Brian Blount announces retirement from Union Theological Seminary
President Brian K. Blount announced to the board of trustees of Union Presbyterian Seminary at their meeting today that he will retire as president of the seminary effective June 30, 2023. The board accepted his decision with deep appreciation for his 15 years of service and acknowledged his extraordinary leadership throughout his tenure.
President Blount has led the seminary through a number of accomplishments, including:
Developing the Charlotte campus into a full partner with the Richmond campus, leading the seminary toward the fulfillment of its vision as “one seminary with two campuses.”
Collaborating with partners in constructing the Canopy Apartments on UPSem property and subsequently selling these apartments, thus increasing the value of the seminary’s endowment by over $7 million.
Recruiting a new generation of diverse, talented faculty to carry forward the seminary’s educational mission for years to come.
Increasing the diversity of seminary faculty, staff, students, and board members through effective outreach.
Completing successful reaccreditation of accreditation processes with the Association of Theological Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Establishing three vibrant centers to extend the reach of the seminary: The Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation, The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership, and The Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education. Among other impacts, these centers have shaped the new Master of Arts in Public Theology program and supported new international and domestic travel seminars.
Strengthening degree program enrollment by revising existing degree programs, designing new degree programs, and increasing access to all degree programs, including the upcoming launch of a hybrid Master of Divinity program.
Working with faculty to reshape the curriculum into a focus on the church in the world.
Leading a successful $50 million capital campaign that established financial support for initiatives such as faculty endowments, student scholarships, and the Hal Todd Library Without Walls Program.
Facilitating the construction of the Charlotte campus building and the complete renovation of the Richmond Hall campus center and dormitory.
Establishing a financial aid program that covers the cost of tuition and fees for all full-time students.
President Blount announced the formation of a presidential search committee and the board named six trustees to the committee. These trustees were appointed with a commitment to diverse representation across both campuses. Other members to be named include four faculty (two from each campus), one staff member, and one student (who will not be from the same campus as the staff member). The committee will begin its work early this summer and will bring a nomination to the full board of trustees by the late spring of 2023.
by Mike Frontiero, Union Presbyterian Seminary