Professor of World Christianity and Ecumenical Studies Davidson College, BA; Yale University, MDiv; and McCormick Theological Seminary, DMin; Merrill Fellowship for post-graduate study at Harvard University; honorary doctorates from Westminster College (Pennsylvania), Hannam University (Korea), Silliman University (Philippines), and Davidson College (North Carolina).
As Visiting Professor for Ecumenical Studies and Global Ministries at Louisville Seminary Clifton Kirkpatrick teaches courses on the ecumenical movement, world mission and evangelism, and Presbyterian and Reformed theology and polity. He serves as advisor to Presbyterian students and is co-chair of "Doors to Dialogue," a Seminary-wide effort to ensure that all graduates are equipped to minister in a world of religious difference.
Dr. Kirkpatrick is one of the major leaders in the global ecumenical movement having completed a six-year term as President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC). As president, he led this worldwide organization of 214 Presbyterian, Reformed, and Congregational Churches from 107 nations and was responsible for chairing the Executive Committee, for being the public spokesperson for the Alliance, and for furthering the commitments of the Alliance for justice in the economy and the earth. In 2010, the Alliance and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) came together in an historic merger that formed the new World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).
The Rev. Mr. Kirkpatrick is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). From 1996-2008 he served as Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and, at the conclusion of his term of service in 2008, was elected by the General Assembly as Stated Clerk Emeritus. As Stated Clerk, Kirkpatrick served as the chief ecclesiastical officer of the denomination and its primary spokesperson and leader in the ecumenical movement.
His service as Stated Clerk was preceded by fifteen years of service as the Director of the Worldwide Ministries Division of the Presbyterian Church (USA). In this capacity, he served as leader of the Presbyterian Church's ministries in partnership with churches in over 80 other nations in the areas of evangelism, education, health, world service, and social justice. Prior to that, he directed various ecumenical ministries in the state of Texas.
Over the years he has been a major leader in the ecumenical movement in the USA. and around the world. In addition to his leadership with the Alliance, he has been a member of the Central and executive Committees of the World and National Councils of Churches and one of the Presidents of the US Conference on Religions for Peace. Most recently, he has served as President of the International Calvin Jubilee Patronage Committee.
In addition to numerous published articles, he is the author of Is There a Future for the PCUSA?(Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2008) and co-author with Louisville Seminary alum William Hopper of What Unites Presbyterians: Common Ground for Troubled Times.