By ALLISON MATYUS
The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) has named Frank M. Yamada as its next executive director. Yamada, who currently serves as president of McCormick Theological Seminary, 5460 S. University Ave., will begin in his new role on July 1. Yamada is replacing Daniel O. Aleshire, who is retiring on June 30.
“We are delighted that Dr. Yamada will bring his considerable gifts to ATS,” ATS President Janet Clark, said in a written statement. “As we approach our 100th anniversary in 2018, we find ourselves in an era of unprecedented change for the more than 270 schools in our membership. We believe he is the right leader for this pivotal time in the history of the association.”
Yamada has been with McCormick Theological Seminary (MTS) since 2008 when he joined as the director of the Center for Asian American Ministries and associate professor of Hebrew Bible. He became president of MTS in 2011. Yamada has focused on innovation of technology during his time as president of MTS.
“The more flexibility we can offer through distance learning, online learning and hybrid online learning the more we can reach those who are getting a degree while working, getting a degree while raising a family and those who want to go to school but can’t be on a strict schedule,” Yamada said in an interview with the Hyde Park Herald back in 2013.
In his new role as the executive director, Yamada will continue his vision for the over 270 theological schools in the U.S. and in Canada.
“I am honored and humbled to accept this call to be the next executive director of ATS,” Yamada said in a written statement. “As we approach a new century in the Association’s history, our schools are poised to address faithfully the challenges that face theological education for the next century.”
When Yamada leaves MTS on July 1, David Crawford, executive vice president and chief business officer at MTS, will serve as the interim president for one year while the school searches for a permanent replacement.