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Wrong Paul Kooistra?

Paul D. Kooistra




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Background Information

Employment History


Erskine College


Covenant Theological Seminary


World Reformed Fellowship

Board Member

Live Elements Inc

Board Member

Association of Theological Schools

Board of Trustees

36th General Assembly


Moderator's Commission

Moderator of Synod, Erskine Trustee, Advisory Member

Going Global Network

Board Member




University of Minnesota


Columbia Seminary


Columbia Theological Seminary


Educational Psychology

University of Alabama

Web References(197 Total References)

Five Questions | Southwood Presbyterian Church

www.southwood.org [cached]

June 9, 2014 | Dr. Paul Kooistra
Who is Dr. Kooistra and why ask him? Dr. Paul Kooistra is the Coordinator of Mission To The World, the PCA organization that sends short and long term missionaries to over 80 countries worldwide. Dr. Kooistra holds a B.A. in Psychology, a M.Div and a PhD. in Educational Psycholgy.

Express Grace: Serving through community development | Southwood Presbyterian Church

www.southwood.org [cached]

Paul Kooistra, Director for Mission to the World, will be preaching at all three services on grace as our motivation for missions.

The World Reformed Fellowship - Article

www.wrfnet.org [cached]

Dr.Paul Kooistra is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America.
He served as a pastor and as a faculty member at Reformed Theological Seminary before becoming President of Covenant Theological Seminary. He now serves as the Coordinator for Mission to the World of the PCA, which, under Dr. Kooistra's leadership, has become the largest Presbyterian missions agency in history, with more than 600 career missionaries and several hundred short-term missionaries throughout the world. He served as the Moderator of the 2008 - 2009 General Assembly of the PCA.

The World Reformed Fellowship - The Board of Directors

www.wrfnet.org [cached]

Dr. Paul Kooistra - USA
Dr.Paul Kooistra is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He served as a pastor and as a faculty member at Reformed Theological Seminary before becoming President of Covenant Theological Seminary. He now serves as the Coordinator for Mission to the World of the PCA, which, under Dr. Kooistra's leadership, has become the largest Presbyterian missions agency in history, with more than 600 career missionaries and several hundred short-term missionaries throughout the world. He served as the Moderator of the 2008 - 2009 General Assembly of the PCA.

ARPTalk 101 - President Paul Kooistra: Course Correction | ARPTalk

www.arptalk.org [cached]

ARPTalk 101 - President Paul Kooistra: Course Correction
On Friday morning, July 19, 2014, at about 11:00 AM, the Erskine board voted unanimously NOT to confirm Dr. Paul Kooistra as Interim President but AS the sixteenth President of Erskine College and Seminary. Dr. Kooistra is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA), Columbia Theological Seminary (MDiv), and the University of Alabama (PhD). An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), Dr. Kooistra served in Florida where he was also principal of a Christian school, he held professorships at Belhaven College (Jackson, MS) and Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS), he was President of Covenant Seminary (PCA) (St. Louis, MO), and, most recently, he served as the Coordinator of Mission to the World (MTW) (PCA) in Atlanta, GA. In 2008, he was elected to serve as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCA. When Dr. Kooistra became President of Covenant Theological Seminary (CTS) in 1984, CTS was struggling with no endowment and barely 100 students. In 1994, when he left CTS to lead MTW, CTS had about 800 students and an endowment of about 8 million dollars. At MTW, he was met with debt, a small budget, and no endowment. During his stewardship at MTW, debt was eliminated, the budget was increased from less than 20 million dollars to over 50 million dollars, an endowment was created and grown to nearly 25 million dollars, a mortgage of 4 million dollars was satisfied in the first year-and-a-half, administrative costs were reduced from 15% to less than 10% while increasing the administrative staff, and the outreach of MTW expanded from 50 to 80 countries. Along the way, Dr. Kooistra authored five books, published a multitude of articles, developed an extensive national and international speaking ministry and served on multiple church committees and civic organizations. Both Paul and his wife Sandi experienced the grief of the death of their first spouses. Experiencing God's gift of second-love, they reside in Suwanee, GA, where their home is often filled with the laughter of the seven grandchildren in which they delight. Regarding Dr. Kooistra's appointment, former Moderator of Synod, Erskine trustee, advisory member of the Moderator's Commission on Erskine, and denominational chairman of the Synod's legal defense committee, Mr. Steve Maye says, I am very encouraged to hear of the appointment of Dr. Paul Kooistra as the President of Erskine College & Seminary. While I do not know him, there are many Christian leaders that I trust who speak very highly of his godly character, his intellectual prowess, his proven track record as a turnaround specialist, and his leadership ability. Having attended CTS in the 1990s because of Dr. Kooistra's reputation, Rev. Paul Patrick, Erskine Chaplain and RUF Campus Minister, responds, I was thrilled to hear of Dr. Kooistra's willingness to serve at Erskine. Covenant Seminary, where I attended (1995-1998), was "the seminary that Dr. Kooistra built. He was able to foster a robust, academic context in a culture of Gospel-nurturing ministry. The standards were high, the faculty and staff were excellent and the Christ-honoring mission was crystal clear to everyone. What is more, he was known for having led the institution from financial stress into a season of financial stability. I understand these to be the repeated legacies of Dr. Kooistra's leadership everywhere he has served. I am truly excited for Erskine and am hopeful for our future with the proven, faithful, decisive and mission-defining leadership of Dr. Kooistra in place. Let's all be praying for Paul and Sandi Kooistra as they lead Erskine at such a critical time. Paul Kooistra has a special gift in administration as it applies to agencies of the church. During his time at Covenant Seminary it grew not only in numbers of students and faculty, but also in reputation in the world of evangelical schools. On a personal note, I can attest to the fact that he can work with people who hold opinions quite different from his own and come to a consensus that solves problems and brings glory to Jesus. From my understanding of the current needs at Erskine College and Seminary, I believe he will be a great blessing to both the institution and the ARP Church. The Rev. Bill Marsh, former member of the Moderator's Commission, said the following: Paul Kooistra has a long and distinguished record as a man whom God uses to get things done in the power of the Spirit. At long last, we have a courageous board with strong and godly leadership. With this hire, they have signaled to Satan and his minions that business in Due West will no longer be "as usual. This board has hired a man with a decades-long pattern of leading the people of God in Kingdom advancement. My great hope is that the decades of bland pieties, missional confusion, and studied mediocrity are finally over. Dr. Kooistra is no Superman, though. He will need the prayers of faithful ARPs throughout the world. The survival and thriving of Erskine is a work that only the Lord can do and Providence has brought Dr. Kooistra to the tip of the spear. When I learned that Dr. Paul D. Kooistra had been appointed president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary I immediately gave thanks to God. Dr. Kooistra has had a distinguished career as a member of the faculty of Belhaven College and of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, has been the singularly effective president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and for many years has served as Coordinator of Mission to the World, the foreign missions agency of the Presbyterian Church in America. For more than seven years he and I were colleagues in Jackson. I know him to be a devout believer with a brilliant mind and a carefully developed Christian world and life view. He has had extraordinarily broad and comprehensive experience in administration and development. His remarkable gifts and background equip him in a wonderfully impressive way to give the leadership for which many of us have been praying. It is thrilling and a great encouragement that this excellent man will be guiding institutions very important to our church as they move into what we hope will be an ever brighter future. Moderator-elect Rev. Jamie Hunt expressed his delight in the appointment of Dr. Kooistra as President of Erskine in these words: Paul, a seasoned leader, has a strong record in leading an institution in particular need. Apparently, he has the ability to make strategic, if difficult, decisions and has the respect of character which enables him to be successful in spite of those difficult decisions. It is certainly with great thanks to God that the news of Dr. Kooistra's appointment as President of Erskine College and Seminary must be received. Dr. Kooistra is a man who has lead notable institutions in our sister denomination, the PCA, and who has solid academic qualifications. Dr. Paul Kooistra brings a remarkable range of successful academic and administrative experience-at Belhaven College, Reformed Theological Seminary, Covenant Seminary, and the PCA's Mission to the World-to Erskine College and Theological Seminary. I am confident that the search committee and Board of Trustees have identified God's man for the job, and I look forward with anticipation to his leadership at Erskine. In a telephone conversation with Dr. RJ Gore, former Vice President and Dean of Erskine Seminary, he says, I am stunned at the goodness of God. We have been blessed above and beyond anything I imagined possible. I met Paul Kooistra during the school year of 1975/76 while a student at RTS/Jackson. Dr. Kooistra was one of my teachers. Though younger than most of his students, he was highly respected by all. His reputation was he never slept. He is an indefatigable worker who functions on four or five hours of sleep, and, by the time most are getting out of bed, he has already put in a good half-day's work. I am thrilled he is at the helm at Erskine. Since leaving RTS/Jackson in 1976, I have followed Dr. Kooistra's career with keen interest. If anything, he knows how to reset the course for a Christian institution that has lost its way. After 175 years of drifting - and badly drifting the last 50 years, Erskine College & Seminary is in desperate need of a course correction, and, with a sound understanding of the Christian world and life view, Dr. Kooistra is more than capable of this course correction. The challenges before Dr. Kooistra at CTS and MTW were formidable; the challenges before him at Erskine are the equivalent of rock climbing without safety ropes. One, President Kooistra is inheriting a financial crisis from former Presidents Ruble and Norman. Three, how will President Kooistra rebuild both Erskine's focus on the Liberal Arts and her academic reputation of excellence? President Kooistra needs the freedom to reach out beyond the usual parameters and build his staff with fresh faces who have new ideas. He needs a team that knows how to win!! As one who is committed to Reformed and evangelical Christianity, President Kooistra will clash with the Alumni Association as it is presently constituted. Six, the secularized and anti-evangelical Christian culture at Erskine will present a significant challenge for President Kooistra. The level of difficulty in this challenge for Dr. Kooistra is RESTART the seminary. If there is a book entitled Who's Who in Evangelical Christianity, President Kooistra has a page, and he also knows most of the other notables. Rev. Henry Louis Smith, a former ARP pastor, says, "If any one can turn Erskine around, Paul Kooistra can." Dr. Paul Kooistra, the sixteenth president of Erskine, enjoys the affirmation of the Reformed and evangelical community. Many of us have received phone calls and e-mail from friends outside the ARP Church like this one: "Wow! Praise the Lord! How did you guys do it? The following Facebook comment by President Derek Halvorson of Covenant College is an example of the goodwill being shown to President Kooistra: "Very excited about this news out of Due West." Paul Kooistra is not a man to confabulate about course correction; he will do it! Paul Kooistra's appointment is a token of divine mercy. God has given the ARP Church a second chance. I wish to commend to you, Paul Kooistra, a man who has wonderfully served Christ's church in numerous capacities with great ability and deep humility. He seems to be able to identify with each of us at numerous levels because he has been willing to give of himself wherever the Lord has called him in our church. Paul Kooistra attended the committee meetings that led to the founding of the PCA before there was a PCA. He acted with the courage of our founding fathers to leave a denomination that was abandoning Scripture and trusted the Lord to be his portion in this fledgling churrch that said it would stand on the authority of God's Word. Since that time Paul Kooistra has done almost everything it seems we could ask him in order to serve our church. He has ministered in both large and small churches. He has been a youth pastor, a minister of Christian education, a preacher, a Christian School leader, a professor, a mission leader, an author, a friend to many - and a leader of remarkable courage and insight when we most needed it. After pastoring for years and teaching at Belhaven College and Reformed Seminary for more than a decade, Paul was called to serve as President of Covenant Seminary. The seminary was new to the PCA, it was polarized internally, mistrusted externally and dying in spirit as well as in enrollment. One of the earliest decisions that Paul has to make was whether to shut the doors. Instead, he united the school with a vision of how it could be a place to multiply the message of grace. He convinced us that holding the Reformed faith in a warm and winsome way (humbly acknowledging God's sovereignty and lovingly claiming his mercy) was not only possible but powerful. We watched in amazement as this new emphasis on the Gospel began a movement that led the Seminary of this church from being one of the smallest in the country to being one of the strongest and largest in North America. With so much blessing of the Lord, it would have been easy to rest in an academic setting, but again the church said that Paul Kooistra was needed. The national mission agency was floundering, deep in debt and struggling to support our missionaries. The committee asked Paul three times before he agreed to be the Coordinator of MTW, and then he went not because he wanted to, but because his church said it needed him. He began with a debt larger than any imagined, double what had been estimated - millions of dollars, but he also began with the need to reclaim the confidence of the missionaries of our church. Again, Paul began to talk of the power of grace, the goodness of the Gospel, and again the Lord blessed. We went from a small divided mission organization, to being the largest Presbyterian mission organization in history - not our history, all history. 600 career missionaries and annually 7-8000 short-term missionaries. There were only a few score when Paul began. And then Paul began to write about it, not his accomplishments, but the power of grace. He wrote for lay people, devotionals not for scholars but for our nightstands and dinner tables, so that our whole church could feast on the goodness of God: 31 Days of Grace, Following God, Supper's Ready - you've used them and so have I. But it is not just public ministry that has distinguished this man's life, but his home life as well. Making even more remarkable his accomplishments in the service of our church is the fact that over the last dozen years Paul has done these things while caring intimately, intensely for Jan, his wife, during her final struggles with cancer. Designing her diet, taking her to the doctor, sitting with her during chemo, taking her to med student classes where she would give her testimony to doctors in training who doubted if a good God could allow such things - or that people could have faith in him if they faced such things. Paul and Jan faced such things together and witnessed of their Lord together. All this Paul did out of love for Jan and love for the Lord. It was leadership by service, again. Leadership we still need. Paul has since remarried, Sandi, a dear Christian woman who, after the death of her first husband, also has given her life in service to the church. Since her marriage to Paul, she has become a voice of joy to many, traveling the world with him for the sake of his encouragement and the encouragement of the many mission families and churches he serves. Thank you for your encouraging words of commendation for President Kooistra. You mentioned that Dr. Kooistra would face "the challenge of identifying and recruiting mission-interested students. As I said, the challenge for President Kooistra is identifying and recruiting mission-interested students. The election of Dr. Kooistra exceeds anything that I could've imagined or for which I could've hoped. I have only met Dr. Kooistra once, when he preached at a PCA church that I was then attending some years ago and then only briefly, but I had heard many good things about him and think it an inspired choice. Although no longer an Associate Reformed Presbyterian I give thanks as a seminary alumnus for to God for His calling of Dr. Kooistra to Erskine and look forward to seeing how the College and Seminary will be blessed by his leadership in the years to come. 3) Indeed, I too am thankful for Dr. Kooistra, and, as you say, "May God bless Erskine College and Seminary! Yes, may President Kooistra be able to lead Erskine to the place of renewal so that God can bless. When I read in Faith Online about Dr. Kooistra's appointment to become president of Erskine College and Seminary, I rejoiced and thanked the Lord! God has so gifted Paul Kooistra with the gifts of leadership, pastoral ministry, preaching the truth, honesty/integrity that Erskine so desperately needs. For several years it has been my unspoken (and spoken to a few) belief that the BOT should go after Dr. Kooistra. I am thrilled that God has been good to "us" and brought this man for this time in the life of our staff, students, and faculty. I agree with one of the comments above, Dr. Kooistra will succeed on the prayers of the people uttered to the powerful God of the universe. We, those who pray, should get it right this time and pray asking God for His mercy and grace poured out liberally upon this institution.

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