Historic U.S. peace church seminary names new head

(The Rev. Jeffrey Carter is seen in a portrait.)Photo: Manassas Church of the Brethren

The seminary of one of the historic U.S. peace churches has announced Dr. Jeffrey Carter will take charge of the institution that trains the denomination's ministers.

The board of Bethany Theological Seminary, the Church of the Brethren's seminary in Richmond, Indiana says the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey W. Carter of Manassas, Virginia will begin his service as the school's 10th president on July 1, 2013.

"In our discussions, he told of being encouraged by a gentleman who had great influence in his decision to become a pastor," said Lynn Myers, chair of the board.

"In his new role as president, we look to him to replicate that experience as he leads the Bethany effort to call those within and beyond the Church of the Brethren to vocations in ministry."

Carter will succeed Dr. Ruthann Knechel Johansen, who announced her retirement in April of 2012.

"I am excited to join the Bethany community and offer my pastoral experience and academic commitments in leading the Seminary forward with great hope and promise," he said.

Among his stated goals are "deepening my relationship with students, staff, faculty, and trustees while embracing and extending the seminary's circle of friends."

The Church of the Brethren has its roots in 16th century Germany with a founder influenced by Pietism and Anabaptism. Most adherents eventually moved the United States. The church has about 125,000 members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Carter is currently pastor and head of staff at Manassas Church of the Brethren, a position he has held since 2003. He earned a master of divinity degree from Bethany in 1998 and a doctorate in ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2006.

He has been working in various denominational capacities as a member of the Annual conference Standing committee and has served on the boards Brethren-related organizations.

From 2003-2010, Dr. Carter was the Church of the Brethren representative to the World Council of Churches and served simultaneously on the WCC's U.S. Conference.

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