The Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) announced last Wednesday that Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray Jr. will become its 13th president beginning on Februrary 1. The seminary had been in search of its next president since Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt retired in February of last year.
Prior to accepting the CTS presidency, Ray was an associate professor of African American studies, director of the Urban Theological Institute at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and associate professor of theology and philosophy at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
He holds a doctorate of philosophy in theology and African American studies from Yale University. Ray was a visiting professor to the CTS in 2013.
“Dr. Ray brings an incredibly deep understanding of the changing cultural and religious landscape facing theological education. His 30-plus years of experience equip him not only to see the challenges, but to identify and articulate the possibilities ahead,” Norman J. Williams, chair of the Seminary’s board of trustees, said in a CTS article.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be selected to head the prestigious Chicago Theological Seminary...We are committed to developing citizens of the future who unabashedly, and unashamedly champion justice, mercy, and the inherent value of every human being,” Ray said.
Ray said he is ready to face the challenges of theological education today, including decreasing enrollment and heavy student debt.