Princeton Theological Seminary Names New President


The Rev. M. Craig Barnes, a professor of pastoral theology and  the pastor of a large Pittsburgh congregation, has been named the  seventh president of Princeton Theological Seminary.

A 1981 graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Barnes has also served as a trustee of the seminary. He is currently the Robert Meneilly Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the pastor of the 1,100-member Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh

Barnes will begin in his role as president and professor of pastoral ministry on January 1. He will succeed the Reverend Dr. Iain Torrance, who has served as president of Princeton Theological Seminary since 2004 and announced his intention to retire from this role last year.

Barnes earned his doctorate in American Church History from the University of Chicago. He has previously served pastorates at the First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin, and the National Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. He is the author of eight books and serves as a columnist for The Christian Century. Barnes is a frequent lecturer and preacher at conferences, in congregations and at academic gatherings across America, and his writing and academic work emphasize the theological formation of pastors to lead the church in changing times.

“Craig Barnes and the presidency of Princeton Theological Seminary is a match made in heaven,” said John Buchanan, pastor emeritus of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and editor of The Christian Century of the unanimous vote of the seminary Board of Trustees to select Barnes as as the next president.

“He is an exquisitely trained scholar, an eloquent proclaimer of the Gospel, a thoughtful analyst of culture, and a graceful and prolific author,” Buchanan said. “His election as the next president of Princeton Seminary is very good news.”

Barnes said he fell in love with Princeton Seminary in 1978 when he began his Master of Divinity studies there. “By the time I left the seminary, the words faith and learning were permanently engraved together on my heart,” he said.

“I am eager to help Princeton be the best it can be — a winsome community that is committed to developing church leaders who are theologically formed, intellectually curious, and equipped to serve the church of Jesus Christ in a dramatically new cultural context,” Barnes said.

Barne sis married to Dawne, and they will move to Princeton with their teenage sons, Karl and Erik.


  1. Congratulations Princeton Theological Seminary – Students, Faculty, Alumni, Board of Trustees, and Friends of PTS!…God Bless… Mark G. Booth (M.Div ’81)

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