Goshen College Presidential Search Committee Announces Candidate-of-Choice

Goshen College announced today that educator, biblical theologian and church leader Dr. James Brenneman is the candidate of choice to be the 16th president of the 111-year-old institution committed “to educating servant leaders for the church and the world.”

Goshen College Board of Directors Chair Virgil Miller opened the extended chapel by welcoming the community and reporting that, after a careful presidential search process, there was “good news” for four-year Christian liberal arts college.

“The journey that has brought us together for this exciting day has been one of progressive, unfolding steps in a thorough process of discernment,” said Miller, in a news release on Nov. 18. “Yet each step along the path has pointed the way to the next, and we are coming to the end of this journey.”

Rick Stiffney, chair of the Presidential Search Committee and vice-chair of the Goshen College Board of Directors, who made the official introduction of the candidate of choice to campus, said that the search committee was unanimous in supporting Brenneman’s candidacy.

“In considering the candidate profile that was created after talking with a broad range of people who are invested in the mission of Goshen College, we sought a proven leader who demonstrates creative intellect, a collaborative management style and a passion for Anabaptist education,” Stiffney said, in the news release. “Dr. Brenneman would clearly promote the mission of the college and embody its core values and support Goshen College’s strategic priorities.”

On behalf of the MEA Board of Directors, Carlos Romero, executive director, praised the selection of Brenneman as candidate of choice.

“Jim Brenneman is both an academic and a seasoned church leader at many levels. He would bring to Goshen College the mind of a scholar, the vision and determination of a leader and the heart of a pastor,” Romero said in the news release.

Ordained in 1986, Brenneman is a credentialed minister of Mennonite Church USA. He joined the Pastoral Leadership Commission of the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference in 1990 and served on the Council on Faith, Life and Strategy of the Mennonite Church.

The founding lead pastor of Pasadena (Calif.) Mennonite Church, Brenneman has served since 1992 on the faculty at Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (Calif.) in Old Testament scholarship and as an adjunct faculty member at Claremont School of Theology and, since 1995, as an adjunct professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, Calif.).

From 1991 to 2002, he was president of the Center for Anabaptist Leadership and School of Urban Ministry in Los Angeles, Calif., and is again serving in that role for the organization.

Goshen College’s Presidential Search Committee, whose members were affirmed by the Goshen College and MEA Board of Directors and commissioned in November 2004, was convened following the resignation in August 2004 of Shirley H. Showalter, Goshen College’s 14th president. John D. Yordy will continue as interim president of Goshen College, having served in that role since October of 2004, until a new president takes office on a date to be determined.

“Goshen College was revolutionary in my life, especially in encouraging my passion for learning and my spiritual transformation, so I am particularly prepared to promote the college’s Christ-centered mission,” said Brenneman, in the news release. “The world wants and needs what Goshen College has to offer – a college uniquely inspired by its rooted faith that may actually change the world of tomorrow.

“I value the opportunity to be a voice for its future,” he added.