Past Presidents of North Park
David Parkyn, 2006-2017
By vocation an educator, David Lee Parkyn has dedicated his professional career to teaching undergraduates and leading institutions of higher learning. He earned a bachelor of arts from Messiah College (Grantham, Penn.), a master of divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, Mass.), and a doctor of philosophy from Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.). He also completed post-graduate study at both Boston College and Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.).
President Parkyn’s passions for teaching and administration are evidenced by his thirty year career at several colleges and universities. From 1979 to 1981, he was instructor of religion and philosophy and director of religious life at Endicott College (Beverly, Mass.). In 1981, he was named assistant professor of religious studies at Messiah College, where he would remain for 23 years in various roles including associate professor, professor, director of general education and assessment, vice president for planning and executive assistant to the president, and senior vice president. In 2004, he moved to Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, Penn.) to assume the position of provost and senior vice president until his call to North Park University in 2006.
Raised in Guatemala, Central America, as the son of church workers, one of President Parkyn’s scholarly interests is religion in Latin America. He also writes and lectures on topics related to higher education. He has authored numerous articles, book reviews, papers, and presentations on these topics. His professional associations include the American Academy of Religion, Latin American Studies Association, and the Society of College and University Planning. He has chaired accreditation review teams for the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges and is a member of the editorial review board of the quarterly journal Planning for Higher Education. He has served on numerous boards including the National Association of Independent Colleges and University, Associated Colleges of Illinois, and One Goal.
President Parkyn is married to Dr. Linda Parkyn, an accomplished teacher and scholar who currently serves as professor of Spanish at North Park University. Previously Professor Parkyn was on the faculty at Messiah College, served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico, from 2001-2002, and continues as a Fulbright Senior Specialist with recent assignments in Veracruz, Mexico and Catacamus, Honduras. Married for over 40 years, the Parkyns have two children. Their daughter Betsy Parkyn Cruikshank lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her husband, son and two daughters; their son Nathaniel Parkyn lives in Radnor, Pennsylvania with his wife, twin son and daughter, and a second son.