Fuller Seminary Announces Mark Labberton as Its New President

Labberton is a scholar and academic leader, pastor, accomplished author, and leading voice in various ministries

Mark Labberton

The Fuller Theological Seminary Board of Trustees has announced that Mark Labberton has accepted the call to serve as the seminary's fifth president, beginning July 1, 2013. 

Announcing Labberton's unanimous election by the trustees, Board Chair Clifford L. Penner said, "Along with my fellow trustees, I am delighted to welcome Mark Labberton to the presidency of Fuller Seminary. We are excited and inspired by the outstanding qualities and accomplishments he brings to this position. He is a scholar and academic leader, pastor for more than 25 years, accomplished author, and leading voice in many international ministries. Mark brings strong spiritual leadership, a wide range of experiences, and the vision to guide Fuller into a new era of global leadership in seminary education.  As a Fuller alumnus (MDiv) and professor, he fully comprehends Fuller's rich and diverse legacy." Read more about Dr. Labberton's journey to the presidency.

"I feel an incredible sense of joy and hope to be given this opportunity," said Labberton. "Thanks to Rich Mouw's generous, gracious, and irenic leadership, Fuller is well positioned to influence how the gospel is communicated, understood, and embodied in the world."   

Richard J. Mouw, who announced last May his retirement from the Fuller presidency as of June 2013 and will return to Fuller in a faculty role following a study leave during the 2013-14 academic year, says: "Mark Labberton is an excellent choice to be the next president of Fuller. I know him to be a very gifted Christian leader who will be able to take Fuller into an exciting new future."  

Labberton has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whitman College, a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller, and a PhD in theology from the University of Cambridge, England.  In 2009, Labberton joined Fuller's faculty as the Lloyd John Ogilvie Associate Professor of Preaching and director of the Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute of Preaching.

Prior to coming to Fuller, Labberton served for 16 years as senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California.  Before that, he was senior pastor at Wayne Presbyterian Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Labberton co-founded the Christian International Scholarship Foundation (now ScholarLeaders International), which funds the theological education of Christian leaders from the Majority World. He has also worked closely with John Stott Ministries (now Langham Partnership), which provides books, scholarships, and seminars for Majority World pastors. He continues to contribute to the mission of the global church as a senior fellow of the International Justice Mission.

A frequent lecturer and preacher at conferences, in congregations, and at academic gatherings, Labberton has authored First Things: A Theology of the World, the Church, the Pastor, and the Sermon (2013); The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus  (2010), and The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God's Call to Justice (2007).  

Labberton encourages prayers for Fuller "at such a turbulent time in the church and in the world, when tangible demonstrations of God's love are needed." He also welcomes prayers for his new role as president, as he seeks to foster "careful understanding, deep and diverse community, courageous and wise decision making, and effective creativity to address the challenges facing seminary education." 

From the East Bay of Northern California, Mark Labberton and his wife, Janet Morrison Labberton, have two sons, Peter, 24, and Sam, 18.

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