SHAWNEE, Kan. — The Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Durso began her first day as president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary on June 1. Elected by the seminary’s board of trustees in February, Durso relocated last month to the Kansas City metro area from Atlanta where she had served for eleven years as executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry.
In addition to her leadership as executive director of a thriving national non-profit organization, Baptist Women in Ministry, Durso brings a deep commitment to and experience in theological education, having served on the faculty of Campbell University Divinity School and as an adjunct professor for McAfee School of Theology. She is also a minister, ordained in 2015 by Cornerstone Baptist Church of Snellville, Georgia, and Baptist Women in Ministry, and having served in various ministry positions.
Central Seminary board chairperson and leader of the presidential search committee, Rev. James R. Cook, expressed his excitement about Durso’s arrival. “After a national search that took over a year to complete, I am excited to welcome Dr. Pam Durso as the new president of Central. Pam brings a wealth of experience, connections within Baptist life, and a warm human touch which the board and search committee experienced during the hiring process. I am anxious for the seminary community and friends to get to know Pam and to begin working with her as Central continues to thrive under her new leadership.”
The Central Seminary community welcomed Durso to the seminary with a socially distanced parade upon her arrival in Shawnee. On June 2 the school held a chapel service in which participants from the seminary community voiced Central’s strengths, shared hopes for the future, and offered words of blessings for her as she begins her leadership role as president.
President Durso shared, “I am thankful for the warm welcome I’ve received from the Central community in recent days and am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as the seminary’s next president. I’m inspired by Central’s long and rich history of training ministers and nurturing their callings and gifts and proud to lead a seminary that draws students together to study and learn across differences of race, nationality, gender, denominational commitment, and theological perspectives. I look forward with great anticipation to working with the Central community as we together live into the school’s mission of seeking God, shaping church, and serving humanity and all creation.”
Durso holds a PhD in church history from Baylor University. She is an author of several books on Baptist history and women in ministry, as well as numerous articles. She is ecumenical in her service to religious organizations and has been the recipient of awards for leadership, achievement. and distinguished service in these organizations.
Durso and her husband Keith have two young adult children, Michael and Alex.