Theological Book Network Attracts New Executive with Diverse Skills to Lead Organization into the Future
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Nancy D. Arnison, whose career path has taken her from social work to corporate law to advocacy for international human rights and global hunger relief, has been appointed Executive Director of the Theological Book Network, succeeding Kurt Berends, who founded the non-profit organization and led it for the past 10 years.
Ms. Arnison will take up leadership of Theological Book Network on April 26, 2012, relocating to Grand Rapids from the Chicago area, where she has been completing her Ph.D. studies in theology and ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Dr. Berends is moving on from the organization he founded in 2002 in order to become the head of the Issachar Fund Initiative, a Christian foundation that provides grants and programming for scholars and church groups to engage and dialogue with leaders of today’s “scientific culture.”
“Through the past decade, Theological Book Network has grown and prospered in remarkable ways, becoming a trusted and valued partner and supplier of resources to seminaries and schools around the world,” said Kent Wilson, Chairman of the Board for Theological Book Network. “Dr. Berends’ initial vision has been fulfilled — and more. Now, we look forward to the next period of our development, sparked by a passionate and well-prepared leader who is eager to contribute her diverse gifts for the coming years.”
Before pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, Ms. Arnison studied at Luther Seminary and United Theological Seminary. Earlier, she earned her Juris Doctor at the University of Michigan Law School and her bachelor’s degree from the School of Social Work at Southern Illinois University.
Most recently, Arnison served in an interim role as Vice President of Programs and Protection for the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service while she was finishing her doctoral dissertation. Before that, she directed the World Hunger Program for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for five years.
“Earlier in my career, I had been working in corporate law and then international human rights advocacy before I fell into theology,” Arnison recalls. “It was when I entered seminary that I found theological resources that addressed my deepest questions about God and faith, and evil and suffering.”
With her new post at Theological Book Network, Arnison sees how her varied experiences have prepared her to help the organization build upon its entrepreneurial early years.
“It’s a young, innovative, yet highly professional organization with a wonderful mix of entrepreneurship and academic depth,” she noted. “It brings together all these strands in my life — global engagement, theological education, and building community with a deep commitment to mutuality.”
About Theological Book Network
Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Theological Book Network is committed to the creation and development of Majority World leaders who serve the church by providing access to educational resources from the West and by assisting in the production and dissemination of local resources, contributing to the practice of theological reflection on the needs and goals of the Majority World church.