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General Assembly Confirms Princeton and Louisville Seminaries Presidents

( [email protected] ) Jul 02, 2004 08:49 PM EDT

On June 30, the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly confirmed appointments of two new seminary presidents, Dean K. Thompson of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Iain R. Torrance of Princeton Theological Seminary

Thompson, who has taught at San Francisco Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, said, "At our best, Presbyterians are thinking people with warm hearts. ... It is clear that the people of God want our seminaries to serve as theological resources for the entire church. Our congregations have been (conditioned) to believe that theological education is one of our most remarkable Presbyterian strengths."

Thompson has also served in a parish ministry in West Virginia, California, Texas, and most recently West Virginia, where he as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Charleston.

Addressing the members of PC(USA), Torrance said, "I am here primarily because I believe that Princeton Theological Seminary has enormous potential to do good in the world.

"What I have learned in my few days here (at the Assembly) is that as a church you face similar issues to those with which I am familiar. ... If, as an outsider - that is, someone who comes from a different country - I can help in your debate, I will."

Torrance served as moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, dean of the faculty of arts and divinity at the University of Aberdeen and master of Christ's College, Aberdeen, where he also taught patristics and Christian ethics. He also is editor of the Scottish Journal of Theology.

On the same day, the Committee on Theological Education presented its Award for Excellence in Theological Education to Henry Luce III, who has given 35 grants to Presbyterians totaling $11 million since 1964 through the Henry Luce Foundation.

Prior to becoming a trustee emeritus in 2000, Luce served on the board of Princeton Theological Seminary for 35 years.

The award was established in 1996 to recognize people who support theological seminaries in the PC(USA).