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Leadership Transitions at Erskine Theological Seminary: Dr. Seth J. Nelson, Dr. R.J. Gore, and Dr. Michael A. Milton

Erskine Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Dr. Seth J. Nelson as Dean of the Seminary and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Educational Leadership. Since August, Dr. Nelson has served as the Executive Director of the Seminary’s Greenville Extension Site and since January as the Assistant Dean of the Seminary.

Dr. Nelson has a B.A. in Pastoral Studies from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, a M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) with more than ten years of pastoral ministry experience, most recently serving as the Associate Executive Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Norfolk, VA. Dr. Nelson’s areas of expertise include adult theological education, educational ministry and leadership, and pastoral theology. His dissertation research explored how theological educators serve as facilitators of seminarians’ holistic formation toward maturity in Christ. He has recently published in the Evangelical Review of Theology, the Christian Education Journal, and The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching. Seth lives in Greenville, SC, with his wife, Heather, and twin daughters, Lucia and Alethia.

Erskine’s President Dr. Robert E. Gustafson commented: “Dr. Nelson brings an array of administrative gifts to his new position as the Dean of the Seminary. He has already provided invaluable assistance in our reaffirmation of accreditation process. I appreciate Dr. Nelson’s collegial attitude and his desire to see Erskine flourish in the years ahead. We are blessed to have a young, dynamic leader to take the baton from Dr. Gore.”

Dr. Nelson will replace Dr. R.J. Gore on July 1 as Dean of the Seminary when Dr. Gore will retire from the dean’s office. At Commencement on May 8, Dr. Gore was appointed Dean of the Seminary Emeritus in honor of his more than twenty years of faithful and sacrificial service to the Seminary, including serving as Dean and Vice President. Dr. Gore will continue in his full-time teaching role as Professor of Systematic Theology.

Dr. Gustafson continued: “Dr. Gore has been an iconic figure as Dean of the Seminary. For decades, he worked tirelessly to assure the Seminary’s quality, viability, and faithfulness to the Scriptures as God’s inerrant Word. Thus, in coming days, it will be different to enter the Bowie Divinity building and realize that his office will no longer serve as the Office of the Dean. Having appreciated Dr. Gore as a professor, I learned to value his administrative wisdom, his keen understanding of the institution’s history, and his clear vision for the future. He will be greatly missed.”

After nearly two years leading the Seminary, Dr. Michael A. Milton has concluded his leadership as Provost of Erskine Theological Seminary. He will continue in his teaching role as the James H. Ragsdale Professor of Missions and Evangelism and as the President of the D. James Kennedy Institute of Reformed Leadership at Erskine Theological Seminary. He will also continue to serve the Seminary through consultative leadership and involvement with marketing and advancement.

Dr. Gustafson concluded: “Dr. Milton’s decision to return to teaching and to step down from his position as the Seminary Provost signals a significant change at the helm. His collegial leadership has brought clarity and vision to the Seminary, and we will miss his shepherding leadership of the Seminary team. Always encouraging, always future-oriented, Dr. Milton has worked tirelessly to promote Erskine Seminary in a variety of venues. His creative approaches to fostering the Seminary’s flourishing will continue to bear fruit even as he steps down from his leadership position. We appreciate the time Dr. Milton gave as Seminary Provost. We are glad that he will continue full-time with his teaching and his promotional work for Erskine.”
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