“Of the many diverse and qualified candidates we considered and engaged in prayerful conversation and discernment, Dr. Jinkins most envisioned our mission to educate men and women to participate in the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ in the world,” said Trustee Conrad Sharps, of Birmingham, Ala., who served as the search committee chair. The committee was comprised of representatives from the Board of Trustees, faculty, administration, staff, alumni association, and student body.
Jinkins said he felt overwhelmed with emotion and thanked the trustees and members of the campus community for entrusting him with the leadership of Louisville Seminary, adding that the future of the Seminary “will require everyone’s participation at the table.”
“Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has an exciting vision, the kind that catches your breath,” he said. “I am drawn to its vision for building an inclusive seminary community in which people can gain theological education to prepare them to serve God in an increasingly pluralistic world. Among many aspects of the Seminary’s vision, I am excited about the Black Church Studies program, continuing to expand the Scholarships for Excellence program, and teaching students how to prepare worship within a global context.”
Currently, Jinkins is academic dean at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Texas, where he has served in administration and as a professor since 1993, and as dean since 2004. He has been ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 29 years and joined the Austin Seminary faculty following 14 years in pastoral leadership and mission service in congregations in Irving, Itasca, and Brenham, Texas, and in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Austin President Theodore J. Wardlaw said, “Austin Seminary has been blessed mightily by Dean Jinkins’ vision, energy, discipline, and inspiring leadership. He has led the Academic Affairs work of this institution to new heights. Moreover, Michael has been a wonderful colleague and dear friend, and I will deeply miss him. In this new appointment to a sister seminary, however, I am convinced that Michael Jinkins’ gifts will be well-matched for Louisville’s needs, and this will be great news for Louisville, for the work of theological education in this time, and for the church. I look forward to working with him in a larger arena.”
Jinkins received a B.A. from Howard Payne University, an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a D.Min. from Austin Seminary, and the Ph.D. from King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. The author of more than one hundred published papers, articles, and reviews, he has also authored twelve books, including: Invitation to Psalms (Abingdon Press, 2008), the participant book in Abingdon’s popular Disciple Bible Study video series; and Letters to New Pastors (Eerdmans Press, 2006). He is the author of Called to be Human: Letters to my Children on Living a Christian Life, (Eerdmans, 2009).
Echoing the search committee’s appreciation for Jinkins’ experience, combining administrative leadership with academic scholarship and pastoral leadership, Trustee Dan Ellinor of Tulsa, Okla., chair of the Board’s Seminary Relations Committee, said, “We are moved by his call to theological education, the church, and the LPTS presidency, and we are eager to support him in his new leadership.”