Columbia Theological Seminary Names New Dean of Students

Columbia’s new dean of students brings with him a wealth of experience serving in ministry and working with students.

Last Tuesday, John E. White was named Columbia Theological Seminary’s new dean of students and vice president of student services by the Board of Trustees. In this new position, White will oversee the school’s student services, admissions, and financial aid programs. White will officially begin in his new post starting with the 2006 Winter term.

As an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), White has a long history of service in ministry and education. A graduate from the Master of Divinity program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, White stayed on as the director of admissions from 1980-1988. He then moved to Trinity Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he served as pastor and as Moderator of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay.

In 1992-2000, White moved to Princeton, N.J., to serve as a pastor at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. He also taught at Princeton Theological Seminary in ministerial studies and as a field education supervisor.

White returned to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2000 as the dean of students. He is also currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree at the seminary.

White’s experiences also branch out to the larger PCUSA. He has served on the Committee on Ministry and Committee on Preparation for Ministry, was a commissioner to the General Assembly, and served as President of the Princeton Clergy Association ecumenical and interfaith ministry for three years.

“We are so truly grateful that John White has accepted a call to continue his ministry in theological education at Columbia,” said President of Columbia Theological Seminary Laura Mendenhall.

“His years of experience as an administrator in our sister seminary and as a pastor in congregations will strengthen our ability to fulfill the mission of Columbia Theological Seminary, preparing pastors and leaders for Christ’s ministry today and tomorrow.”

Columbia Theological Seminary is part of a network of 10 theological institutions affiliated with the PCUSA. Founded in 1828 in Georgia, the seminary temporarily moved to South Carolina and then back to its current location in Decatur, Ga., in the 1920’s. Currently, about 500 students are enrolled in the schools five master’s and doctorate degree programs.