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Louisville Seminary calls new leader

Austin Seminary's academic dean to serve as ninth president

June 7, 2010

Michael Jinkins

The Rev. Michael Jinkins

LOUISVILLE

The Rev. Michael Jinkins, academic dean at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has been called as the new president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He will start Sept. 1.

Jinkins succeeds the Rev. Dean K. Thompson, who has served as president since 2004.

"Of the many diverse and qualified candidates we considered and engaged in prayerful conversation and discernment, Dr. Jinkins most commendably envisioned our mission to educate men and women to participate in the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ in the world," said the Rev. Conrad Sharps, a trustee and chairman of the search committee. The committee comprised representatives from the Board of Trustees, faculty, administration, staff, alumni association and student body.

Jinkins thanked the trustees and campus community for entrusting him with the leadership of LPTS.

"Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has an exciting vision, the kind that catches your breath," he said in a LPTS news release. "I am drawn to its vision for building an inclusive seminary community in which people can gain theological education to prepare them to serve God in an increasingly pluralistic world."

Jinkins said he's especially excited about being involved in the seminary's Black Church Studies program, expanding its Scholarships for Excellence program and teaching students how to prepare worship within a global context.

Jinkins has served as an administrator and professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary since 1993. He has been dean since 2004.

"It has been my extraordinary honor serving at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary," Jinkins said in an Austin Seminary news release. "I am deeply mindful of the support, friendship, and grace I experienced as a faculty member, administrator, and dean."

While at Austin Seminary, Jinkins made significant contributions to the church's understanding of the practice of ministry, pastoral identity and the theology of Christian leadership. He led the faculty through its first thorough curriculum review and revision since 1971 and oversaw its successful re-certification of accreditation with the Association of Theological Schools and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He also developed the unique course "Entry into Ministry," providing students a "final rite of passage" practical look at entering ministry.

"Austin Seminary has been blessed mightily by Dean Jinkins’ vision, energy, discipline, and inspiring leadership," said Austin President Theodore J. Wardlaw. "In this new appointment to a sister seminary, however, I am convinced that Michael Jinkins’ gifts will be well-matched for Louisville's needs, and this will be great news for Louisville, for the work of theological education in this time, and for the church."

Jinkins has been ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 29 years and joined the Austin Seminary faculty following 14 years in pastoral leadership and mission service in several congregations.

An advisory committee at Austin Seminary will search for Jinkins' successor. In the meantime, professor David H. Jensen will serve as interim dean.

Information furnished by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

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