Theology Matters is delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Burnett as the first full-time executive director of the ministry. We have received applications for this position from across the country and have interviewed a number of highly qualified candidates. We are filled with joy that God has led us to a person so distinguished to help carry the vision of Theology Matters into the future.The Board of Directors of
An ordained pastor, scholar, and author, Dr. Burnett assumes his new role in May 2016. He graduated from King College in Tennessee and received his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was active in the Theological Students’ Fellowship, a ministry of InterVarsity. He spent a year at the University of Tübingen, Germany, returning to be ordained as associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, Tennessee. He earned an S.T.M. at Yale, and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Princeton Seminary. He has authored and edited several academic books and articles, but he is also committed to the church and has served congregations in New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Dr. Burnett is very familiar with the work of Theology Matters, having served for over a year on the Board of Directors. He is married to Martha Kirsch, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor whom he met at a conference in Amsterdam in 1986 sponsored by Billy Graham. They have four children.
Dr. Burnett’s heart, experience, theological maturity, and pastoral gifts align exceptionally well with the vision of Presbyterians for Faith, Family, and Ministry, and we are thrilled to welcome him to this strategic leadership role at Theology Matters.
“Martha and I have a strong sense that the Lord is calling us to [this] and accept it with great joy. I want to lead TM in a direction that will honor the Lord and serve His church,” he says. “If a single proposition characterizes my vocational life thus far it is that theology matters.”
Burnett was a leader in the Confessing Church movement within the Presbyterian Church (USA) and served on the Theological Task Force of the ECO/Presbyterian Fellowship. He has been Professor of Systematic Theology at Erskine Theological Seminary for the last fourteen years, and also taught theology courses at Columbia Theological Seminary, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and Union Presbyterian Seminary. He writes, “I am firmly committed to the Reformed tradition, have deep gratitude for my Presbyterian heritage, and an abiding love for Reformed theology.” He continues, “Given this ministry’s past record and future possibilities of bearing witness and doing good, I can think of no calling to which I would rather dedicate my life than to serve as Executive Director of Theology Matters.”