North Park Theological Seminary Search Committee Seeking Applicants

Nyvall Hall North Park Theological Seminary

Committee seeks nominees, asks for applications by Dec. 9

CHICAGO, IL (November 16, 2011) - The North Park Theological Seminary Leadership Search Committee is on pace for nominating a new seminary dean to the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) Annual Meeting in June.

"This has been a productive fall," reports committee chair Paul Hawkinson. "We have an even better sense of the kind of leader who will help lead us into a strong future."

Of note, North Park University President David Parkyn and the seminary faculty have engaged in constructive analysis of the opportunities and challenges for a thriving future. That work resulted in a report to the University Board of Trustees in October.

This has helped clarify a position description. The position centers in reframing theological training for the future in ways that align closely to the mission of the church, provide flexible delivery systems, and is financially sustainable. 

"This has proven to be an important window to frame key factors to our future. I am grateful for deep levels of important conversation that will serve a new leader well coming into this position," says Parkyn.

The title is shifting back again to its long-term usage of dean. In faculty and board considerations, this both ties to the history of the position at North Park as well as common nomenclature among seminaries connected to a University.

The change will not impact the functionality of the position nor its role on the senior leadership team of the University.

While the committee will receive names for consideration until the position is filled, it is asking for application materials by Dec. 9. To forward a name for consideration, or to apply, email the committee via Karen Mears at kmears@northpark.edu or contact a committee member.

Following interviews planned for early 2012, the committee will forward a recommendation to the University Board of Trustees for action. From there, the nominee would meet with the Covenant’s Board of the Ordered Ministry before coming before the denomination’s Annual Meeting for final action.

"We are in a moment of grand opportunity," says Gary Walter, ECC president.  "This search coincides nicely with the completion of a sharpened review of denominational priorities. I have every reason to believe that the seminary will be viewed as a leading center for missional theological training into the future."

Committee members, some recently new to the assignment, are:

  • Paul Hawkinson and Darrell Griffin, University board members
  • David Parkyn and Carl Balsam, University senior administration
  • Gary Walter and Efrem Smith, ECC senior leadership
  • Michele Clifton-Soderstrom, Stephen Chester, and Deborah Penny, Seminary faculty and staff
  • Dawn Burnett, ECC ministerium executive committee
  • Scott Bolinder, past chair
  • Kelly Perez


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