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LPTS Alum called as president of Pittsburgh Seminary

Jul 25, 2005
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is pleased to share with its constituents that Dr. William J. Carl III has been called to serve as the fifth president of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He will replace the Rev. Dr. Carnegie Samuel Calian, who is retiring after 25 years, a record for Presbyterian Church (USA) seminaries.

Upon receiving the news, Louisville Seminary President Dean K. Thompson expressed his warmest congratulations to Dr. Carl, a Louisville Seminary graduate (MDiv, 1973) who has also served with the Seminary’s Board of Trustees since 1988. “William Carl is a pre-eminent example of the minister as pastor, leader, preacher, teacher, and scholar in our Reformed and ecumenical traditions. We at Louisville Seminary are grateful to God for the privilege of claiming Bill as a distinguished alumnus, trustee, and friend.”

Currently, Carl serves as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, a downtown congregation of 1,700 members with an intentional mission for urban ministry.

In an announcement released by the Pittsburgh seminary on July 21, John S. Isherwood, chair of the presidential search committee, said that Carl was chosen as president from “over 100 candidates” and commented on Carl’s rare combination of “academic scholarship and teaching experience, phenomenal communication skills, a wealth of pastoral, administrative, and leadership gifts, and a remarkable record of solid fund development.”

“Although it is hard for me to imagine leaving the parish,” said Carl, “I am sensing that God has given me the gifts, skills, wisdom, and experience to help a great seminary like Pittsburgh forge its future to the glory of God.”

Born in Broken Arrow, Okla. in 1948, Carl grew up in Bartlesville, Okla. He earned degrees from the University of Tulsa (BA, religion and philosophy); Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (MDiv), where he was a Patterson Fellow in New Testament Greek; and the University of Pittsburgh, where he also taught as an instructor. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1973.

Before moving to First Presbyterian Church of Dallas in 1983, Carl served as associate professor of homiletics and worship and instructor of New Testament Greek at Union Theological Seminary (Va.). Thirty years ago, he was an instructor at Pittsburgh Seminary and more recently served as an adjunct professor at Austin Theological Seminary.

In Dallas, Carl has served as president and interim executive director of Greater Dallas Community of Churches and while with First Presbyterian, led the largest social ministry program in the nation serving the poor and dispossessed in downtown Dallas. For 22 years, he has preached to as many as half a million people via television across Texas every third Sunday.

In addition to serving on the board of trustees at Louisville Seminary, Carl has served on the boards of Austin College, Texas Health Resources, Children’s Medical Center, and Presbyterian Healthcare Resources. Carl is an ethics consultant for Duke University Medical Center and lectures on the brain and cognitive neuroscience at medical schools and conferences. He has served as guest chaplain of the United States Senate, and his sermon, “So Help Me God,” was published in The Congressional Record at the request of Sen. Howard Baker.

Carl is married to Jane Alexander Carl of Maryville, Tenn., who works as executive assistant to the executive vice president of communications for the American Heart Association’s National Center. They have two sons: Jeremy, who is special assistant in presidential correspondence at The White House, and David, who is completing his master’s of fine arts in theater at Rutgers University.

Carl will become president-elect of Pittsburgh Seminary Oct. 1, 2005, and will assume his duties as president Feb. 1, 2006.

In celebration with our alum and with our sister seminary, Louisville Seminary invites you to read in full the Pittsburgh Seminary announcement at www.pts.edu
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