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Dr. Carla Sunberg Elected Tenth President of NTS

Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) elected Carla Sunberg as its tenth president on January 3. Sunberg, the first woman president in the school’s history, was elected on the first ballot and accepted the position.

The election followed a discussion by the NTS Board of Trustees that resulted in a call for leadership to focus on repurposing the seminary with a strong emphasis on pastoral preparation for the Church of the 21st Century.

 “This decision by the Board of Trustees is a bold statement about our confidence in the future of the Seminary,” said Jeren Rowell, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Sunberg is an experienced leader with the academic and ministry credentials necessary to lead NTS in preparing the next generation of pastors to lead the Church in joining God’s redemptive mission in this world.”

Sunberg is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. She was ordained during the 13 years that she and her husband Chuck served as missionaries in the former Soviet Union, where she served as director of compassionate ministries as well as director of theological education.

In 2005, the Sunbergs returned to the U. S. and pastored at Grace Point Church of the Nazarene in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Carla served as pastor of evangelism and discipleship. In 2011, she and Chuck accepted a call to serve as co-district superintendents for East Ohio.

“With her experience in leading the educational system in the Commonwealth of Independent States Field and the depth of her theological training in both America and Europe, Dr. Sunberg brings to Nazarene Theological Seminary a fresh and broad perspective that will help her lead the institution to a future of missional effectiveness and doctrinal coherence,” said Gustavo Crocker, Church of the Nazarene general superintendent.

Carla has a Ph.D in historical theology from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, a Master of Arts from Nazarene Theological Seminary and a Bachelors of Science from MidAmerica Nazarene University. In 2012, Olivet Nazarene University awarded her an honorary Doctor of Divinity.

Carla has served on the General Board, the governing board of the Nazarene denomination; on the NTS Board of Trustees; as Alumni Association president for NTS; as member and chairperson of the USA/Canada Region’s Nazarene Women Clergy Council; and as member of the Church of the Nazarene’s Pensions & Benefits USA Board.  In addition, after serving on its board as the official representative for the Church of the Nazarene, Carla also served as president of Wesleyan-Holiness Women Clergy.

She is the co-author (with Gene Van Note) of Faxes from Russia (Beacon Hill Press, 1996) and has authored numerous articles for various church publications. This spring, her book (co-written with Suzanne Burden and Jamie Wright), Reclaiming Eve: The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God, will be released.

Sunberg is passionate about the integration of practical ministry and theological education. She loves to teach and train leaders for the future of the church and has served as adjunct faculty for a number of institutions. She was born in Germany, the daughter of missionaries. Her heartfelt passion is a life of holiness and service for the Lord. 

Chuck and Carla are proud parents of two adult daughters, Christa, who along with her husband Iain Maciver lives in England, and Cara, who with her husband Justin Shonamon, lives in Kansas City.

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Reader Comments (51)

Wonderful.... Congratulations.

Congratulations Carla. God bless you and multiply your energy and efforts to impact the kingdom!

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Hart

Excellent news! Congratulations to both Dr. Sunberg and NTS! Good days ahead.

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrannon Hancock

Congratulations to both Dr. Sunberg and NTS! We will be praying for you and NTS!

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRussell Brewer

So excited to see her as the president of NTS!

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Neely

Congratulations! Very happy to hear this news. Blessings for all of you.

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterHans Deventer

A wise choice by the NTS Board for a revisioned future. Congratulations all!

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKevin C. Dunlop

Carla, I praise God for this wise choice. I promise to lift you in prayer. You are a godly woman whom I respect and admire.(former NCM admin assistant under Steve Weber)

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRev Judi Wiegman

Congratulations Carla! This is a wonderful opportunity for our seminary & its students. We will miss you on EOD!!!! Blessings on you! (We get to keep Chuck, right?)

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSue Ann May

WOW! Congratulations Pastor Carla, you have made an awesome impact here in East Ohio and I know you will at NTS.

Now we're talking......NTS now it's future looks bright........

Congrats Carla

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRandy Brooks

A great choice for a New Day in Nazarene higher education. May the Lord continue to bless your leadership and your influence on another generation.

Congratulations!!! to both Dr. Sunberg and NTS! The future of NTS looks bright - such a wise and happy choice

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBettyanna Bremer

Congratulations, Dr. Carla. I know you will have effective ministry giving leadership, vision and direction to our mission of preparing men and women for ministry! I firmly believe that you have come to this position, like Esther, "...for such a time as this..."

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhil Pinckard

Congratulations Carla

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Grant

Congratulations Carla! You will be missed here in East Ohio, but the future of NTS is in good hands.

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJan Williams

I add my deep and heart-felt congratulations to Carla and the seminary on this momentous decision. I pray God's blessing upon her and my friends at NTS!

Thomas Jay Oord

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Jay Oord

Congratulations and blessings to Dr. Carla, the Sunberg family, and NTS!

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterReuben L. Lillie

Carla, this is wonderful news! Blessings to you as you continue to serve Christ and His church.

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarlene Soffera

Congratulations to Dr. Sunberg and the NTS community on this historic election!

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJay Akkerman

Well deserved, well done. Congratulations Dr. Sunberg. Shalom Blessings upon you as you lead.

God Bless!

Congratulations Carla!! I commend the Board of Trustees at NTS for recognizing the gifts God has given you and their election of such a worthy candidate! My prayers will be with you and Chuck as you minister in new ways...once again forging a new frontier for The Lord's work! Blessings to you, your family and NTS.

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Lareau

Great choice. I applaud the Seminary Board and offer the grace and peace of Christ to Dr. Sunberg.

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJ.B. Chapman

God has guided and NTS will be blessed!

01.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor Johnston
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