Presidential search committee takes shape

Lexington, Ky., March 25, 2011 – After seeing the Seminary through what may be the most dramatic shift in its 146-year history, President James Johnson will retire by the year’s end.

“It simply seemed that ‘it is time,’” Dr. Johnson, 71, noted. Dr. Johnson became the Seminary president in August 2008. In the months that soon followed, he led the Seminary into a period of reinvention in the wake of the global
financial crisis that significantly impacted LTS and other institutions. Under his leadership, this period became an opportunity to reshape theological education as
the Seminary worked toward meeting the changing needs of students and congregations.

“There have been many encouraging signs during this significant transition to a seminary utilizing distance learning,” Dr. Johnson said, referencing the continued
financial support of alumni/ae and friends, as well as the enthusiastic response of new students to the program. He also noted the encouragement of innovations in
programming by the Association of Theological Schools.
“I have been truly blessed with a committed and dedicated Board of Trustees willing to make very difficult decisions, with a faculty that brought the best of their
imaginations and energy to create a new model of theological education and a new curriculum, and with a staff who accepted new assignments in addition to their old
ones with remarkable skill and positive spirit,” he said.

Dr. Johnson will remain with the Seminary through the presidential transitional process.

Rev. Gary Kidwell, chair of the LTS Board of Trustees, noted, “Lexington Theological Seminary has been uniquely blessed by Dr. Johnson’s leadership over the last three years. He brought the right gifts at the right time and moved us through an historical transitional period. The Seminary is now positioned to serve a new generation of students preparing for ministry. The Seminary—indeed, the whole church—is deeply grateful for Dr. Johnson’s strong visionary leadership. He will be greatly missed.”

Rev. Kidwell also announced the members of the presidential search committee approved by the Board of Trustees at their March 20 meeting.  Including Rev. Kidwell as ex-officio, the members are: Emily Askew, faculty representative, of Lexington, Ky.; Brenda Caban of Palm Bay, Fla.; Brad Fountain of Utica, Miss.; Leslie Geoghegan, committee chair, of Louisville, Ky.; Rick Griffith of Lexington, Ky.; William Lee of Roanoke, Va.; Forrest Roberts of Owensboro, Ky.; Ruben Rodriguez, alumni representative, of Jonesboro, Ga.; Tanya Tyler, alumni representative, of Lexington, Ky.; and Richard Weis, faculty representative, of New Brighton, Minn.

Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit