September 18, 2007

The National Council of Churches has appointed its deputy general secretary to serve as the organization’s acting general secretary. Clare Chapman, who has handled finance and administration for the New York–based ecumenical organization, will serve until a successor for Bob Edgar is chosen. Edgar, who led the NCC for almost eight years, left the organization officially last month to become the new president of Common Cause, a Washington-based nonpartisan advocacy group. Said Michael Livingston, NCC president: “Clare will carry us through to the end of the year, when we expect to have our next general secretary in place.” A search committee began this summer to discuss possible candidates for the position.

Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the Geneva-based World Council of Churches, has been appointed chancellor of St. Paul’s University, a 100-year-old multidenominational Christian institution in Limuru in his home country, Kenya. Kobia, a Methodist, is the WCC’s first African general secretary. He began his academic training in 1969 at St. Paul’s United Theological College, which is now acquiring the status of a university and will receive its charter from Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki this month. The post of chancellor is an honorary position.

Brian Blount, a New Testament scholar and Presbyterian minister, took over this month as the president of the two campuses of Union Theological Seminary–Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Blount, who previously taught at Princeton Theological Seminary and is the author of, among other books, Can I Get a Witness? was named Union-PSCE president in March.