NTS elects Carla Sunberg president
Monday, January 6, 2014
Kansas City, Missouri
Nazarene Theological Seminary elected Carla Sunberg as its 10th president on January 3. Sunberg, the first woman president in the school's history, was elected on the first ballot and accepted the election. She assumes duties as NTS president immediately. 

The election came as the culmination of significant discussion by the NTS Board of Trustees about a reinvention of the seminary to create a new and sustainable ministry model and a much sharper focus on preparing pastors for the future of the church.

"This decision by the Board of Trustees is a bold statement about our confidence in the future of the Seminary," said Jeren Rowell, chair of the Board of Trustees. "Dr. Sunberg is an experienced leader with the academic and ministry credentials necessary to lead NTS in preparing the next generation of pastors to lead the Church in joining God's redemptive mission in this world."

Sunberg was ordained in the Church of the Nazarene in 2004 in Moscow on the Russia North District. She and her husband, Chuck, were pioneer missionaries for the denomination to the former Soviet Union, living in Moscow for 13 years. She served as director of compassionate ministries and later as director of theological education on the Commonwealth of Independent States Field.

In 2005, the Sunbergs returned to the U.S. and pastored at Grace Point Church of the Nazarene in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Carla served as pastor of evangelism and discipleship. In 2011, she and Chuck accepted a call to serve as co-district superintendents for East Ohio.

"With her experience in leading the educational system in the Commonwealth of Independent States Field and the depth of her theological training in both America and Europe, Dr. Sunberg brings to Nazarene Theological Seminary a fresh and broad perspective that will help her lead the institution to a future of missional effectiveness and doctrinal coherence," said Gustavo Crocker, Church of the Nazarene general superintendent and former regional director for Eurasia.

Carla has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from MidAmerica Nazarene University, a Master of Arts in theological studies from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy in historical theology from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. In May 2012, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Olivet Nazarene University.

She has a notable record of service to the church. Carla served on the General Board, the governing board of the denomination; on the NTS Board of Trustees; as Alumni Association president for NTS; as member and chairperson of the USA/Canada Region's Nazarene Women Clergy Council; and as member of the Church of the Nazarene's Pensions & Benefits USA board.

In addition, after serving on its board as the official representative for the Church of the Nazarene, Carla also served as president of Wesleyan-Holiness Women Clergy.

She is the co-author (with Gene Van Note) of Faxes from Russia (Beacon Hill Press, 1996) and authored numerous articles for various church publications. This spring, her book (co-written with Suzanne Burden and Jamie Wright), Reclaiming Eve: The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God, will be released.

Carla is passionate about the integration of practical ministry and theological education. She loves to teach and train leaders for the future of the church and has served as adjunct faculty for a number of institutions. She was born in Germany, the daughter of missionaries. Her heartfelt passion is a life of holiness and service for the Lord.

Chuck and Carla are proud parents of two adult daughters, Christa, who along with her husband, Iain Maciver, lives in England, and Cara, who with her husband, Justin Shonamon, lives in Kansas City.

The Mission of Nazarene Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, is to prepare women and men to be faithful and effective ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to offer itself as a theological resource in service to the Church of the Nazarene, its sponsoring denomination, and the wider Christian Church. For more information, visit nts.edu.
--Nazarene Theological Seminary
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  • I add my congrats! Thomas Jay Oord THOMASJAYOORD on 01/10/14
  • Congrats to both NTS and to Dr Sunberg on this historic decision. Please know that both Dr Sunber... SMJWALSH on 01/06/14