Aug 22021

Dr. Stephen G. Ray Announces Retirement from CTS Presidency

CHICAGO – August 3, 2021 – Chicago Theological Seminary president, Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray, Jr. announced his retirement from CTS, effective August 31st. Rev. Dr. Marsha Foster Boyd, Ph.D. will serve as interim president while the organization begins an extensive search for Stephen’s replacement.

“CTS is an extraordinarily effective institution because of people who serve it,” said Brian Clarke, Chair, Board of CTS. “Stephen is the living embodiment of this spirit. To know him is to truly respect and admire him. His love of theological education and intellect on the important issues facing our society is matched only by his passion for helping and mentoring the people lucky enough to know him. Stephen led us through the pandemic, all while achieving record enrollment. He led us through a needed reorganization process. He also significantly expanded the Seminary’s Interfaith efforts with the formal establishment of a partnership with Bayan Islamic Graduate School. And much, much more.”

“While a difficult decision, my heart and my life tell me it is time,” said Stephen Ray, President, Chicago Theological Seminary. “I will be forever grateful to all the people I have worked side-by-side with over the years. Through the difficulties of the pandemic and other challenges, I am proud of the strong position CTS stands today. We are well-positioned to meet our responsibility: to equip religious leaders of good faith to promote justice and mercy throughout our society. The need has never been greater, and CTS will be there, as we always have.”

With theological education rapidly changing and new ways that religious devotion is living within our complex society, Dr. Ray led the establishment a new Office of Strategic Initiatives, which was announced in March. This office is engaged in the development of sustaining relationships with organizations that share the mission and vision of CTS. This will allow CTS to deepen and develop its relationships with the Black church, the LGBTQIA community, the Muslim community and the UCC. These efforts are central to building a new eco-system for the Seminary.

A number of celebration events will be held in this month to recognize the work of Dr. Ray.

Dr. Boyd comes to CTS as interim president with a lifetime of service to the faith community and religious education. She is President Emerita of Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit; a position she assumed after her retirement as president in 2013. Prior to that position, she was Director of Accreditation and Leadership Education at The Association of Theological Schools in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Associate Professor of Pastoral Care & Counseling at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio; and Academic Dean at Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio. In each of these positions, Dr. Boyd was the first African American woman to serve.

Clarke said the search for a new president will be comprehensive and solicit the input of both internal and external constituencies. “The selection process will be fully engaged with, and informed by, all the people and organizations who may be outside the four walls of our organization but are such important partners and allies to us,” he said.


Contact: Kim Schultz, Interim Director of Communications, [email protected]