Search Begins for New Seminary President

CHICAGO, IL (January 19, 2010) – The search is under way for a new president and dean of North Park Theological Seminary to replace Dr. John E. Phelan, who announced last fall his decision to conclude 14 years of administrative service and transition to a faculty appointment.

“Phelan’s distinguished tenure provides a firm foundation on which the next president and dean can advance the ambitious future for the seminary,” states the Opportunity Profile developed by a 12-member search committee.

That search committee is chaired by Scott Bolinder, chair of the Board of Trustees’ Seminary Committee, and includes Gary Walter, president of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). The Opportunity Profile presents a summary of the position and the expectations for leadership.

Plans call for recommendation of a candidate for approval by the North Park University Board of Trustees during its May meeting and presentation of the candidate for action during the 125th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church in June.

If called by the ECC Annual Meeting, the new president and dean would assume responsibilities July 1.

The search committee met in December to define the search process, which began with opportunities to meet with various stakeholders and listen to their desires, as well as development of an Opportunity Profile that outlines expectations and desired attributes of a new seminary leader. Next steps include receipt of applications and nominations, selection of those to be interviewed, and recommendation of a successful candidate.

“However, it is more important to get the right person than to meet a deadline,” notes Bolinder. In addition to Bolinder and Walter, other committee members include Robert Hubbard, Soong-Chan Rah, Deborah Penny, Stephanie Shultz, Evelyn Johnson, Dawn Burnett, Tomas Ivens, Efrem Smith, Mary Surridge, and David Parkyn, NPU president.

To nominate an individual, email his/her name and a brief background statement to the committee chair, Scott Bolinder, via Ms. Karen Mears.

To apply for the position, submit the following:
1. A letter of candidacy responding to the desired attributes identified above
2. A complete résumé or vita
3. Brief essays (2-3 pages each) on the following topics:
a. Your personal journey of faith
b. Your commitment to and support for the mission and educational program of NPTS and its relationship to the ECC worldwide
c. Your perspective on and vision for the future of theological education generally, with application to the specific context of NPTS
d. Your understanding of and personal commitment to the three-fold core institutional identity of North Park (as “distinctively Christian, intentionally urban, and purposefully multicultural”) and your personal life experiences and expertise which will assist you to advance this identity as seminary President and Dean
4. Names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of five references (for future contact), all of which will be held in full confidence

Application materials should be emailed to the committee chair, Scott Bolinder, via Ms. Karen Mears.

Ideally, all application materials should arrive for committee review no later than February 15, though applications will be received and considered until an appointment is made. The expectation is that the person selected will be approved by the NPU Board of Trustees in May and by the ECC Annual Meeting in June, assuming the appointment on July 1.

Applicants may locate additional information on the university, seminary, and church at the following web locations:

North Park University
North Park Theological Seminary
Evangelical Covenant Church

In addition, click here to access supporting materials of interest to candidates.

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