A national Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) committee has nominated Gradye Parsons, a former Tennessee pastor and presbytery executive, to succeed Clifton Kirkpatrick as stated clerk, the denomination’s top executive, at the June 17 election during the PCUSA’s biennial General Assembly in San Jose, California. Kirkpatrick said earlier this year that he would not seek a fourth four-year term in the office at the church’s Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters. Parsons has served as associate stated clerk the last eight years. In a church divided over gay-related and governance issues, observers expect that the nomination will be contested. Other applicants have until May 7 to signify their intention to run for stated clerk.

Kent J. Ulery, conference minister for the United Church of Christ congregations in Michigan, has been named as the tenth president of 194-year-old Bangor Theological Seminary. The ecumenical seminary, with campuses in Bangor and Portland, Maine, is the only accredited graduate school of religion in northern New England. On July 1, Ulery, who has master’s degrees from Princeton and McCormick theological seminaries, will succeed William C. Imes, who is retiring after serving as president since 2001.