McCormick Theological Seminary President Cynthia M. Campbell was elected president and chair of the executive committee of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), becoming the fourth female president in the association’s 86-year history. ATS is recognized for having one of the most ecumenical membership bodies of any religious organization in North America, promoting the improvement and enhancement of theological schools to the benefit of communities of faith and the broader public.
June 2l marked the starting date of Cambell’s new office at the ATS Biennial Meeting. In her new position, Campbell will oversee various committees and programs of ATS, which are designed to provide leadership education to key administrators in more than 250 theological schools across the United States and Canada.
“The range of schools represented in the ATS makes this perhaps the most truly ecumenical organization in the United States and Canada,” Campbell said. “It is a great privilege as well as an honor to lead the ATS as it seeks to further the important work of theological education and the preparation of future leadership for the church.”
Campbell is the ninth president of McCormick Theological Seminary and the Cyrus McCormick Professor of Church and Ministry. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for more than 30 years, she was one of the first women to pastor a large congregation in the denomination.
Campbell has served on several task forces and committees of the General Assembly: she was a member of the Committee on Theological Education, served on the General Assembly Council, and was the moderator of the Congregational Ministries Division.
Campbell’s contribution to the ecumenical church is also widely noted: she represented the Presbyterian Church in the United States on the theology commission of the Consultation on Church Union (COCU) in the preparation of the final draft of the COCU consensus and chaired the General Assembly special committee on COCU.
Campbell has written several articles on theology, ministry, ethics and worship for Presbyterian Outlook, Reformed Word, Insights, Interpretation, and Reformed Liturgy and Music, including a monograph, “Theologies Written from Feminist Perspectives,” published by the PC(USA).
Campbell received a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Occidental College in 1970, where she majored in philosophy and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a Master of Divinity magna cum laude from Harvard Divinity School in 1974 and a Doctor of Philosophy in systematic theology from Southern Methodist University in 1981. In 1991, Hastings College awarded her the honorary Doctor of Divinity.