At its regularly stated meeting April 26–27, 2013, the Covenant Theological Seminary board of trustees unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Mark Dalbey as CTS president, effective May 1, 2013. The announcement follows a nationwide search in which several highly qualified candidates were interviewed and evaluated by the seminary’s Presidential Search Committee. The committee, appointed by the board in April 2012, consisted of several board members (including several PCA pastors) as well as representatives from the seminary’s faculty and staff. It was charged with conducting a rigorous search for a candidate to recommend to the full board. An outside search consultant assisted in the process.
“We are deeply impressed by Mark’s passion for our students and his desire to see them fully equipped for ministry. We are eager to see him lead the institution forward in new ways while also honoring our Reformed and Presbyterian heritage.” — William French, board of trustees chairman
William B. French, board of trustees chairman, said, “On behalf of the entire board, I want to say how pleased we are with the diligent and thorough work of our Search Committee over the last year, and with their recommendation of Mark Dalbey as the choice for Covenant Seminary’s next president. We are deeply impressed by Mark’s passion for our students and his desire to see them fully equipped for ministry. We are eager to see him lead the institution forward in new ways while also honoring our Reformed and Presbyterian heritage.”
Walter M. Turner, Presidential Search Committee chairman, noted, “Having met with a number of truly outstanding candidates, our committee feels that Mark is especially qualified to lead the institution as we begin a new chapter in our history. His experience as a pastor and teacher, his long association with the seminary, and his strong positive relationships with our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors, as well as his forward-looking vision for what the seminary can become, led us to see him as the most desirable person for the position.”
Dalbey, who has served as the seminary’s interim president since June 2012, will become the fifth president to lead the institution. He has taken on several roles at Covenant since 1999, when he was named dean of students. A few years later, he became vice president of student development and assistant professor of practical theology. In 2009, he became vice president of academics and faculty development, a post he held until assuming that of interim president. His course load as now associate professor of practical theology includes classes on worship and a class on gospel-centered parenting co-taught with his wife, Beth.
Prior to his time at Covenant, Dalbey served for two decades in pastoral and educational positions, including student-pastor of Bridgewater United Presbyterian Church in Beaver, Pennsylvania (1975-1977); assistant dean of religious services (chaplain) and instructor in Bible at Geneva College, in Beaver Falls, Pa. (1977-1984); solo pastor of Church of the Covenant (PCA) in Cincinnati, Ohio (1984-1992); and senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Richmond, Indiana (1992-1999).
He has been active on a variety of committees at the presbytery and denominational level for the Presbyterian Church in America and is a founding member and current chairman of the steering committee for the Worship Reformation Network, a group of PCA pastors and worship/music directors committed to promoting biblical, Reformed, and gospel-driven principles for worship. Dalbey holds a B.A. in philosophy and religion from Tarkio College, a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Covenant Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Beth, have been married for 37 years; they have three grown children and six grandchildren.
Dalbey commented, “It’s a great honor and privilege for me to be called to follow in the footsteps of such men as Robert G. Rayburn, William S. Barker, Paul Kooistra, and Bryan Chapell in serving Covenant Seminary for the next season. I am grateful to the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees for their confidence in me. This is an exciting time in the life of the seminary. I ask all our friends and supporters to pray for me, our board, our faculty, and our entire leadership team as we embark on several new initiatives to expand and enhance our ability to train pastors and other ministry leaders not only for the church of today, but also for 2025 and beyond.”
Dr. Dalbey will assume his new role May 1, 2013; an official service of inauguration will take place Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, when the Seminary Board next comes to St. Louis. More details about the inauguration will be announced as they become available.