Ashland University Names New President of Ashland Theological Seminary

  3/31/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University President Dr. Carlos Campo has announced that Dr. Mark Harden has been hired as the new president of Ashland Theological Seminary, a division of Ashland University. Dr. Harden will start in his new role on July 1.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Mark Harden and his wife, Sharon, join our AU family. Dr. Harden is an accomplished academic and faithful man of God, with an extraordinary background and the vision needed to lead ATS to new heights,” Campo said. “The senior leadership team is looking forward to Dr. Harden's input on our Cabinet as we work to identify more ways to partner with the seminary in the days to come.

“Our thanks to the search committee for their tireless work in securing our next seminary president, and we also recognize past president Dr. John Shultz at this time for his faithful leadership,” Campo added. Shultz will retire at the end of this academic year after serving as ATS president since 2006.

Tom Murray, chair of the presidential search committee, said, “We are excited to have Dr. Harden join our ATS community. Our committee devoted many hours in searching for the right person who can lead our seminary into the future. Seminaries across the country are facing challenges on different fronts. We are confident that Dr. Harden shares our passion for the mission of Ashland Theological Seminary and that he has the necessary skills to navigate us through the storms in close collaboration with our faculty, administration, staff, students and trustees.”

Harden has served as Boston Campus Dean and Associate Professor of Community Development and Outreach at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Roxbury, Mass., since 2012. Prior to that, he was Dean of Intercultural Relations at Bethel University in Arden Hills, Minn., from 2007 to 2012 and was also Associate Professor of Community Development and Outreach, Degree Program Director and Lead Faculty Instructor at Bethel from 2002 to 2012.

From 1999 to 2002, Harden served as State Program Leader for Program Evaluation at Michigan State University Extension, Division of Family and Consumer Sciences, in East Lansing, Mich.

Harden served as interim executive director and founder of Detroit LOVE INC. in Detroit from 1997 to 2000 and was regional program coordinator for World Vision USFO Headquarters in Federal Way, Wash., from 1997 to 1999. He also served as program coordinator for Church-Based Community Development in Detroit from 1996 to 1999.

In addition, Harden’s Church ministry experience includes being associate minister at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church from 2004 to 2012, associate minister at Greater Christ Baptist Church from 1991 to 2002, and associate minister at St. James Missionary Baptist Church from 1983 to 1991.

Harden also holds professional certification and qualifications training with the U.S. Department of Education’s National School Safety Center; Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education with Michigan State Police; Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Training Course Certification with Wayne County Police Department; and is a certified prevention consultant II with the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals.

In addition to his many publications and presentations, Harden’s community and professional accomplishments and memberships include the Spirit of Detroit Award, the highest citizen recognition award for outstanding community service in the City of Detroit by the Detroit City Council in 1999; Best Model Project in Michigan Award for Youth Mentoring and Prevention Program, Prevention Network of Michigan in 1995; Benjamin E. Mays Male Academy Task Force Award for an initiative for African Americans Males, Detroit, 1992-1995; the Harvard School of Higher Education Alumni; the Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research, 2010- 2012; the Institute for Intercultural Communications Faculty, 2009-present; Christian Community Development Association, 2007-2010; Religious Research Review Journal, 2010; National Association of Christian Social Workers, 2007-present; Michigan State University Alumni Association; American Evaluation Association, 2001-2008; and Council for Family Relations, 1999-2002. His current board memberships include the Association of Theological Schools Board of Directors, Global Horizons Inc., and Urban Ministry Education Partnership.

Harden has a Ph.D. in family and child ecology from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts degree in Theological Studies from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Marygrove College and a Bachelor’s of General Studies from Oakland University. He also has attended the management development program at the Harvard Summer Institute, the Fund Raising School at the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University, and Intercultural Communication Institute Certification Training.

Ashland Theological Seminary is a graduate division of Ashland University. With campuses in Ashland, Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus, Ashland Theological Seminary integrates theological education with Christ-centered transformation as it equips men and women for ministry in the church and the world. 
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.           
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