- (Photo: Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary / Michael Whitman)
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has concluded its nationwide search for a new president with its recently announced pick – the Rev. Dr. Michael Jinkins of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
“Of the many diverse and qualified candidates we considered and engaged in prayerful conversation and discernment, Dr. Jinkins most commendably envisioned our mission to educate men and women to participate in the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ in the world,” said the Rev. Dr. Conrad Sharps, the trustee who served as the search committee chair.
“Dr. Jinkins is an outstanding leader with experience in the pastorate and the academy,” added Dr. Pamela G. Kidd, chair of Louisville Seminary’s board. “He brings just the right combination of gifts and experience to lead Louisville Seminary into the future.”
For the past ten months, Louisville Seminary’s Presidential Search Committee has combed the nation for a new president to succeed the Rev. Dr. Dean K. Thompson, who has served as president since 2004.
When the committee came across Jinkins, Louisville Seminary Vice President and CFO Patrick Cecil said Jinkins “immediately captured the imagination of the Committee with his vision for the future of Louisville Seminary.”
“He is a deep thinker who understands theological education and its impact upon the broader church. I believe he is coming to lead the Seminary at a great time,” Cecil stated.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 29 years and having 14 years of experience in pastoral leadership and mission service within several congregations in the state of Texas, Jinkins is well respected for his contributions to the life of the Church and the academy and in many ecumenical circles.
Jinkins has authored 12 books and more than 100 articles, essays, chapters, reviews, and papers in academic, professional, and ecclesial publications.
Currently, Jinkins is academic dean at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he had served in administration and as a professor since 1993.
“He is a complete package – gifted scholar, experienced administrator, and personable colleague with a passion for theological education,” commented Dr. Debra Mumford, homiletics professor and faculty representative on the search committee.
In accepting the call to serve as the seminary’s next president, Jinkins will lead the only Presbyterian seminary that was supported by both the northern and southern Presbyterian Churches prior to Reunion of the Presbyterian Church in 1983.
The new president – the school’s ninth – will also lead an institution that is credited with one of the top seminary-based Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in the nation.
“Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has an exciting vision, the kind that catches your breath,” Jinkins said after the school’s board called him to be president.
“I am drawn to its vision for building an inclusive seminary community in which people can gain theological education to prepare them to serve God in an increasingly pluralistic world,” he added.
According to the seminary, Jinkins' appointment is effective Sept. 1, 2010.
Founded in 1853, in Danville, Ky., Louisville Seminary currently trains ministers for a number of church bodies, including churches of United Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and Christian Methodist Episcopal traditions.
The seminary moved to its current location in Louisville in April of 1963.