Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world.


Presidential Search Committee Named at Columbia Theological Seminary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Decatur, GA— The Board of Trustees of Columbia Theological Seminary has elected a search committee for the selection and recommendation to the Board of a new president. Trustee Lee W. Bowman, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY, will chair the committee. She is a member of Transylvania Presbytery and previously served Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. “We are very grateful that Lee has agreed to lead us during the search process,” said William Scheu, chair of the seminary’s Board of Trustees. “Her experience as a pastor and with other Presbyterian seminaries and graduate programs is invaluable.” Scheu will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee. He is an elder at Riverside Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, FL. Bowman received her Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (now Union-PSCE) and her Doctor of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. A graduate of Mary Baldwin College, she also earned a Master of Arts in religious studies at the University of Virginia. The search committee includes two other trustees who are pastors: William G. Jones, First Presbyterian Church, Brownsville, TN, and Steve Montgomery, Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Memphis, TN. In addition, J. Todd Speed, pastor of Decatur Presbyterian Church, Decatur, GA, will serve on the committee. All three are Columbia graduates. Ordained elders serving on the committee are Ann D. Cousins, North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Atlanta; Claire Cross, Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta; John F. “Sandy” Smith, First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta; and Lois M. Stroman, Washington Street Presbyterian Church, Dublin, GA. All are members of the Board of Trustees. Columbia’s faculty is represented on the committee by Rodger Nishioka, the Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education, and Christine Roy Yoder, associate professor of Old Testament language, literature, and exegesis. Jamison Collier will represent Columbia’s students on the committee. A second-year student, Collier is an Honors Scholar. He is from Decatur, Georgia, and is a graduate of Morehouse College, where he was an Oprah Scholar for the South African Leadership Project as well as president and CEO of the Morehouse Business Association. Lee Bowman said that the committee’s intent is that the seminary’s new president will take office in the summer of 2009, following the conclusion of President Laura Mendenhall’s term of office. “The privilege of searching for Laura Mendenhall's successor is both humbling and tremendously exciting,” Bowman said. “We look forward to finding the person God has called to be Columbia’s next president. Bowman added, “We are also grateful for Laura's clear-eyed vision for the future of theological education, for the quiet strength with which she has served Columbia, and for the deep spirituality she has modeled for the entire community. We pray God's richest blessings for Laura and her husband, Chuck, as they return to Texas.” Confidential inquiries about the search process and nominations should be sent to Lee Bowman at, or to her attention at First Presbyterian Church, 171 Market Street, Lexington, KY 40507.

Media Contact:
Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

View All News Releases