On October 12, 2017, Dr. Jeren Rowell was elected the eleventh president of Nazarene Theological Seminary. He will be inaugurated on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. (RSVP HERE)
You recently transition from the role of District Superintendent to president of NTS. How has the transition been? How are the roles similar? Different?
My transition to this role has been, from my personal perspective, very smooth. Having been closely connected to NTS for many years, and having worked closely with the past four presidents, I had a wonderful education for stepping into this assignment. The rhythm of the Seminary is quite different than that of a District, at least in terms of the leader’s daily/weekly schedule. The roles are similar in terms of organizational leadership, but different in terms of the content of the work.
What do you envision the relationship between the seminary and the church looking like?
My passionate desire is that what happens at NTS will have a positive impact on what happens in the local church on a weekly basis. I want the church to have high confidence that NTS is accomplishing the mission of preparing faithful and effective ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church also needs the Seminary to do the work of academic research, not for its own sake but for the necessary work of keeping the Church rooted in Scripture, the historic Christian faith, and a Wesleyan-holiness theological framework.
As you have gotten settled in, what is it that you’ve discovered that you love and enjoy about NTS?
Maybe the best way to respond is that I have yet to discover what I do not love and enjoy about NTS. I particularly enjoy interaction with students, and the growing relationships with our wonderful faculty and staff. These are really good people who love the Lord and are serving the Lord with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength.
In what way(s) do you hope to see the mission of NTS grow and develop in the days to come?
Our mission is clear, and it is worth pursuing with everything we are. So, I am working to lead our growth in capacity to deliver the essential work of NTS more effectively in terms of scope, accessibility, and engagement with a rising generation of leaders for the church.
What is one thing you would want someone who has never been to NTS to know?
We are not only an academic institution and we are not only a training center. We are a Seminary which means that we are constantly working at the intersection of learning, vital faith, and the practice of ministry. Our purpose statement says that the first work of all of us at NTS (professors, students, staff) is to know the Lord and to love the Lord. We seek to walk with the Lord and to speak of the Lord. We are giving ourselves to much more than helping people earn a graduate degree. We are working to form faithful and effective ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.