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NBTS Graduate Returns as President

Gregg Mast graduated from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1976. Thirty years later, he has returned as president. Mast was inaugurated as New Brunswick's 14th president on January 28.

"Gregg is uniquely gifted and called to carry out this task," says RCA general secretary Wes Granberg-Michaelson. "His whole journey in the RCA has prepared him for the leadership which he will now offer to New Brunswick Seminary."

Mast was installed as president during a worship service at First Reformed Church of New Brunswick. The Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi preached at the service. Nyomi, a native of Ghana, is currently serving as general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in Geneva, Switzerland.

"For me, Gregg's appointment to the post of president is a sign of hope," Nyomi says. "He comes with a great sense of vision and building community and healing."

The day's celebrations also included panel discussions about the church as a moral voice in the city, the shape of theological education, and making space for interfaith community. Dr. Virginia Wiles, Dean of the Seminary; The Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi, WARC General Secretary; Mr. Paul Quevedo, President of the NBTS Student Society. (Photo by Robin Salant)

"It was a day for the seminary to listen--and for me in particular to listen--to those kinds of conversations," Mast says.

"This is a dramatically different seminary than the one I graduated from thirty years ago," he says. "It's far more diverse, with a far larger student body. When I was here, it was a dominantly RCA, male, resident seminary. Now we have a dozen different church traditions represented and more than 200 students, many of whom are second-career, and two-thirds of whom are people of color. The seminary community is dramatically different, but still committed to forming people for ministry in the church. That was our mission thirty years ago, and that remains our mission today."

"New Brunswick will play an indispensable role in the frontiers of the contemporary urban church and the challenges of being a multicultural church," says Granberg-Michaelson. "Under the leadership of Gregg Mast, the seminary will discover new avenues for making its unique contributions to the mission of the Reformed Church in America as well as the wider ecumenical church."

Mast also holds degrees from Hope College and Drew University. He has served congregations in Johannesburg, South Africa; Newark and Irvington, New Jersey; and Albany, New York. His denominational duties have included presiding over General Synod as president, working with the social witness and worship programs, and most recently serving as director of Ministry Services.

Posted on 02/03/2006

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