Fuller Seminary has announced that the Rev. Chris Murphy, Presbyterian Church (USA) minister and Fuller graduate, will be the new director of the seminary's Office of Presbyterian Ministries.
This announcement follows the retirement of Dr. Ronald Kernaghan who is retiring in September after having served since 1999 as Director of Presbyterian Ministries and Associate Professor of Presbyterian Ministries and Pastoral Theology at Fuller.
"Dr. Kernaghan has been extraordinarily skillful in building strong and important connections between Fuller Seminary and Presbyterian churches," said Fuller President Dr. Mark Labberton, who previously served as senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, CA; and Wayne Presbyterian Church in Wayne, PA. "Through his focus on scholarship and service to the church, Ron has built relationships that will have lasting influence."
"I am also very excited that Chris Murphy will now be the director of our Office of Presbyterian Ministries," Labberton said. "He has a love for Fuller and a deep commitment to serving Presbyterian students and churches with all the resources our seminary can provide."
Murphy, a Fuller Seminary graduate in 2002 with a master of divinity degree, was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2008. He has served in ministry roles at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, WA; and Glendale Presbyterian Church in Glendale, CA. He also worked in urban and campus ministries while an undergraduate student at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. Murphy has served for the past several years in Fuller's Presbyterian Ministries Office and Admissions Office. While in his new position, Murphy plans to pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree beginning next year.
"Our sense of vision for this office is based on our desire to form future Presbyterian pastors and other Christian leaders who will articulate and demonstrate a wholistic gospel, including God's compassion and justice in the world," said Labberton. Approximately 20 percent of Fuller students identify as members of Presbyterian churches.
Fuller's Office of Presbyterian Ministries has three primary areas of focus as it prepares students for church ministry: campus ministry, academic training, and Presbyterian church relations.
Campus ministry outreaches include weekly worship services open to Presbyterian students as well as all members of the Fuller community. Other outreaches include offering various church internships; opportunities for service; prayer retreats; social activities; and small group studies. "We want to help cultivate a lifestyle of worship that includes prayer, community, and mission in the larger community and world," said Murphy, who is also a certified spiritual director.
In terms of academic preparation, Fuller's School of Theology provides classes specifically focused on Presbyterian students, including Presbyterian Creeds; Presbyterian Polity and Worship; Reformed Worship; and American Presbyterian History and Programs. The Office of Presbyterian Ministries offers study sessions and online resources for students preparing for their ordination exams.
Additionally, the Office of Presbyterian Ministries works to connect students with ministry internships and positions with Presbyterian churches connected to the PC(USA); ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians; the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC); the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA); the Korean Presbyterian Church; and other global Presbyterian denominations.