McCormick Theological Seminary (“McCormick”) is looking for its next President. McCormick seeks a leader with intelligence and imagination, courage and compassion, high standards and humility. The successful candidate will succeed David H. Crawford, McCormick’s 11th President who is retiring after leading McCormick through both the pandemic and a transformational period in its history.
McCormick, one of the nation’s oldest and most influential seminaries rooted in the Presbyterian tradition, provides student-centered formational experiences designed to lead to a deeper understanding of God, Christianity, and the roles of the church and God in today’s world. McCormick provides an accessible and affordable educational experience where Christian faith, diverse perspectives, curiosity, and creativity intersect to enrich leaders in a wide array of ministries with a special focus on justice. Drawing on its urban location and the resources available through a large cooperating group of nearby theological schools and the University of Chicago, McCormick seeks to develop and support learning in diverse settings and with diverse partners locally, nationally, and globally. It has attracted a student body, faculty, board and staff characterized by wide diversity of racial and ethnic origin, age, denominational affiliation, and prior vocational experience, representing a broad center of the theological spectrum. McCormick’s faculty is dedicated to high standards of academic scholarship and ministry practice. McCormick encourages its students to grow and lead beyond traditional limits through academic rigor, theological reflection, community engagement, and cross-cultural experiences.
This is an exciting moment in McCormick’s long and rich history. This fall, McCormick moved into its new home on the campus of the Catholic Theological Union along with its long-time neighbor, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. This move has created exciting and unprecedented opportunities to deepen existing collaborations between the three institutions. The sale of McCormick’s former campus has solidified its strong financial position allowing it to eliminate its remaining $16.55 million long-term debt, eliminate long-term capital demands, and reduce the draw on its invested funds which were valued at approximately $76M as of June 30, 2023.
McCormick continues to serve as a model for building communities of students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, geographies, viewpoints, and traditions to learn from and with each other as part of a dynamic and close-knit community. In addition to its masters-level and Doctor of Ministry degree programs, McCormick also offers multiple certificate programs designed to give students an opportunity to expand their theological knowledge as well as open pathways for pursuing an advanced degree. Beyond the traditional academic programs, McCormick has developed several grant-funded initiatives to serve the wider community. These include the Solidarity Building Initiative for Liberative Carceral Education at the Cook County Jail, a program of theological reflection offered to detainees in the maximum security divisions of Cook County Jail. Funded by a Pathways for Tomorrow grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., the Trauma Healing Initiative is developing trauma-informed pedagogies and training for McCormick students and local church and community-based partners. For more information on THI see Trauma Healing Initiative. McCormick also recently received a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support its Sacred Memory Project. These projects along with its Center for Reparatory Justice, Transformation, and Remediation, El Centro, and the Center for Black Church Studies and African American Ministries exemplify McCormick’s deep commitment to theological education entwined with liberation, justice, and community engagement. McCormick prepares students for leadership across a wide range of ministry, advocacy, community, public service, and organizational contexts.
The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record of strategic and effective organizational leadership as well as a deep and abiding alignment with McCormick’s mission and commitments as a progressive Christian center for theological education. Furthermore, the successful candidate will have the demonstrated skills and experience to provide transformative and forward-looking leadership to McCormick in light of the significant shifts in the broad landscape of theological education, religious life, and society at large. All candidates must have experience cultivating and leading high-performing teams; managing complex organizations; knowledge of key trends in theological education and religious leadership; cultivating equitable, diverse, inclusive communities; leading strategic planning and implementation; and an ability to nurture and grow strong partnerships and relationships with students, faculty, alums, and other partners and supporters in the broader social, civic, philanthropic, institutional, and cultural landscape.
McCormick has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the search. All confidential applications, inquiries, and nominations can be sent electronically, in confidence to:
McCormick Seminary will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability status, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, or other protected status. Also, the Seminary will not discriminate against individuals with disabilities provided those disabilities do not impede their ability to perform the duties of his or her assigned job.
The responsibility for implementing the Seminary's equal opportunity policy is recognized at the highest levels of the Seminary. The equal opportunity policy requires that employees be sought for all positions from as wide a pool of prospective candidates as possible. The results of this policy are reviewed on an annual basis by the Human Resources Office of the Seminary and reported to the Personnel Committee of the Board of Trustees.