Citing medical concerns, Saint Paul School of Theology President Rev. H. Sharon Howell will step down from her leadership post, effective March 1, 2016. Although passionate about Saint Paul School of Theology’s mission and future, Rev. Howell said she made her decision at the urging of her physician.
“This is a tough moment for me. There is no other institution that could have called me out of retirement, and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve with and among students, staff, and faculty at both locations,” Rev. Howell said. “I step back into retirement knowing that Saint Paul is positioned for future growth with the establishment of strong collaborations and programs designed to attract students who will serve faithfully and effectively all over the world.”
The Saint Paul Board of Trustees selected Rev. Howell to lead the seminary as president in July 2014, and the former pastor graciously agreed to emerge from retirement. Under her leadership, the seminary established the 3 plus 3 program in collaboration with Kansas Wesleyan University, as well as the Saint Paul Fellows program, which eliminates student loan debt for candidates called to full-time ministry through fully endowed scholarships.
“We will miss Rev. Howell’s steady presence and dedication,” said Saint Paul Vice President for Advancement David Sisney. “We have made great progress in raising funds under President Howell’s leadership.”
Saint Paul Board of Trustee Chair Twila Glenn expressed gratitude for Rev. Howell’s willingness to serve.
“I want to thank Sharon Howell for her dedication to this seminary, our students, faculty and staff. Her commitment to theological education sets us up for success long into the future,” Glenn said. “While I am deeply saddened, I fully respect and support Rev. Howell’s decision to focus on her health.”
The Saint Paul Board of Trustees will convene the week of Feb. 8 to prepare a transition plan for immediate and long-term leadership for the seminary.