United Theological Seminary elects new president
April - May 2009

UCC-related United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, an ecumenical seminary in New Brighton, Minn., has elected the Rev. Mary E. McNamara as its next president. McNamara has served as executive vice president of Union Theological Seminary in New York since 1998. She grew up in Cambridge, Minn., and is a graduate of Carleton College and Harvard Divinity School.

Sharon Ryan, chair of United's board of trustees, said, "Mary brings a deep understanding of theological education and is known as something of an organizational genius." She played a key role in a strategic planning process that brought Union back from financial difficulties. Union is an interdenominational graduate school of theology associated with Columbia University.

Prior to joining Union, McNamara served as president and executive director of the Interchurch Center, an interdenominational center in New York that houses the National Council of Churches and offices of several denominations and also offers religious services, concerts and art exhibits. She worked in the administration of New York City mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins, at the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and at St. Peter's Church in New York City. She is an ordained Presbyterian minister and a frequent preacher in the New York area.

United is a seminary founded by the United Church of Christ and dedicated to an open, inclusive approach to theological education.

McNamara said she looks forward to working with the seminary's trustees, faculty and staff to prepare spiritual leaders ready to engage the problems facing people today. "It is my hope that our graduates will be people who believe the possibilities are great, can inspire others through worship and service, and recognize that the challenge of doing so is critically important!"

She is also looking forward to returning to Minnesota. "I feel like I am coming home," she said.

McNamara succeeds interim president Kita McVay, who was appointed to the position in 2004.

More information on United Theological Seminary can be found at <unitedseminary.edu>.