Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary announces:
Dennis P. Hollinger, Ph.D., President and Professor of Christian Ethics at Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS), Myerstown, PA, has been named the sixth President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Professor of Christian Ethics, effective August 1.

Dr. Hollinger succeeds Dr. Haddon W. Robinson, who has served in an interim capacity as President since May 2007. Dr. Hollinger was appointed by the Gordon-Conwell Board of Trustees following an extensive search by a presidential search committee that included trustees, faculty, alumni and a student.

Commenting on the appointment, Board Chair Thomas J. Colatosti said, “We are thankful to God that he has brought us a leader and scholar in Dr. Hollinger. As a pastor, Dr. Hollinger brings a strong commitment to the church. As a Christian educator, he is passionate about quality theological education. As an administrator, he brings the necessary experience and wisdom for the challenges facing academic administration. As a scholar, author, speaker, pastor, educator and administrator, Dr. Hollinger is uniquely qualified and gifted to lead Gordon-Conwell for the next generation. We are thrilled to have a person of Dr. Hollinger’s competence and character to lead our preeminent seminary into the future.

Prior to assuming his current position at ETS in 2004, Dr. Hollinger served for seven years as Vice Provost, College Pastor and Professor of Christian Ethics at Messiah College, Grantham, PA. He also served as Associate Professor of Church & Society and Preaching at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN from 1987-91; and as Assistant and Associate Professor of Church & Society at Alliance Theological Seminary, Nyack, NY from 1980-87. In addition, he has served as a visiting professor at seminaries in the U.S. and in Ukraine, Russia and India.

During his career, Dr. Hollinger has also been a full-time pastor of Washington Community Fellowship, an urban church in the nation’s capital; pastor of the Evangelical Free Church of Blairstown, NJ; and youth pastor of the Congregational Bible Church, Marietta, PA. He held interim pastoral and preaching positions in Indiana and New York.

He received a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL; an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Religion and Society from Drew University, Madison, NJ; and pursued postdoctoral studies at Oxford University in England. Dr. Hollinger presently serves on the Board of Directors of the C.S. Lewis Institute, Washington, D.C., and on the Medical Ethics Committee of Holy Spirit Hospital, Camp Hill, PA; and is a Fellow of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, Bannockburn, IL.

He speaks extensively in the U.S. and internationally, particularly on social ethics and bioethical issues. He has written more than 65 articles in books, scholarly journals and popular venues and has co-edited four books in the Critical Issues in Bioethics series for Eerdmans Press. He is the author of four books: Head, Heart and Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion and Action; Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World; Individualism and Social Ethics: An Evangelical Syncretism; and a forthcoming book The Meaning of Sex: A Framework for the Moral Life. Dr. Hollinger is married to Dr. Mary Ann Hollinger, who is Dean of External Programs and Assistant Professor of Family Studies at Messiah College. They have two adult daughters, Daphne and Naphtali.

“We are grateful to Dr. Robinson for his distinguished service,” Mr. Colatosti said. “He has led the seminary as a pastor, scholar and innovator. He brought Godly and mature leadership to the seminary during a difficult period of leadership transition, and he has launched the formation of a strategic plan that will shape the curriculum and educational delivery systems for the next generation. The Trustees and indeed the entire seminary community are deeply indebted to Dr. Robinson for his willingness to graciously serve us as our President. He loves Gordon-Conwell and this love has been expressed in his bold and creative leadership and in his pastoral and credible character.

“We look forward to Dr. Robinson’s continued association with the seminary as the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching. He will also continue to teach in the Doctor of Ministry program. The D.Min program is one of Gordon-Conwell’s most successful programs. Dr. Robinson has profoundly equipped generations of students including some who today fill some of America’s most influential pulpits. We must also extend our appreciation and love to Mrs. Robinson. Without her support, graciousness and prayers, none of this would have been possible.”

Drs. Timothy Laniak, Professor of Old Testament, Charlotte, and Dr. Gary Pratico, Professor of Old Testament, South Hamilton, served on the Presidential Search Committee. Commenting on the search process, Dr. Laniak said: “The faculty and campus representatives were included in every part of the process and were shown a great deal of respect and appreciation throughout. It was a very collaborative experience that led to a natural consensus. We feel confident the faculty and staff will be very pleased with the choice of this highly qualified pastor, scholar, and organizational leader.”

Dr. Pratico noted: “We, the seminary in its vast array of constituencies, are grateful that God has called Dr. Dennis Hollinger to be the next president of Gordon-Conwell. Dr. Hollinger is a distinguished scholar, a seasoned teacher, an experienced academic administrator, a committed churchman with a strong sense of global mission and a man of deep personal piety. He has a nuanced understanding of the local and global church in the context of contemporary culture. With God’s help and blessing, he will meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of theological education in the 21st Century. Consistent with its rich heritage and long tradition, the seminary will be evermore effective in the training of men and women for ministry and for the proclamation of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. To God be the glory for the future of Gordon-Conwell under the leadership of President Dennis Hollinger.”

Dr. Garth Bolinder (D.Min. ’99), Trustee and Superintendent of the Midsouth Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, served as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. Summarizing this process, he concluded: “As Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary moves through this significant season of transition we are grateful for God’s continuing protection and generous provision for the seminary. The first assignment given to the GCTS Presidential Search Committee in May 2007 was to fill the office of President. God provided above and beyond what we could ask or think when Dr. Haddon Robinson agreed to serve in this leadership role at a strategic time in our history. As a gentleman and a scholar, Dr. Robinson has led the seminary with wisdom, statesmanship and skill. Under Haddon’s leadership, faculty, staff and students have worked together to help bring a ‘season of refreshing’ to the entire GCTS community. This good will has created a positive momentum that is helping prepare the seminary for a bright future as we look forward to the presidential leadership of Dr. Dennis Hollinger.

“I am particularly grateful for the hard work done by the Search Committee. This committed group included trustees, faculty, alumni and a student. For more than a year this group met several times a month, either in person or by conference call, to carefully and collaboratively discern the Lord’s leading in our presidential search. The assistance of our Search Consultant, Mr. Glenn Weingarth of the Weingarth Group (and a GCTS alumnus) added to our expertise and helped our confidence as a committee. By persevering through a healthy search process the Search Committee is delighted to celebrate the election of Dr. Dennis Hollinger as the next President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Hollinger is a distinguished scholar, teacher, pastor, administrator and friend. He has a heart for God and a great appreciation for the history and mission of Gordon-Conwell. The Search Committee thanks everyone who encouraged, exhorted and interceded for us during this search process. As Gordon-Conwell stands on the threshold of a new chapter we proclaim with you to God alone be the glory!”

HT: DJ Reimer