Rev. Dean K. Thompson was named president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary on April 22, 2004 and will begin his term in June. He brings not only over 30 years of experience to the position but also a commitment to more racial and cultural diversity on campus.
"The seminary has a strong tradition of doing the basics well and also of being very creative and dynamic," said Rev. Thompson, previously pastor to a 1,600-member First Presbyterian Church of Charleston. "I want to be a part of that tradition here.
Trustee Noram Ross said the seminary is very proud of the effort for more racial diversity and tolerance, led in a program by Nancy Ramsay, a professor of pastoral theology and member of the presidential search team. Ross cited that as a key reason for Rev. Thompsons appointment.
Students and staff members gave a standing ovation to Thompson during a short meeting at the seminary on April 22. Thompson quoted one of his favorite Bible verses and pledged to train students as "stewards of the mysteries of God.
Thompson has served as pastor of churches in West Virginia, Texas and California, taught part-time at three Presbyterian seminaries and served on the boards of trustees of two of them. He has also built five Habitat for Humanity houses, involved in affordable-housing work, and participates in a hunger ministry that feeds more than 21,000 families annually.
Will Houts, student representative on the search committee, said Thompson had "all the qualities the search committee was looking for.
"We were looking for someone who could be a role model."