*************FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*************
Atlanta, April 9-The Board of Trustees of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (JCSTS) has voted to withdraw the institution from the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC)-the consortium of six historically African-American seminaries with which JCSTS has been affiliated for the past 45 years. JCSTS has notified the ITC of its decision to terminate the current relationship effective the end of this fiscal year, June 30, 2014. During this transition, JCSTS will continue its strong commitment and service to its students, alumni and friends.
JCSTS is one of 10 seminaries affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the only one with an African-American heritage. It traces its roots back to 1867 and the founding of the Freedmen's School of North Carolina. The institution went through subsequent name changes, eventually becoming Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a seminary division. The seminary relocated to the ITC in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1969.
"The decision to terminate the current relationship with the ITC was made based on discernment about the ways in which God is calling JCSTS to more fully realize its mission and vision for the future," said Martin Lehfeldt, board chairman. "JCSTS has been exploring ways to be a new kind of Presbyterian seminary that best meets the needs and challenges of a new generation of Christian pastors and leaders in a rapidly changing Church and global society. Building on the black church and Reformed tradition, the mission of JCSTS is to equip innovative leaders to participate in God's reformation of the church and the world."
JCSTS is grateful for the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta who is supportive of the Board's decision and is working with us as we determine a location. "We are excited and energized by the vision God has placed before us," said the Rev. Paul T. Roberts, Sr., the seminary's president. "We are setting in motion a series of curricula and programs designed to respond to the needs of both pre-seminarians, seminarians, clergy and lay people."
Members of the board include Chair Martin Lehfeldt, and Ivan Allen IV, Marilyn Borst, Kathy Bremer, Sue Colussy, Esq., George Hauptfuhrer III, the Rev. Billy Honor, Henry M. Quillian III, Esq., Bret Williams, Esq., and Roberto Young, all of Atlanta; Laura Crandon of Clarksville, MD; Dr. Carolyn Crowder of Montreat, NC; Paul Grier of Greenville, SC; Dr. Henrietta Harris of River Ridge, LA; the Rev. Dr. Johnny Hill of Orangeburg, SC; Robert Hull of Roswell, GA; the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Kovacs of Catonsville, MD; Dr. Charles E. Morris of Normal, IL; and Jesse C. Swanigan of University City, MO.
For further information, please contact Paul T. Roberts (moc.l1511489263iamg@1511489263streb1511489263oryht1511489263omitl1511489263uap1511489263, 404-680-8292)