Three Central Seminary Faculty Named to Endowed Chairs


On November 14, 2019, Central Seminary celebrated the naming of three of its faculty members to endowed faculty chairs. Dr. David M. May holds the Landreneau Guillory Chair of Biblical Studies; Dr. John SungChang Park, the Des Peres Chair of Congregational Health; and Dr. Ruth Dorothy Lofgren Rosell, the Dianne C. Shumaker Chair of Peace and Justice.

The installation service was held in the Baugh-Marshall Chapel at 6601 Monticello Road, Shawnee, KS, 66226.

Park holds the chair previously held by Dr. Heather Entrekin, now retired. The Des Peres Chair of Congregational Health, is funded through a gift from the Des Peres Baptist Church, an American Baptist (USA) Church. Upon its dissolution after long and effective ministry in the St. Louis, Mo., area, the church invested its assets in future church leaders through Central Seminary.

The Landreneau Guillory Chair of Biblical Studies and the Dianne C. Shumaker Chair of Peace and Justice are both newly endowed chairs. The Landreneau Guillory Chair of Biblical Studies is named for the maternal grandparents of Central Trustee Rev. Angela Lowe, Paul and Odette Landreneau Guillory. The Dianne C. Shumaker Chair of Peace and Justice, is being funded through a gift from friend of the seminary, Dianne C. Shumaker, who previously provided funds for the Shumaker Library on the Central campus in Shawnee, KS, and has helped to support the seminary’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.

The three faculty members each spoke about their vision for the chairs to which they were named. Park has been serving as the Des Peres Associate Professor of Congregational Health and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Central since July 2017. He has now being officially installed.

Rosell began serving on the Central faculty in 2005 in a shared position in pastoral theology. In May of this year Rosell took on new roles as Director of Contextualized Learning and as the Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence, as well as continuing her role as Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology/Counseling.

May has been serving in the role of Professor of New Testament since 1994. In 2017 he became the Director of the Master of Arts (Theological Studies) as well.

Seminary Provost Robert E. Johnson explained the importance of these three new appointments:

Endowed chairs promote academic excellence by supporting innovative scholarship and practice of ministry; raising the quality standards for advancement of Central’s mission; promoting research collaboration beyond the seminary community; mentoring newer faculty; and providing expertise to churches, judicatories, and others as opportunity arises. I am deeply gratified to see these three faculty colleagues hereby honored for their years of dedicated and sacrificial service as well as their ongoing commitment to excellence in the advancement of Central’s educational mission. Their recognition is truly deserved.

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