Chicago Theological Seminary president, Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray, announced his retirement from CTS, effective Aug. 31. A celebration of Dr. Ray’s extraordinary contributions to CTS and to the entire field of theological education will be held on Aug. 30. The event is open to all.
“While this was a difficult decision, my heart and my life tell me it is time,” said Dr. Ray. “I will be forever grateful to all the people I have worked side-by-side with over the years. Through the difficulties of the pandemic and other challenges, I am proud of the strong position CTS stands today. We are well-positioned to meet our responsibility: to equip religious leaders of good faith to promote justice and mercy throughout our society. The need has never been greater, and CTS will be there, as we always have.”
The hour-long virtual celebration will start at 7:30 p.m. and will feature remarks by John Dorhauer (President and General Minister of United Church of Christ), Daniel Goldwin (Executive Director, Jewish Fed of Chicago), Imam Jihad Turk (President and Dean of Bayan Islamic Graduate School) and a representative of Rainbow Push. Everyone wishing to be a part of this event can RSVP here.
Dr. Ray will also be a featured guest on The Pam Morris Show on WVON 1690 AM on Sunday, August 29th from 1:10 p.m. to 1:40 p.m., where he will reflect on his work and the state of theological graduate education and its connections to the African-American community.
With theological education rapidly changing, Dr. Ray led the establishment of a new Office of Strategic Initiatives at CTS. This office is engaged in the development of sustaining relationships with organizations that share the mission and vision of CTS. This will allow CTS to deepen and develop its relationships with the Black church, the LGBTQIA community, the Muslim community and the UCC. These efforts are central to building a new eco-system for the Seminary. He also significantly expanded the Seminary’s interfaith efforts with the formal establishment of a partnership with Bayan Islamic Graduate School.
For over 165 years, CTS has pushed at the boundaries of theological education with an on-going legacy of progressive firsts and historic social justice. CTS is considered one of the most forward- thinking graduate schools of theology in the nation.
Rev. Dr. Marsha Foster Boyd, Ph.D. will serve as interim president. Dr. Boyd has spent her career in theological education, serving as the first African American woman in several high profile positions she has held.