Saturday, February 05, 2005

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

NBTS Board Announces Presidential Transition

(just some running commentary from yours truly...)

The Board of Trustees of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary announced the conclusion of Dr. Norman Kansfield's presidency effective June 30, 2005, when his current contract ends. The board voted not to extend his contract when it expires at that time. Kansfield, who turns 65 in March, will retire on June 30.

The board of trustees will determine the timetable for the transition to a new president and establish a search committee.

In further action, the Board of Trustees reprimanded Kansfield for taking a controversial public action while president by officiating at the same sex marriage of his daughter without prior Board discussion or approval.

At its meeting, the Board also voted to endow the Mary and Norman Kansfield Chair in Old Testament, made possible by a generous gift from Barbara and Clifford Feakes, and recognized the significant accomplishments in the ministry of New Brunswick Theological Seminary over the past 11 years of Dr. Kansfield's leadership. (One has to wonder how this chair will handle OT passages such as Leviticus 18?)

In related news, two formal charges were recently filed against Kansfield by members within the Reformed Church in America. These charges have been forwarded to the investigative committee appointed by the General Synod Council for review. (This number is expected to grow)

While this situation has caused a considerable amount of discussion and emotional disagreement, (that's an understatement) it is our prayer that members of our denomination will continue to show the love of Christ to each other as we continue to work through these issues.


Release from New Brunswick Theological Seminary

During its January 2005 meeting the Board of Trustees and the Reverend Doctor Norman J. Kansfield, President of New Brunswick Theological Seminary since 1993, announced the conclusion of Dr. Kansfield's presidency effective June 30, 2005 when the current contract ends. Kansfield turns 65 in March.

Since Dr. Kansfield joined the New Jersey Seminary community, New Brunswick has made significant accomplishments in theological education. Under his leadership, New Brunswick has flourished as an institution interpreting and delivering theological education to diverse populations in New Jersey and New York. (flourished? see my previous post on the Martyrdom of St. Norm)

During his tenure, the Seminary, founded in 1784 and supported by the Reformed Church in America, has continued fully accredited academic programs in conjunction with St. John's University at the NBTS campus in Jamaica and through the acquisition of the Blanton Peale Institutes of Religion and Psychiatry, both in New York. Through Kansfield's innovative leadership New Brunswick Theological Seminary has extended theological education to undersubscribed populations and second career professionals in the mid-Atlantic United States and in Korea.

Further recognizing Kansfield's service and the dedication and service of his wife, Mary, to the denomination and the Seminary, the Board voted to endow the Mary and Norman Kansfield Chair in Old Testament in their honor, supported by a donation from Barbara and Clifford Feakes.

In further action, the Board of Trustees reprimanded Kansfield for taking a controversial public action while President by officiating at the same sex marriage of his daughter in Massachusetts without prior Board discussion or approval. However, in announcing Kansfield's retirement, the board emphasized its commitment to continue the ongoing dialogue as it relates to the presence and participation of gays and lesbians in the Church. (I always said that Dr. Kansfield was just a symptom of a larger problem)

The General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, who serves as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees, expressed his thanks to Kansfield for his long and continuing service to the church and the seminary. (Many are still waiting to hear what Granberg-Michaelson himself believes about the homosexual question before the RCA)


1 comment:

Dutch Girl said...

In an earlier post, you mentioned ReNew, a site for Reformed dialogue about changes in the denomination. Can you give me the URL? I have tried to find it and can't.

Thank you for your help.