Recognizing a transitional point in the life of its witness and ministry, the board of directors of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries(HELM) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has called the Rev. Bernard “Chris” Dorsey to serve as its next president effective Aug. 1. A dynamic and creative leader, Dorsey is currently an Assistant Professor of Theology and Preaching at Western Theological Seminary.
An ordained Disciples minister, Dorsey received his BS from the University of Texas at Austin, earned a M.Div from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He has taught at a variety of academic and theological institutions and previously served as local church pastor, university chaplain of Clark Atlanta University, and as the Vice President of Development and Marketing at Chicago Theological Seminary.
While recognizing the current challenges facing local congregations and faith-based institutions, the HELM board was impressed with Dorsey’s vision for the future, gifts for communication, and excitement for continuing and transforming HELM’s programs and ministry.
Dr. Ed Strong, chair of the HELM board, commented, “We were pleased with the success of the search process that led to the calling of Rev. Dorsey. The enthusiasm he engendered during this process is indicative of his desire and ability to guide HELM during its transitional period as it seeks to determine how best to serve the colleges, universities, theological institutions, and students in the task of developing and fostering leadership within the Church and society.”
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President added, “I am looking forward to Chris’ leadership at HELM and also in the general Church. His breadth of experience, both sacred and secular, has already been a gift to the Church with his service on various task forces. I am glad to have him as a colleague.”
“I am honored and humbled by this new opportunity to serve Christ’s church,” said Dorsey. “I look forward to building on HELM’s success of leadership development and finding new ways to equip people with the skills and tools needed for successful ministry and service in a rapidly changing world.”
Dorsey is the father of 10-year-old daughter, Alanis and they currently reside in Holland, MI. His appointment follows the retirement of Dennis Landon after nearly two decades of faithful service as the president of HELM.