New President Search

Presidential Search Announcement (Updated 5/4/2017)

We are delighted to announce that our search for a new president has been successful! More details available here.


Scion Executive Search ( has been retained to lead the search for a full-time President for the American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW), a well-known theological institution located in Berkeley, CA. This is an outstanding opportunity for a seasoned leader experienced in thoughtful relationship building and impactful fundraising.

This full-time role is located on-site in Berkeley, CA.


ABSW is a multi-racial Christian seminary with historic ties to the American Baptist Churches USA and maintains a vibrant partnership with The Graduate Theological Union. These relationships create a diverse student body and a rich ecumenical experience with international reach. The Seminary is located in Berkeley, CA within walking distance of the main campus of the University of California.

ABSW strives to prepare God’s people for Christ-centered transformational leadership in both church and community and has a reputation for preparing gifted academic, church, and community leaders who excel in their professional fields, and who are able to fulfill their unique calling while sustaining a keen social awareness and passion for justice.


The new president will serve as the Seminary’s Chief Executive Officer and will report directly to the Board of Trustees. The successful candidate will also be able to build on the Seminary’s storied past (it was formed in 1968 by the merger of the Berkeley Baptist Divinity School and the California Baptist Theological Seminary) and cast a vision for its ongoing role in the rapidly changing cultures of church, community, and education. The president will need to successfully leverage the opportunities and creatively overcome the challenges presented by our changing economy and boldly lead a diverse faculty, staff, and academic community.


The core traits and competencies that have been identified as essential to the success of the next President of ABSW include:

  • A keen understanding and appreciation for American Baptist values and distinctives
  • Significant experience in parish and/or mission leadership
  • An appreciation for the unique challenges of seminary leadership
  • A demonstrated success in institutional fundraising
  • Thorough commitment to ABSW’s mission


  • A minimum of a Master’s degree in an applicable field or completed graduate coursework at a seminary and 10 years of successful leadership experience in a church, school, or nonprofit organization
  • Must have proven leadership, fundraising, administration and organizational management experience
  • Highly action-oriented, proactive and entrepreneurial leader with experience in building, managing and growing an organization and its staff
  • Successful public relations experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Proven excellence in fundraising and donor cultivation
  • Past success working with a board of directors and the ability to cultivate board member relationships
  • Strong and effective oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Must uphold ABSW’s mission and values of inclusivity, social justice, and religious liberty


This exciting position offers the opportunity to lead an expanding academic institution with an enthusiastic and experienced team of faculty and staff and offers a competitive starting base salary commensurate with experience along with a robust benefits package.


For immediate consideration please send your resume, letter of interest, and salary requirements to Braden Busch, Managing Partner, at, using the subject title: ‘President-ABSW.’ All questions regarding this search should be directed to Scion Executive Search.

It is the desire of the Board of Trustees that the 7th President of the Seminary begin employment prior to the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.


Scion Executive Search is a retained executive search firm connecting executive nonprofit leadership to nonprofit organizations and foundations across the country. Cultivated in the nonprofit sector, we provide expert search strategies and leadership for your organization. Our executive candidates are true agents for change, and we are experts at matching their talents, motivations, and passions to your organization’s mission. Scion Executive Search has led hundreds of successful executive searches. Information about our firm and successes can be found online at

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Disclaimer – The statements contained herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by the employees in these positions. The statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in each position. Other responsibilities, duties, and skills may be assigned and management retains the right to add or change the responsibilities, duties, and skills at any time.

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