July 14, 2009

Stephen A. Hayner, national president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from 1988 to 2001, was elected June 15 as president of Columbia Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)–related school in Decatur, Georgia. Hayner, who joined the Columbia faculty in 2003 to teach evangelism and church growth, was to succeed Laura S. Mendenhall on July 1. Hayner’s wife, Sharol Rhodes, serves as an associate pastor at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.

Timothy C. Tennent, a United Methodist pastor who has taught courses on world missions and India’s religions at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary since 1998, became president on July 1 of Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. Tennant, 49, who earned graduate degrees at Gordon-Conwell, Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Edin burgh, succeeded J. Ellsworth Kalas, who will stay at Asbury as senior professor of homiletics.

Bruno Kroker, 93, who fled his native Germany during the Third Reich and worked as a World War II–era journalist in China before becoming an information officer and writer for the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches and the former United Presbyterian Church, died June 11 at a hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey. “In the 1970s he was a familiar figure to journalists who covered the ecumenical movement in the U.S.,” said the NCC’s Philip Jenks. Between his overseas reporting and his ecumenical press work, he spent a decade working for CROP, the food-appeal agency related to Church World Service. Kroker became press officer for the U.S. office of the WCC in New York in 1977 and retired three years later.