October 30, 2013

Princeton Theological Seminary Installs Its Seventh President

Dr. M. Craig Barnes was installed as Princeton Theological Seminary’s seventh president at a service at the Princeton University Chapel last week.

Mr. Barnes is also a professor of pastoral ministry.

The October 23 event featured an inaugural procession in which delegates from 37 academic institutions took part, including those from the University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582.

In addition, 18 delegates from churches and denominations in the United States and around the world participated, including the Church of Central Africa, the Mar Thoma Church of India, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, the Diocese of Trenton of the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and the United Church of Christ.

The Reverend Dr. Neal D. Presa, moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, the founding denomination of the Princeton Seminary, took part in the service. Dr. William P. Robinson, chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees and president emeritus of Whitworth University, presided over the inauguration and Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber welcomed the new president.

Mr. Eisgruber described the relationship between the Seminary and the University as “historic and strong.”

“The Seminary and the University remain strong civic and scholarly partners,” said Mr. Eisgruber, adding that while the two institutions have distinct missions, at the core of both is “a commitment to examining questions that help us understand, support, and strengthen our society.”

In his inaugural address, titled “Beauty and Truth,” Mr. Barnes stressed the importance of finding both in “our ethics” and in “our commitment to making a difference.”

Dr. Barnes, 57, has been leading the Seminary since January. Before that, he served as pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pa., and as the Robert Meneilly Professor of Leadership and Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He previously served pastorates in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Madison, Wisconsin, and at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.