Dr. Barbara A. Holmes is leaving Memphis Theological Seminary to become the eighth president of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton, Minn.
Holmes is professor of ethics and African-American religious studies at MTS. She served as vice president of academic affairs and dean from 2005 to 2010. She will begin her presidency in July.
“The selection of Holmes signals the beginning of a new era,” said Rev. Carolyn Hendrixson, chairman of the UTS board said in a statement. “For seminaries around the country, it’s no longer business as usual. Our leaders need to be multifaceted administrators, fundraisers and program innovators. We have found this dynamic combination in Dr. Holmes, and we look to her leadership to move our progressive initiatives forward.”
Holmes holds an undergraduate degree in sociology and a master’s in education. She taught kindergarten before entering law school. Afterward, she worked as a litigator and corporate attorney for 10 years. She eventually enrolled in Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta and continued on to earn her Ph.D. in religion at Vanderbilt University.
“United’s commitment and its unwavering support for underserved groups match my own theological perspective,” Holmes said in a statement.
United is an ecumenical institution offering master’s and doctoral degree programs. Founded in 1962 as a seminary of the United Church of Christ, UTS was among the first in mainline Protestantism with an ecumenical focus.