Calvin Theological Seminary Names New President

The Board of Trustees at Calvin Theological Seminary has unanimously approved the appointment of the Rev. Julius Medenblik as the eighth president of the 134-year-old institution.

Medenblik, who is presently senior pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in New Lenox, Ill., is slated to succeed current president Cornelius Plantinga Jr., who leaves office at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 school year.

"Julius Medenblik is an ecclesiastical entrepreneur – a Christian leader of proven accomplishment in the church and, as chair of Calvin Seminary's trustees, already a leader of the Seminary," noted Plantinga.

Under Medenblik's leadership, New Life Church grew from four members to more than 700. He is also involved in leading church planting efforts of the denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, and was recently chair of the CTS Board of Trustees.

"As a trustee, he helped to shape the Seminary's new calendar and curriculum, so I'm confident he will steer our ship in the same direction he helped set for it," Plantiga said, calling the seminary's pick a "fresh and bold" one. "I look forward to working closely with Jul during the transition from one president to the next, and I will do so with joy."

Medenblik was nominated for the post by an 11-member search committee, the chair of which said they "are unanimous in our support for Jul, because we feel he possesses in abundance the gifts needed to promote the Seminary's unique mission in a variety of contexts."

"He brings a desire to know students, listen to faculty and staff, and cultivate partners outside the Seminary in order to serve the church," the Rev. Kevin Adams said.

The appointment is subject to interview by the CRC Board of Trustees and final ratification by the Christian Reformed Church Synod in June of this year.

Following the board's announcement last Friday, Medenblik said he was "humbled and energized by this opportunity."

"Calvin Theological Seminary is deeply rooted in and nurtured by the church," the Reformed pastor said. "We have a great opportunity to use those roots to nourish preachers and church leaders for the ministries and new opportunities that await us in the mission field around each and every one of us."

Organized as the Theological School of the Christian Reformed Church in 1876, Grand Rapids-based Calvin Theological Seminary is owned and operated by the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The student body is comprised of more than 300 students from more than 40 different denominations around the world.

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