PRINCETON, N.J. – The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lee Walton begins his tenure as the eighth president of Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Walton shared the following message of welcome and gratitude to the seminary community.
Greetings, Princeton Theological Seminary community!
It is a blessing to write you as Princeton Seminary’s 8th president. My heart is full of joy and deep appreciation.
Cecily and I appreciate Craig and Dawne Barnes for their faithful stewardship and leadership over the previous decade. Similarly, we are thankful to you for your many prayers, phone calls, and messages of support in recent weeks. Your love extended to us during this period of transition exemplified the warm community of welcome that lies at the heart of Princeton Seminary.
I accepted the offer to become the next president for two primary reasons. First, Princeton Theological Seminary is unapologetic about its mission. This mission is reflected in you, the amazing people who constitute this community. Whether you are a student or an alum, work in facilities or on the faculty, serve in the library or on the Board of Trustees, all are engaged in the formative work of preparing servant leaders to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly throughout the church and world.
Second, Princeton Theological Seminary is a premier institution of higher learning that understands the importance of tradition and innovation. We are part of a rich Reformed tradition that took root as a campus here in 1812. Yet the lasting import of this tradition is a result of innovation—innovation born of expanded moral imaginations and more inclusive conceptions of whom God calls.
Princeton Theological Seminary has always honored tradition and innovation, and we have long championed intellectual rigor and expanding access. Today we witness it through new degree programs that address our students’ capacious sense of call. We also see it in the work of our ministry institutes and academic centers on campus. Through expanding certificate and hybrid learning options, Princeton Theological Seminary is extending its reach through more accessible and equitable lifelong learning options. These are exciting times.
I understand this is a time of significant change in higher education and faith communities. Theological education is at an inflection point. Yet I am confident in our future because I am confident in you and the God who called each of us to this glorious task.
Thank you for welcoming me back to this special place. Cecily and I look forward to meeting and reconnecting with you in the months ahead. In the meantime, I invite you to connect with me on Twitter (@JonathanLWalton) and Instagram (@JonathanLeeWalton) where you can see how I am engaging with the broader Princeton Seminary community.
With gratitude, let’s go forward together.
Jonathan Lee Walton
The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lee Walton will be the guest preacher at the Presbytery of Philadelphia’s Stated Meeting on January 31, 2023, at Oxford Presbyterian Church.