Yesterday saw the inauguration of the Rev'd. Dr. Carla Sunberg as the President of Nazarene Theological Seminary (where I received my Master's degree). - Nazarene Communications Network published the following article. - Congratulations Carla! Expecting a great future for NTS!
Nazarene Theological Seminary celebrated the inauguration of its 10th president, Carla D. Sunberg, this week. The October 2 service took place in the J. B. Chapman Memorial Chapel on the seminary's Kansas City campus. Sunberg was elected president January 3.
The service included greetings and words of congratulation from sister institutions, former presidents, and representatives from the international church, faculty, alumni association, student body, and her family — the latter two delivered by her daughter, Cara Shonamon. In addition to celebrating all that has taken place at NTS since her election in January — including increased summer enrollment, increased giving from donors, and the largest Seminarian Offering in six years — the service included Sunberg's inaugural address, which cast a challenging vision for the seminary.
Following the investiture ceremony during which NTS Board of Trustees Chair Jeren Rowell officially installed Sunberg as president, prayers of consecration were offered by Church of the Nazarene General Superintendent Emerita Nina G. Gunter, General Superintendent David A. Busic, and General Superintendent Emeritus Jerald D. Johnson, Sunberg's father.
Prior to her election, Sunberg was co-district superintendent for East Ohio with her husband, Chuck. They were called to East Ohio while pastoring at Grace Point Church of the Nazarene in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Carla served as pastor of evangelism and discipleship.
Carla was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene during the 13 years that she and Chuck served as missionaries in the former Soviet Union, where Carla was director of compassionate ministries, as well as director of theological education.
She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Historical Theology from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, a Master of Arts from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science from MidAmerica Nazarene University. In 2012, Olivet Nazarene University awarded her an honorary Doctor of Divinity.
Carla has served on the denomination's General Board, on the NTS Board of Trustees, as Alumni Association president for NTS, as a member and chairperson of the USA/Canada Region's Nazarene Women Clergy Council, and as a member of the denomination's Pensions & Benefits USA Board. In addition, after serving on its board as the official representative for the Church of the Nazarene, Carla also served as president of Wesleyan-Holiness Women Clergy.
Sunberg closed her inaugural address by saying, "When elected to this position a friend wrote and said, 'I'm not so much worried about what it [the seminary] looks like five years from now as I am about the fact that it still exists as an indispensable partner in ministerial preparation and competency for God-called ministers to a complex and needy world.'
"The winds may blow in ways we have never imagined and the look may never be the same, but may we allow the wind to take us in the direction of God's leading and may this place — this seminary — continue to be that 'indispensable partner' united together with God and with the Church in faithful service to God's mission in the world," she said. "With God, all things are possible!"