New York Theological Seminary Names Megachurch Pastor LaKeesha Walrond as First Female President

Rev. LaKeesha Walrond

The Rev. LaKeesha Walrond, executive pastor of the 10,000-member First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, has been named as the first female president of the 119-year-old New York Theological Seminary. She will also be the 12th president of the seminary when she steps into the role on June 3.

“My hope is to work collaboratively with the faculty, staff, students and board members to make NYTS a world renowned theological institution for preparing students for urban ministry,” Walrond said in a statement.

“The more I learn about the history of New York Theological Seminary, the more I appreciate its vision — not just for the future of theological education, but for societal matters including education for incarcerated people,” she said. “The former administrations set a bar that I will strive each day to surpass, as I challenge myself and the NYTS community to make this historic and revered seminary greater and grander.”

Walrond earned her Ph.D. in special education and literacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Her other academic credits include a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary where she also serves on the board of trustees.

The NYTS has a strong commitment to ministry and mission and boasts a diverse student body from different cultural and denominational traditions.

Jeffrey C. Slade, chair of the presidential search committee and vice-chair of the seminary’s board of trustees, said he is confident Walrond will lead the school to higher heights.

“NYTS is truly blessed to have found such a dynamic and well-prepared leader. Rev. LaKeesha Walrond combines extraordinary vision and understanding of the importance of seminary education to ministry with solid, successful administrative experience directing major organizations. I have no doubt that she will lead the school to new heights and great success,” he said.

Walrond will replace Dale T. Irvin, who in addition to leading the seminary, serves as a professor of world Christianity.

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Source: Christian Post