(ORLANDO, Fla.)—Dr. Robert H. (Bob) Orner has been named the Dean of Students at Reformed Theological Seminary’s Orlando campus and will take on those responsibilities on June 1, 2012, when the current Dean of Students, Scott Redd, becomes the president of RTS’s Washington, D.C., campus.
“Bob Orner brings a wealth of fresh pastoral experience to our team,” said RTS Orlando President Don Sweeting. “He knows firsthand almost every facet of pastoral ministry. He loves students and they love him. He has a strong interest in building community. On top of all that, he has a heart for the global church.”
“I am overjoyed about Dr. Orner’s appointment,” commented Dean Redd. “Bob brings not only pastoral experience, but also academic insight and a relational enthusiasm to the Dean of Students position that I know will result in a more meaningful experience for the RTS student body. I am glad for the seminary, for our students, and for the ministries in which they will serve.”
“What a gift Dr. Orner’s experience, knowledge and skill will be to our students and faculty,” noted Steve Brown, radio personality and RTS professor. “Great choice!”
Orner joined the staff of RTS Orlando in August 2010 as a guest lecturer in practical theology, associate director of the Doctor of Ministry program, and director of field education. He received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia International University, and his master of divinity and doctorate of ministry degrees from RTS Orlando.
As an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America denomination, Orner has more than 25 years of experience in church mnistry. He has served as a youth pastor, senior pastor, church planter and director of training for Global Church Advancement. He has helped start several church planting networks and continues to serve as a part-time church planting coach, consultant and trainer.
Living in Nairobi, Kenya, though his teenage years built within Orner a love and appreciation for cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity. God used these years to develop in him a passion to equip leaders for the global community who are biblically and theologically grounded, gospel motivated and culturally intelligent. Orner led a two-year Lilly Endowment-funded study in cooperation with Covenant Seminary Center for Ministry Leadership that focused on church planting in the African American and Hispanic contexts in North America. He continues to study, write and lecture on the topics of cultural intelligence.
Bob and his wife Chris have been married for 25 years, and have one son, Taylor, a senior at Winter Park High School.
The RTS Orlando campus, a graduate theological school, was established in 1989 in Maitland and moved to its permanent location on 65 acres on Long Lake in Oviedo, Fla., in 1999. It is one of several campuses in the RTS system, which was founded in 1966. RTS is one of the largest seminaries in the country with campuses in Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Jackson, Memphis, Orlando and Washington D.C., in addition to a virtual campus offering online classes.