Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary has appointed Scott W. Sunquist—dean of Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies—as its next president, making it the third major evangelical seminary to put a missiologist at its helm.
With an interdisciplinary background studying evangelism, church history, and the global church, Sunquist reflects the missional focus at Gordon-Conwell and the growing presence of missions experts in seminary leadership. He will succeed current president Dennis Hollinger, who will retire at the end of this school year.
“The appointment of Scott Sunquist signals to me the commitment of the trustees to affirm the strong theological heritage of Gordon-Conwell, as well as the need for a leading seminary like it to engage in the major cultural and ecclesial challenges we face in our day,” said Timothy Tennant, president of Asbury Theological Seminary and a Gordon-Conwell alumnus, in a statement to CT.
Sunquist will join Tennant and Denver Seminary’s Mark Young as missiologists appointed to lead major seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
A multidenominational school founded by Billy Graham, Harold John Ockenga, and J. Howard Pew in 1969, Gordon-Conwell has grown into one of the 10 largest seminary programs in the US, welcoming students from more than 50 nations last year. Its main campus in Hamilton, Massachusetts, houses the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and the Wilson Center for World Mission.
“I want to seamlessly weave together spiritual and character formation with academic excellence,” said Sunquist, a former missionary to Singapore and an ordained Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, in a 2016 Fuller video on his calling. “… That is good Christian theology. We pray, we study hard, we can’t cut corners anywhere.”
Over the past six years, Sunquist grew Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies—once the School of World Mission—into a robust program for training missionaries and church planters alike. The seminary celebrated the “significant impact” of his leadership, noting his efforts to advocate for international students; consistently offer programs in multiple languages; and diversify the faculty and staff, including the addition of half a dozen Asian and Latino professors.
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Source: Christianity Today