Michael Kinnamon, Allen and Dottie Miller Professor of Mission and Peace at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, has been nominated to become the new General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, also known as the NCC. Upon ratification of the selection in November, Dr. Kinnamon will succeed Bob Edgar, who left the NCC in September to become President and CEO of Common Cause.
“Professor Kinnamon’s nomination to this position of leadership is a remarkably high achievement and one that affirms his gifts for ecumenical leadership and his calling as a servant of the church as it participates in the mission of God in the world,” said David Greenhaw, President and Professor of Preaching and Worship at Eden. “While this announcement brings with it the sadness of saying goodbye to a wonderful scholar and teacher on the Eden Faculty, it also bears the affirmation that the resources of Eden’s faculty and broader mission are of deep and abiding relevance to the life of the church in the world.”
The NCC has made an excellent choice. Dr. Kinnamon was one of my professors at Eden. I even dogsat for him once. So I attest that he's not only a brilliant scholar and deeply committed to ecumenism, but he's a nice guy besides. He was one of the first from whom I heard and came to appreciate that the church isn't much if it isn't committed to mission outside its own walls.
He'll do well in this post, although I won't wish on him the scrutiny with which it will come. However, I do think that people will be presently surprised by his approach, which in my experience more often than not has made room for more "conservative" and "traditional" voices. If people were disgruntled with Bob Edgar for some of his statements, they may see Dr. Kinnamon as a breath of fresh air.
So my prayers and congratulations are with him as he begins this new venture.