Covenant Theological Seminary will inaugurate Dr. Mark Dalbey as the institution’s fifth president in special ceremonies to take place Sept. 26–27, 2013. The festivities will begin with a Worship Celebration in Song on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center on the campus of Missouri Baptist University. The celebration continues on Friday, Sept. 27, with an inauguration chapel service at 10 a.m. in Rayburn Chapel on the campus of Covenant Seminary. Both events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for the Thursday evening worship celebration as space is limited. For tickets or more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Thursday evening worship celebration will feature music by a variety of guest artists, including Rev. Kevin Twit of Indelible Grace; congregational singing with musicians Sarah Gothold, Joel Littlepage, Mike Brandenstein, and Joel Christie; the Vocal Spectrum barbershop quartet, featuring Eric Dalbey; a gospel choir under the direction of Michelle Higgins; and special music by Billy Cerveny, Steven Dalbey, and Jeffrey Heyl. Friday’s chapel service features the inaugural address by Dr. Dalbey, as well as charges by Jerram Barrs, professor of Christian studies and contemporary culture at Covenant Seminary; Rev. Scotty Smith, teacher in residence at West End Community Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and an adjunct professor at Covenant Seminary; Mr. Walter M. Turner, Seminary Board member and presidential search committee chair; and Mr. Rob Wheeler, Covenant Seminary’s Student Council president. Dr. David Calhoun, professor emeritus of church history, Dr. Mike Higgins, dean of students, and Mrs. DeAnn Harris, Advisory Board member, will offer prayers.
Dr. Mark Dalbey was named as president of the Seminary by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees in April and assumed the role in May after serving for a year as interim president. He succeeds Dr. Bryan Chapell, who served as president from 1994 to 2012 and chancellor from 2012 to 2013. Dr. Dalbey 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 as well as a class on gospel-centered parenting that he and his wife, Beth, co-teach.
Prior to his time at Covenant, Dr. 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, Pennsylvania (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 the 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. Dr. Dalbey holds a BA 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 38 years; they have three grown children and six grandchildren.
Commenting on Dalbey’s appointment, William B. French, chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, 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, 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.”
Dr. Dalbey noted, “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.