Category: News

Program Director Appointments

We are pleased to announce the appointment of two Central Seminary MDiv alums to key program director positions.

Dr. Heidi Baxter

Dr. Heidi Baxter is the new Program Director for the Thriving in Ministry Grant. Dr. Baxter has been a supplement faculty member since 2016, serving as Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible. She previously served as Director of Children’s Ministries at First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Fort Worth, Texas, as Chaplain for Boy Scouts Summer Camp in Bonner Springs, Kansas, and as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at First Baptist Church of Topeka in Topeka, Kansas. Dr. Baxter earned her Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts, Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Central Seminary, and her Doctor of Philosophy from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.

Rev. Rhonda Hetzel

Rev. Rhonda Hetzel is the new Program Director for ReShaping Church: Thriving Congregations. Rhonda has as the Senior Minister at Eastgate Christian Church in Independence, Missouri, since January 2021, and is also a member of the Commissioned Ministry Commission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Greater Kansas City, where she assists in supporting and overseeing the region’s commissioned ministers. Additionally, she serves as a representative of her congregation to the Regional Board of her denomination. Rhonda has been in ministry since 2010 and has held various roles, including Commissioned Minister and Senior Adult Chaplain Intern. She received her MDiv a degree from Central in 2022 and ordained by the Christian Church (DOC) the same year.   


“This is an exciting time at Central, with two of our alums stepping into leadership roles,” says President Pam Durso. “Heidi and Rhonda know our community well and bring extraordinary pastoral and administrative gifts to our two grant-funded initiatives. I look forward to ways they will grow these programs and support Central’s mission.”