a former member of its Board of Trustees.

He earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee Martin and an M.S. in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. He holds M.Div. and D.M. degrees from Memphis Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. is from Garrett Evangelical Seminary.

Crutchfield is a fully ordained in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church and has served as a full-time pastor and a supply pastor. He pastored Mother Liberty CME Church in Jackson, Tenn., the birthplace of the CME Church, and several other CME Churches. Crutchfield is also the General Secretary of the Department of Christian Education and Formation of the CME Church, and currently serves on the Board of Lane College in Jackson.



Changing Scenes

Gerard McCarren, S.T.D.

Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology

Rev. Monsignor Gerard McCarren was named Rector/Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University after serving in the role as acting Rector/Dean since July 2023.

McCarren earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.Div. from Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, and an S.T.L. and an S.T.D. in Systematic Theology from The Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1991.

Widely published, McCarren is an associate professor of Systematic Theology on the theological faculty of the Pastoral Provision.

His scholarly work has focused on John Henry Newman, and he is an emeritus board member of the Newman Association of America, which he served from 2001 to 2016 in various roles. He was named Spiritual Director for Immaculate Conception Seminary in 2004.



Changing Scenes

Ronald C. Barusefski, J.C.D.

Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius

Very Rev. Ronald C. Barusefski, J.C.D. was appointed 16th Rector of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary (BCS) of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa., by Metropolitan William Skurla, President of the Seminary.

Barusefski is a vocation of Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church in Jessup, Pa. He entered BCS in 1981 and was graduated cum laude from Duquesne University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Theology in 1985. After completing four additional years of theological study at the Seminary, he was ordained to the priesthood.

Barusefski holds a licentiate in canon law from The Catholic University of America, has pastored three Byzantine churches in New Jersey, and served as Vice-Chancellor and Adjutant Judicial Vicar of the Eparchy of Passaic, N.J.

Barusefski earned his doctoral degree in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in 2022, the same year that he was appointed the Director of Human Formation at B.C.S., a position he held until his appointment as Rector.



Changing Scenes

Maisha I.K. Handy

Interdenominational Theological Center

A longstanding faculty member and administrative leader has been appointed interim President of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC).

Rev. Dr. Maisha I.K. Handy, appointed in Fall 2023, is he first woman to lead ITC, a consortium of five predominantly African-American denominational Christian seminaries in Atlanta, Ga.

Formerly Chief Academic Officer and Vice President for Student Affairs, Handy has been a member of the faculty since 2000.

She is an Associate Professor of Religion and Education and an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church, USA.



Changing Scenes

Hilary L. Link

President, Drew University

Drew University’s Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee last year announced the selection of Hilary L. Link, Ph.D. as the institution’s 15th president. She began her term on July 1, 2023, at the end of President Thomas J. Schwarz’s three-year commitment to serve in the position.

Dr. Link previously served as President of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., from 2019 to 2022. She successfully guided Allegheny through the COVID-19 pandemic while managing demographic, enrollment, and financial challenges facing institutions of higher education across the United States.

Prior to Allegheny College, Link began her career as director of Scholar Programs at New York University, held the position of dean of Temple University Rome, and served as vice provost at Barnard College of Columbia University.

She earned her bachelor’s degree at Stanford University and both her master’s and doctoral degrees in Italian language and literature at Yale University.

Link is the 10th president of Drew, home to Drew Theological School, established in 1867 and the predecessor of the University.



Changing Scenes

Stephen Cady

Brite Divinity School

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady in March assumed the presidency of Brite Divinity School, one of five Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) seminaries in the United States and located on the campus of Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas.

Cady, formerly the Senior Minister of Asbury First United Methodist Church Rochester, N.Y., succeeds the Rev. Michael Cooper-White, who served as interim president for Brite since October 2022.

Prior to his time at Asbury First United Methodist, Cady served congregations in Kingston, N.J. and Park Ridge, Ill. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy at Princeton Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Cady served on the Board of Trustees of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He was selected to serve as a delegate to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Cady and his wife, Emily, have three children, Ellie, Charlie, and Hannah.

Cady becomes just the third permanent president in Brite’s 109-year history; previous leaders functioned as deans within Texas Christian University until 20 years ago.

Brite’s second president, Dr. D. Newell Williams, was awarded emeritus status upon retiring in 2022 after serving 19 years.



Changing Scenes

Christy Newton

Disciples Seminary Foundation

The Board of Trustees of Disciples Seminary Foundation (DSF) has announced the appointment of Rev. Dr. Christy Newton as Executive Director. She will assume office Aug. 1, 2024, succeeding Rev. Belva Brown Jordan, who has served as Interim Executive Director of DSF since January 2020.

Newton, who most recently served as the Senior Pastor at First Christian Church of Vallejo, Calif., also has been an adjunct professor of Social Ethics and Practice of Ministry at Lexington Theological Seminary since 2011, as well as the Doctor of Ministry Faculty Advisor.

She has served Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ congregations for over 25 years. Her previous teaching assignments include Pacific School of Religion, San Francisco Theological Seminary, the Graduate Theological Union, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Chapman University, and Yagumo Juko.

Newton earned her Ph.D. in 2011 from the Graduate Theological Union and her M.Div. in 2000 from Pacific School of Religion; she was ordained in 2000 at First Christian Church (DOC) in Russellville, Ark.

From 2008-14 she served on the DSF Board of Trustees as a member and an officer.


New chairs
Recent appointments at our schools 2023-24

48 new leaders named from May 2023 through January 2024. View all


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