Four seminaries to have new leader

Top leadership of United Methodist seminaries is undergoing quite a shuffle, with four of the 13 schools set to have new presidents or deans.

Lallene J. Rector has been named the next president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological School in Evanston, Ill., becoming the first woman and first layperson named to that post.

Lallene Rector

She’ll succeed Philip Amerson, who retires Dec. 31, after eight years as president.

Dr. Rector has been on the Garrett-Evangelical faculty for 27 years, and currently serves as vice president for academic affairs and academic dean. She holds a master of theological studies degree and doctorate of philosophy in the psychology of religion, both from Boston University.

“She is considered one of the top-tier talents in theological education and we are blessed to have her as president-elect,” said Jerre Stead, Garrett-Evangelical’s board chair.

Iliff School of Theology in Denver recently named the Rev. Thomas V. Wolfe as president. He’ll start Aug. 1.

Dr. Wolfe most recently has been senior vice president and dean, division of student affairs, at Syracuse University, overseeing more than 350 employees.

He’s a former dean and chaplain at Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University, and also served UM churches in New York.

“His leadership and management skills will greatly benefit Iliff as the school moves forward with a number of strategic initiatives,” said Jim Wilkins, Iliff’s board chair.

Jeffrey Kuan

Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., named the Rev. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan as president, effective July 1.

Dr. Kuan, who succeeds the Rev. Jerry D. Campbell, will be coming from Drew University Theological School in New Jersey, where he has been dean. He’s a specialist in the Hebrew Bible and in Asian and Asian-American hermeneutics.

“Jeffrey is a distinguished educator, scholar and minister who is deeply committed to the vibrant future of theological education,” said the Rev. David Richardson, Claremont’s board chair.

Dr. Kuan’s appointment leaves Drew, also a UM seminary, without a leader.

Drew University’s president, Vivian Bull, will name an interim dean by June 30, said spokesman Dave Uha.

Sam Hodges, Former Managing Editor, UMR

Sam Hodges

Sam Hodges was the managing editor of The United Methodist Reporter from 2011-2013. A formee reporter for the Dallas Morning News and the Charlotte Observer, Sam is a respected voice in United Methodist journalism.

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