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A long-time faculty member at Eastern Mennonite Seminary has been named interim president of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Ind.
George R. Brunk, III, professor of New Testament at EMS, will begin his assignment on July 19, 2009 and serve until a new president begins, a tenure expected to be six to 12 months.
Dr. Brunk served as vice president and academic dean of Eastern Mennonite Seminary from 1979 to 1999. He joined the faculty of EMS in 1974, serving as professor of New Testament in addition to the administrative roles. He also has taught occasional courses at AMBS.
In addition, he has served in numerous leadership positions in the Mennonite Church over the last 30 years. He holds a doctor of theology degree from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and a bachelor of divinity degree from EMS. He was ordained to Christian ministry in the Virginia Mennonite Conference in 1964.
"The board is pleased to have George Brunk join the administrative team at AMBS," said Ray Friesen, chairperson of the AMBS board. "We believe this early announcement and the unique gifts Brunk has will bring a sense of stability for the seminary community, donors and constituency through this time of transition while we also manage the effects of the economic downturn. We ask the church to pray for the seminary and its leadership team during this time."
"I am honored by this appointment as interim president of AMBS," Brunk said. The seminary is a leading educational institution for church leadership formation in the Mennonite tradition. My hope is that my acceptance of this role will symbolize the common mission we share between our Mennonite Church USA seminaries as well as among all Mennonite educational institutions. AMBS is on a good course, and I am committed to hold and strengthen that course during this transitional time."
Brunk is married to Ruthann Miller Brunk and has two adult children.
J. Nelson Kraybill, president of AMBS since 1997, announced his resignation in September, 2008. He will end his assignment at AMBS in July and will pursue other ministry opportunities.
A search committee is seeking a new long-term president for AMBS, to begin sometime in early 2010.