Chicago Theological Seminary Names the Rev. John H. Thomas to High-Level Post

Wed May 20, 2009 12:32pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Head of United Church of Christ to join CTS as senior advisor to the president
and visiting professor in church ministries

CHICAGO, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago Theological Seminary has named the
Rev. John H. Thomas as senior advisor to the president and visiting professor
in church ministries.  Thomas' appointment will take effect January 1, 2010. 
He will conclude his term as general minister and president of the United
Church of Christ on September 30.

In this newly created position, Thomas will play a strategic role in promoting
and enhancing the national and global profile of CTS. Thomas also will
cultivate relationships with key constituents and congregations, support
strategic fund raising, foster student and faculty recruitment, provide
leadership development opportunities for students, alumni, and other national
religious leaders as well as teach courses.

"John's well-recognized accomplishments, his strong relationships throughout
the religious community, and his wisdom will further CTS' efforts to provide a
vibrant model for the rigorous education of religious leadership as we work
toward greater justice and mercy," said Alice Hunt, president of Chicago
Theological Seminary. "I look forward to working with John to meet the
emerging challenges of theological education for our rapidly changing world."

"Chicago Theological Seminary offers students the opportunity to learn from
outstanding scholars and accomplished religious practitioners. The addition of
John Thomas reaffirms CTS' commitment to exceptional theological education and
developing future generations of religious leadership," said Don Clark, chair
of the seminary's board of trustees.

Elected general minister and president of the United Church of Christ in 1999,
Thomas served for the next decade as the convener of the Collegium of Officers
of the UCC as well as the church's principal spokesperson on theological and
public issues and official representative in ecumenical and interfaith
relations. From 1992 to 1999 he served as assistant to the president of the
United Church of Christ for Ecumenical Concerns. In that role, he represented
the UCC in theological dialogues, in conciliar bodies including the World and
National Councils of Churches. In addition, he was the ecumenical
representative to the general board of the Christian Church (Disciples of
Christ) and was instrumental in developing the 1998 full communion agreement
between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and three reformed
churches: the Reformed Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and
the UCC.

"I am eager to begin working with the extraordinary leadership at CTS to
strengthen and expand its institutional relationships and to being part of the
positive experience of its students," said Thomas. "CTS excels at educating
men and women of faith by fostering questioning and critical dialogue that
promote the understanding and skills necessary for future leadership and

Following his 1975 ordination, Thomas served as associate minister of the
First Congregational United Church of Christ in Cheshire, Conn., through 1981
and as minister of the First United Church of Christ in Easton, Pa., until

Thomas graduated from Gettysburg (Pa.) College in 1972 and Yale University
Divinity School in 1975. He studied at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey,
Switzerland, in 1988 and has written numerous articles on ecumenical issues.
Over the years, he has received honorary doctor of divinity degrees from Eden
Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Mo.,  United Theological Seminary in New
Brighton, Minn., Yankton College in Yankton, S.D., and Elmhurst College in
Elmhurst, Ill.

About Chicago Theological Seminary
Chicago Theological Seminary, founded in 1855, prepares women and men for
religious leadership and ministry to individuals, churches and society.
Students from more than 20 denominations and faith traditions attend CTS,
based in Chicago's Hyde Park community. The institution is certified by the
United Methodist Church and accredited by the Association of Theological
Schools in the United States and Canada as well as the North Central
Association of Colleges and Schools. More information is available at 

SOURCE  Chicago Theological Seminary

Maureen Mullady, +1-312-239-1107,, for Chicago
Theological Seminary
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