Cincinnati Christian University Announces Renewed Focus on Ministry and Realignment of Ministry Programming
[Cincinnati, Ohio ∙ July 26, 2017] Today, Cincinnati Christian University announces a significant realignment of its Ministry programming. Since 1924, CCU has emphasized the preparation of men and women for vocational Christian service. That mission was enhanced and expanded through the formation of a graduate-level Seminary in 1956 and recently through the creation of the Center for Church Leadership, which exists to provide professional support and financial counsel to ministers and congregations. The proposed realignment will position the university to extend this work well into the future through innovative programs and services targeting the needs of local churches.
In May of 2017, CCU’s Board of Trustees appointed a special Task Force to explore the status of the university’s ministry programming. This committee included Trustees who serve in congregational Ministry, an expert in financial management and strategic planning, and key members of the university’s Seminary staff. The committee concluded that ministry training and support of the local church must remain central to CCU’s work but also expressed concern over the needs of the culturally-changing church and wanted to better position CCU to meet those needs. The Task Force observed that the Center for Church Leadership presents several opportunities for synergy with CCU’s Seminary (graduate) and Russell School of Ministry (undergraduate). The Task Force concluded that a strategic plan should be developed to emphasize collaboration between the university and the Center for Church Leadership; significantly refocus the Seminary’s curriculum to increase its relevance to students; and, re-envision the Ministry program’s marketing and recruiting strategies.
Toward these ends, Dr. Tom Thatcher, a 1989/1992 graduate of CCU who has served as Professor of Biblical Studies since 1996 and as Chief Academic Officer of the university since 2013, has been appointed Dean of the Seminary and the Russell School of Ministry. Dr. Thatcher will administrate the university’s Ministry programs and also work closely with Dr. Tim Wallingford, Director of the Center for Church Leadership. Paul Friskney, longtime Professor of English and Dean of CCU’s Foster School of Biblical Studies, Arts & Sciences, will assume duties as Interim Chief Academic Officer.
Dr. David Ray, Professor of Ministry, will serve as Associate Dean of the Russell School of Ministry, and Dr. Sara Fudge, Professor of Biblical Studies, will continue to serve as Associate Dean of the Seminary.