Woman named head of Baptist seminary: Molly Marshall at Central Baptist in Kansas

December 14, 2004

Molly Marshall has been elected president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, becoming the first female president of an accredited Baptist seminary. She succeeds Thomas Clifton, who retired at the end of 2003 after ten years as president.

For the past nine years Marshall, 54, has been professor of theology and spiritual formation at Central and currently serves as acting academic dean. Founded in 1901, Central Seminary is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Marshall, elected unanimously by trustees last month, begins her duties January 1. No other woman has held the post of president at any Baptist-affiliated seminary accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

A 20-year veteran of theological education, Marshall was associate professor of theology and associate dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, before going to Central.

A popular lecturer and conference speaker, Marshall has published three books: What It Means to Be Human; Joining the Dance: A Theology of the Spirit; and No Salvation Outside the Church. –Associated Baptist Press