CHICAGO, IL (November 16, 2011) – The Seminary Leadership Search Committee is on pace to nominate a new North Park Theological Seminary dean during the 127th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) in June.
“This has been a productive fall,” reports committee chair Paul Hawkinson. “We have an even better sense of the kind of leader who will help lead us into a strong future.”
University President David Parkyn and the seminary faculty have engaged in a constructive analysis of the opportunities and challenges for a thriving future, as reflected in a report to the university board in October.
That work helped clarify the job description for the position, which centers on reframing theological training for the future in ways that align closely to the mission of the ECC, provides flexible delivery systems, and is financially sustainable.
“This has proven to be an important window to frame key factors to our future,” Parkyn says. “I am grateful for deep levels of important conversation that will serve a new leader well coming into this position.”
The title is reverting to its long-term usage of dean. In faculty and board considerations, this both ties to the history of the position at North Park as well as common nomenclature among seminaries connected to a university.
The change will not impact the functionality of the position nor its role on the senior leadership team of the university.
While the committee will receive names for consideration until the position is filled, it requests application materials be submitted no later than December 9. To forward a name for consideration or to apply, email Karen Mears or contact a committee member.
Committee members (some recently new to the assignment) are:
- Paul Hawkinson and Darrell Griffin, university board members
- David Parkyn and Carl Balsam, university senior administration
- Gary Walter and Efrem Smith, Covenant senior leadership
- Michele Clifton-Soderstrom, Stephen Chester, and Deborah Penny, seminary faculty and staff
- Dawn Burnett, Covenant Ministerium executive committee
- Scott Bolinder, past chair
- Kelly Perez, student representative
Following interviews planned for early 2012, the committee will forward a recommendation to the university Board of Trustees. The nominee will meet with the ECC Board of the Ordered Ministry before the nomination is submitted to ECC Annual Meeting delegates.
“We are in a moment of grand opportunity,” says ECC President Gary Walter. “This search coincides nicely with the completion of a sharpened review of denominational priorities. I have every reason to believe that the seminary will be viewed as a leading center for missional theological training into the future.”