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Christian Churches Together in the USA, Inc., has appointed Dr. Monica Schaap Pierce as its new executive director, effective July 24, 2022. She fulfills the role after serving as interim executive director since October 2021 and is the first woman appointed to lead the national communion of churches.

Christian Churches Together (CCT), formed in 2001, is a fellowship composed of 33 churches and organizations that witness to the reconciling power of Jesus and his gospel. Member churches and organizations are part of five “families”: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Historic Protestant, Historic Black, and Evangelical and Pentecostal. The RCA has been part of Christian Churches Together since its inception.

“I am honored to lead this unique and holy communion of Christians,” Schaap Pierce said in a CCT press release. “During my years serving on the steering committee, as CCT’s treasurer, and then as interim executive director, it has been the relationships that lie at the heart of our fellowship that have had the most profound impact on me.

“The intentional focus on relationship-building and mutual understanding that defines CCT is as important as ever given the urgency of unity in our divided world. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us as we grow together in Christ and identify new possibilities for a shared witness to the reconciling hope at the heart of our faith.”

Schaap Pierce comes to CCT with “more than a decade of service and leadership in Christian denominational, national, and international ecumenical bodies,” including years on staff with the Reformed Church in America (RCA). She served as the RCA’s ecumenical associate, a part-time role within the Office of the General Secretary, from 2016 to 2020, when the position was eliminated due to budget cuts.

Schaap Pierce holds a PhD in Theology from Fordham University, as well as MTS and STM degrees from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Northwestern College, one of the RCA’s three affiliated colleges. Additionally, Schaap Pierce has experience teaching theology at both Reformed and Roman Catholic universities and seminaries.

She is also currently co-chair of the national Reformed–Catholic dialogue, an ongoing ecumenical dialogue between the RCA, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ (UCC), the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC) and representatives appointed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The ninth round of dialogue (since the Second Vatican Council) took place in Chicago this past June following pandemic-related delays.