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Terry C. Muck to lead Lilly Endowment-supported Louisville Institute

Apr 16, 2012
Dr. Terry C. Muck has been appointed to serve as Interim Executive Director of the Louisville Institute for two years, beginning July 1, 2012. Dr. Muck will succeed Dr. James W. Lewis, who is retiring June 30 after 21 years as the first Executive Director of the Louisville Institute.

The Louisville Institute, which is based at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, is a program generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. in support of pastors and scholar educators who are concerned with the vitality of theological education and church life in North America. Since 1990, The Institute has awarded more than 1,700 grants for over $32 million to pastors and academics. In September 2011, Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded a grant of almost $8 million to Louisville Seminary to continue the work of the Louisville Institute through 2015, and to support a new phase of its mission.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Terry Muck to the exhilarating work that is ahead of us. His entrepreneurial gifts and energy will be invaluable at this moment in the history of the Louisville Institute as we begin the new Vocation of the Theological Educator Project and launch the first Collaborative Inquiry Teams to study the most pressing issues facing Christian faith and congregations today, in addition to our long-established and excellent programs to support research in religion,” said President Michael Jinkins, who also chairs the Louisville Institute Board.

These two new initiatives will enhance the Institute’s work beginning in 2013. The Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative focuses on the vocational formation of emerging seminary faculty. Collaborative Inquiry Teams of 8 to 10 persons, both scholars and pastors, will undertake three-year study projects aimed at contributing to the vitality of the church and the Christian way of life.

“The Louisville Institute’s mission of enabling conversations among local church pastors and academic scholars has never been more important. It is an honor and privilege to help continue the remarkable contributions the Institute has made over the past 20 years to the North American church,” said Muck.

Dr. Muck has served full-time in theological education since 1990. He was a professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and currently is Dean of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism and Professor of Mission and World Religion at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., where he began teaching in 2000. He will retire from his position at Asbury at the end of the academic year.

Muck earned degrees from Bethel College (BA); Bethel Theological Seminary (MDiv); National College of Education (MBA); and Northwestern University (PhD). A prolific editor and writer, with a successful history in grant writing, he served as Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of Publishing for Christianity Today, Inc., and has been a regular contributor to Leadership: A Practical Journal for Church Leaders. He has published ten books, including Those Other Religions in Your Neighborhood (2011, Kindle Edition); Christians Talk about Buddhist Meditation, Buddhists Talk About Christian Prayer (2003) with Rita M. Gross; The Mysterious Beyond: A Basic Guide to Studying Religion (2004); How to Study Religion: A Beginning Guide to Method (2005); and Christianity Encountering World Religions: The Practice of Mission in the Twenty-first Century (Baker, 2009), which offers a new perspective for 21st-century, global outreach that includes seeking to understand the ways of others, and sharing one’s beliefs through mutual interaction and education. The book is co-authored with Louisville Seminary world mission professor Dr. Frances S. Adeney, who is Muck’s spouse.

“Professors and pastors know Dr. Muck as a first-rate scholar, teacher, and leader in theological education, in the church, and in the efforts to build deep relationships of trust and mutual respect with persons of other faiths. I have been impressed by the ways in which he, as a generous evangelical scholar, has built ecumenical and interfaith bridges,” said Jinkins.

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