NEW YORK — Michael Kinnamon, an educator and seminary professor with long-standing ties to a variety of ecumenical bodies, has been nominated to become the ninth general secretary of the U.S. National Council of Churches.
In making the announcement on Oct. 3 the NCC tapped someone with very different credentials than Bob Edgar, the organization’s former general secretary and one-time Pennsylvania congressman who left the council earlier this year and is now head of the Washington-based advocacy organization Common Cause.
Kinnamon said in a statement: “What I want to stress is that a council of churches isn’t just an agency that does things for churches. It’s a community of the churches themselves.”
Edgar was widely praised for raising the visibility of the council and its public advocacy mission, but was also faulted by some denominational leaders for not stressing the work of ecumenical and inter-denominational relationships.
Kinnamon is currently a professor of mission, peace, and ecumenical studies at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis and is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He formerly taught theology and ecumenical studies at Lexington (Ky.) Theological Seminary.
He was executive secretary of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order from 1980-83 and had a prominent role in drafting the WCC’s major planning document from the 1990s, “Towards a Common Understanding and Vision of the WCC.”