At the regular quarterly meeting of the Covenant Seminary Board of Trustees on January 25, 2013, Dr. Bryan Chapell announced that he has accepted a call to serve as Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Peoria, Illinois, and will resign from his post as Chancellor at the Seminary effective April 15, 2013. In honor of Dr. Chapell’s 18 years of dedicated service as President of the Seminary prior to assuming the Chancellor role last year, the Board voted to confer on him the title of President Emeritus. Interim President Dr. Mark Dalbey also appointed him Adjunct Professor of Practical Theology. Both titles will be effective April 15. In the latter capacity, Dr. Chapell will continue to play an important role in the preparation of future pastors by sharing his preaching expertise as part of the Seminary’s homiletics teaching team.
Over his twenty-eight years at Covenant Seminary—first as a professor, then as Vice President for Academics and Dean of Faculty, then as President, and finally as Chancellor—Dr. Chapell has been a champion of the message of the gospel of grace in a way that has significantly shaped the Seminary, its faculty and curriculum, and the training of pastors to preach in a Christ-centered, grace-oriented manner. All of us in the Seminary community seek God’s blessing on Dr. Chapell as he makes this transition to a new chapter in his long and fruitful ministry and brings this same message to his work at Grace PCA.
We are grateful for the many ways in which the Lord has blessed Covenant Seminary under Dr. Chapell’s tenure. Our alumni currently serve in all 50 states and 40 different countries as pastors, church planters, missionaries, ruling elders, counselors, educators, and translators, carrying out their callings in churches, businesses, government agencies, the arts, and many other contexts. The institution has expanded physically as Dr. Chapell has spearheaded several successful capital campaigns that provided funding for, among other things, the renovation and expansion of the J. Oliver Buswell Jr. Library, the purchase of additional property adjacent to the Seminary for use as a pastoral retreat center, the construction of the Founders Hall administrative and classroom building, and upcoming renovations for the Edwards Hall Community Center. In addition, the Seminary’s reach and influence for the gospel now stretch around the globe thanks to the development of online educational initiatives—culminating in the Seminary’s recently redesigned and restructured website—that provide users everywhere with free access to many complete master’s-level seminary courses and hundreds of other resources to equip them for life and ministry. Perhaps most important, however, is the impact of Dr. Chapell’s preaching and teaching of the gospel of grace on the lives and ministries of countless students, alumni, faculty and staff members, Board members, donors, and others over the decades of his service here.
We praise God for the many achievements of Dr. Chapell’s time at the Seminary and pray that the Lord will continue to work mightily through his ministry at Grace Church, around the world, and in his ongoing role with us in training new generations of gospel-centered pastors and ministry leaders. We look forward to seeing how the seeds that Dr. Chapell has helped to plant at and through Covenant Seminary will continue to grow and bear fruit in coming years. Please join us in praying God’s blessing on Bryan, his wife, Kathy, their family, and the entire Seminary community as they and we begin this new phase of ministry in service to Christ and his Kingdom.
William B. French, Chair, Board of Trustees
Dr. Mark Dalbey, Interim President