Oct 182017

Chicago Theological Seminary Elects Three to Board of Trustees; Names Jennings ‘Professor Emeritus’

CHICAGO, OCTOBER 18, 2017 – Chicago Theological Seminary’s (CTS) Board of Trustees has granted emeritus status to Dr. Theodore Jennings, and elected three new trustees to the Board; Zack Shah, Kashif M. Shaikh, and Reverend Mark Winters. Shah and Shaikh are business executives who bring unique expertise; Winters, a 2009 graduate of the seminary, is a minister in the United Church of Christ.

“As CTS sharpens its focus to educate the next generation of religious leaders, both inside and outside church walls, we welcome the addition of these three outstanding leaders,” Donald C. Clark, Jr., Acting President & General Counsel said. “Their experience in business, ministry, and community engagement will strengthen CTS’s commitment to innovating theological education and increasing our impact throughout the country and around the world.”

Zack Shah is a managing director and member of the Business Services & Education group at Lazard Middle Market. He has more than a decade of experience developing and executing mergers and acquisition transactions, public equity offerings, and private placements. Prior to joining Lazard Middle Market, Shah was a director in the mergers and acquisitions group at BMO Capital Markets where he focused on education, marketing, and technology services sectors. Before joining BMO Capital Markets, he was a vice president at Banc of America Securities. Shah began his investment banking career as an associate in the mergers and acquisitions group at Wachovia Securities.

Shah has a master of public administration with a focus on education policy from Harvard University and a master of business administration from the University of Chicago.

Kashif M. Shaikh is the co-founder and executive director of Pillars. In this role, he leads all day to day operations for Pillars including managing its growth, creating new initiatives and increasing its public visibility. He founded Pillars in 2011, with a group of philanthropists, and has helped grow the organization into a leading voice for American Muslims in both the philanthropic sector and broader public.

Prior to launching Pillars, Shaikh was a program officer at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. In this role, Shaikh managed dynamic charitable partnerships with the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls and other corporate entities, overseeing $5M in annual grant making. Shaikh career began at the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, where he developed key strategies to engage the organization’s largest corporate partners.

Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Shaikh holds a bachelor degree from Ohio State University and a master in public policy and administration from Northwestern University.

Reverend Mark Winters was born and raised in the United Church of Christ. He grew up in Washington State, and still considers himself a Pacific Northwesterner, but he feels at home at First Congregational United Church of Christ Naperville, where he currently serves as pastor. Winters has a bachelor of arts degree in English from Boston
 College, and a master of divinity from Chicago Theological
 Seminary. Winters believes that churches are places for spiritual nourishment, social justice engagement, and wrestling with theological questions. He spent time in Ireland during a Peace and Conflict Studies course in college, and has volunteered in Belfast, Northern Ireland, through the Presbyterian Church USA. Mark and his family live in Naperville.

Jennings Named ‘Professor Emeritus’
Dr. Theodore Jennings, a renowned scholar, theologian, author, and former professor of biblical and constructive theology at Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) has been named Professor of Biblical and Constructive Theology Emeritus.

“Dr. Jennings retirement marks the end of an era at CTS,” Ken Stone, Academic Dean and Professor of Bible, Culture & Hermeneutics said. “He has been a long-standing champion for LGBTQ rights, civil rights, and the poor. His teaching, influence, and legacy touched students, staff, and faculty alike for many years. Jennings’ appointment as Professor Emeritus recognizes these contributions and makes it more likely that we will benefit from his talents as an educator, advocate, and researcher for years to come.”

Professor Jennings first joined the CTS faculty from 1972 to 1978, and returned in 1991 to serve for more than two decades as Professor of Biblical & Constructive Theology. Between these periods, Jennings served on the faculties of Candler School of Theology, at Emory University (where he previously earned his doctor of philosophy); and at the Methodist Seminary in Mexico City. He received his bachelor of arts from Duke University in 1964, and his bachelor of divinity from Emory University in 1967.

An ordained United Methodist minister, and a consultant to the United Methodist Bishops on issues of poverty, Jennings also served local United Methodist congregations in California, along with his wife and CTS alum, Rev. Ronna Case. At CTS, Jennings served for several years as director of the PhD Program and, on two occasions, as interim academic dean. Jennings has published more than a dozen books and edited or co-edited several more. Even an abbreviated list of titles hints at the broad range of his research: Life as Worship: Prayer and Praise in Jesus’ Name, Beyond Theism: A Grammar of God-Language, and Good News to the Poor: John Wesley’s Evangelical Economics are just some of the many books Jennings has published.

Jennings retired from full-time teaching in May 2017. In October 2017, CTS faculty unanimously voted to recommend to the Board that Jennings be granted the rank of Professor of Biblical & Constructive Theology Emeritus.