Wardlaw said the move is another leg of his life journey as a Christian. He told the seminary trustees that he will try “to represent the lively tradition of the Presbyterian Church, and to cultivate students and faculty who will be the bearers of that tradition . . . [and to serve and lead . . . the greater church to which Presbyterian seminaries are intrinsically attached.”
“We have been richly gifted with the presidents who have served us in the past,” said John McCoy of Dallas, vice chair-elect of the seminary’s board of trustees and a member of the presidential search committee. “I see enormous potential in Ted Wardlaw, not only to continue that heritage, but to enhance it with his genuine style, his personal charm, his good humor, his love of people and the grace that accompanies the way he presents himself.”
A native South Carolinian, Wardlaw is a graduate of Yale University Divinity School, Union-PSCE and Presbyterian College (S.C.). He is a trustee for Union-PSCE, a member of the board of visitors for Johnson C. Smith Seminary and has been an adjunct professor of preaching at both Columbia Seminary and Union-PSCE. He serves on the board of directors of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians.
In addition to his 11 years in Atlanta, Wardlaw has serveed pastorates at Setauket church, Long Island, N.Y.; Grand Avenue church, Sherman, Texas; and Germantown church, Germantown, Tenn.
His move to Austin completes an unintentional “swap.” Laura Mendenhall left the pastorate of Westminster church, Austin, in 2000 to become president of Columbia Seminary, located near Atlanta. Wardlaw will be the second new seminary president to take office this year. Phil Butin started his term at San Francisco Seminary in July.
There are 10 theological institutions related directly to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and two more relate through covenants.
Wardlaw’s last Sunday at Central church will be Sept. 8. The session has elected an interim pastor search committee and hopes to have a full-time interim pastor by October.
Barnes to Pittsburgh Seminary
Another prominent Presbyterian minister, Craig Barnes, 46, pastor since 1993 of National church, Washington, D.C., will occupy the Meneilly Chair of Pastoral Ministry at Pittsburgh Seminary starting Sept. 1.
Barnes told the Presbyterian News Service that his service at National church has been the “happiest nine years” of his ministry, but he is “delighted” to be joining the seminary’s faculty. “It is just another pastoral transition,” he said.
Barnes holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and is the author of several books, including Sacred Thirst: Finding God in the Desert of our Longings (Zondervan, 2001). Barnes is an active member of the Presbyterian Coalition.
Thomas A. Erickson, who retired in March as pastor of Valley church, Paradise Valley, Ariz., has been selected as National church’s interim senior pastor and head of staff.