Maternity and family leave policies

A survey of In Trust member seminaries

EARLIER THIS YEAR, In Trust surveyed our 207 member schools by e-mail about their family and medical leave policies. Seventy-one presidents replied, for a response rate of 34 percent. The responses are in the five charts on this page. (Click charts to enlarge.)

 Click to enlarge images. 

Are freestanding seminaries and university-related divinity schools required to offer family leave? The answer is complex. In the United States, “eligible employees of covered employers” are entitled to unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but not all theological schools are “covered” nor are all of their faculty and staff members “eligible.” The new Affordable Care Act has added provisions for break time, private space, and equipment required by nursing mothers—though again, only for certain employers and employees.

In Canada, laws are different, and substantially more generous for employees. Some American employers also choose to exceed minimum legal requirements in order to enhance recruitment and retention of employees, to embody ethical commitments, or for other reasons.

Elesha Coffman, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Changes at the top

 Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan

■ The board of trustees of Claremont School of Theology has named the Rev. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan as the school’s seventh president. He succeeds Dr. Jerry D. Campbell, the school’s president for the last seven years. Campbell will remain president of Claremont Lincoln University, a new interfaith university that the school of theology founded during his tenure. Claremont School of Theology, located in Claremont, California, is a seminary of the United Methodist Church.

Since 2011 Kuan has been dean and professor of Hebrew Bible at Drew University Theological School. From 1991 until 2011, he served on the faculty of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.

Born in Malaysia, Kuan is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a graduate of Trinity Theological College in Singapore, the Perkins School of Theology, and Emory University. He and his wife, Val Toh, have two daughters.

 Mark Labberton

■ The board of trustees of Fuller Theological Seminary has named the Rev. Mark Labberton as president, succeeding Dr. Richard J. Mouw, who joined the Fuller faculty in 1985 and was named president of the seminary in 1993. Mouw announced his retirement last year but plans to return to the seminary in a teaching role after a yearlong sabbatical.

Labberton is a graduate of Whitman College, Fuller Seminary, and the University of Cambridge. In 2009, he joined the Fuller faculty as associate professor of preaching and director of the Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute of Preaching. Previously he was for 16  years the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California, and, before that, the pastor of Wayne Presbyterian Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania, both congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Labberton and his wife, Janet Morrison Labberton, have two adult sons.

 Kurt H. Dunkle

■ The board of trustees of The General Theological Seminary has named the Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle as the seminary’s next dean and president. He succeeds the Rev. Lang Lowrey, who was named interim president in 2010 and was subsequently named president of the seminary, which is located in New York City and is the oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church.

At the time of his appointment, Dunkle had been rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Orange Park, Florida, since 2006. Previously he served in the administration of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida as canon to the ordinary (the bishop’s top aide).

Dunkle is a graduate of Duke University, the University of Florida, and The General Theological Seminary. Before pursuing a call to ministry, he was a partner with the Rogers Towers law firm in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dunkle and his wife, Cathleen Brooke Dunkle, have two daughters.

William J. Katip 

■ The board of trustees of Grace College and Seminary has named Dr. William J. Katip as president of the school, which is affiliated with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches and is located in Winona Lake, Indiana. He succeeds Dr. Ronald E. Manahan, president since 1994. Manahan will return to the college after a sabbatical to become senior advisor to the new president.

Katip has been provost of the Grace College since 2007. Previously he was provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs at Robert Morris University, and, before that, vice president for enrollment management at Geneva College.

Katip is a graduate of Grace College, Purdue University, and Michigan State University. He and his wife, Debbie, have four adult children.

Richard J. Foss 

■ The board of directors of Luther Seminary has named the Rev. Richard J. Foss as interim president, succeeding the Rev. Richard Bliese, president since 2005, who resigned in December. The largest seminary in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Luther is in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Foss was bishop of the Eastern North Dakota synod of the ELCA from 1992 until 2008, when he moved to Luther as director of contextual learning. Before his term as bishop, he was pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, Minnesota.

A graduate of St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary, Foss has served on the boards of Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota), Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, and Luther Seminary. He and his wife, Nancy Foss, have five adult children.

Jason West 

■ Archbishop Richard W. Smith of Edmonton, Alberta, has named Dr. Jason West as president of Newman Theological College, which offers theological education to lay men and women and members of religious orders in the Prairie Provinces of Canada. Newman also provides academic formation for the seminarians preparing for the priesthood at the adjacent St. Joseph Seminary.

West succeeds Bishop Paul Terrio, who as a priest of the Edmonton archdiocese was appointed president of the college in 2012 but who was consecrated bishop of St. Paul, Alberta, later that year. West, who has taught philosophy at the college since 2004, will also continue to serve as academic dean. A graduate of Laurentian University and the University of Waterloo, he is married to Christine West and together they have six children.

Amos Yong 

■ Dr. Amos Yong has been named dean of the Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He succeeds Dr. Michael Palmer, dean since 2006, who will remain on the faculty as professor of philosophy.

Yong has been a member of the Regent faculty since 2005, most recently as J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology and director of the Ph.D. program, and he received a Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology in 2012. He taught previously at Bethel University.

Born in Malaysia, Yong is a licensed Assemblies of God minister. He is a graduate of Bethany College (Scotts Valley, California), Western Evangelical Seminary, Portland State University, and Boston University. He and his wife, Alma Yong, are the parents of three adult children.

 Jiri Moskala

■ The board of trustees of Andrews University has named Jiˇrí Moskala as dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, a graduate division of the university. He succeeds Dr. Denis Fortin, dean since 2006, who is returning to full-time teaching in the seminary.

Moskala, a member of the seminary faculty since 1996, has been serving as professor of Old Testament exegesis and chair of the Old Testament department of the seminary. A native of Czechoslovakia and a graduate of the Comenius Faculty of Protestant Theology (now called the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University), he was a pastor in that country until 1989, when the Velvet Revolution deposed its Communist leaders. At that time, Moskala became the first principal of a new theological college in Prague. Later, migrating to the United States, he earned a second doctorate at Andrews University.

Moskala and his wife, Eva, have five adult children. Andrews University, an institution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is located in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

News summaries by Matt Forster and Jay Blossom. 

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