Princeton Theological Seminary News

Princeton, NJ, October 8, 2012–The Board of Trustees of Princeton Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the unanimous election of the Reverend Dr. M. Craig Barnes as its seventh president, and as professor of pastoral ministry.  Barnes, a 1981 Master of Divinity graduate of Princeton, has also served as a trustee of the Seminary. Dr. Barnes currently serves as the Robert Meneilly Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and pastor of the 1,100-member Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. He is married to Dawne and they will move to Princeton with their teenage sons, Karl and Erik.

Barnes earned his Ph.D. in American Church History from the University of Chicago, where Martin Marty served as his advisor. Dr. Barnes has previously served pastorates at the First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin, and the National Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. He is the author of eight books and serves as a columnist for The Christian Century. Barnes is a frequent lecturer and preacher at conferences, in congregations and at academic gatherings across America. His writing and academic work reflect his deep commitment to the theological formation of pastors to lead the church in changing times.

John Buchanan, pastor emeritus of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and editor of The Christian Century, said, “Craig Barnes and the presidency of Princeton Theological Seminary is a match made in heaven. He is an exquisitely trained scholar, an eloquent proclaimer of the Gospel, a thoughtful analyst of culture, and a graceful and prolific author. His election as the next president of Princeton Seminary is very good news…”

Dr. Barnes states, “I fell in love with Princeton Seminary in 1978 when I began my Master of Divinity studies here…By the time I left the Seminary, the words faith and learning were permanently engraved together on my heart.” For the last thirty years, Barnes has served the church as a pastor, professor, author, and friend to seminarians and pastors seeking to deepen and to clarify their own sense of call to ministry. Craig says of this call, “I am eager to help Princeton be the best it can be—a winsome community that is committed to developing church leaders who are theologically formed, intellectually curious, and equipped to serve the church of Jesus Christ in a dramatically new cultural context.”

Barnes will begin in his role as president and professor of pastoral ministry on January 1, 2013. He will succeed the Reverend Dr. Iain Torrance, who has served as president of Princeton Theological Seminary since 2004 and announced his intention to retire from this role last year. The Seminary is celebrating its bicentennial anniversary.