Dr. Felix Theonugraha Named as 12th President of WTS

Jan 26, 2019


About Western Theological Seminary

Located in Holland, Michigan, WTS offers 16 graduate programs online, in residence, in English, and Spanish for women and men preparing for faithful Christian ministry. WTS was founded in 1866 when seven of the eight members of Hope College’s inaugural graduating class wished to become ministers and petitioned their denomination to allow them to complete their education in Holland. Since that time, WTS has been preparing women and men for a lifetime of ministry all around the world in many ministry and denominational contexts.

By Western Theological Seminary

Welcoming Dr. Felix Theonugraha as 12th President of Western Theological Seminary

Western Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Felix Theonugraha as its next president. Dr. Theonugraha is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America and a talented administrator who comes to the seminary from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL, where he currently serves as Vice President for Student Life and University Services.

Carol Van Andel and Kris DePree, co-chairs of the Presidential Search Committee, state, “On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee and the Board of Trustees of Western Theological Seminary, we welcome Felix with open arms as our next president. His faithful commitment to the Reformed Church in America and his penchant for leading with a servant’s heart make him uniquely qualified to extend our beloved school’s rich legacy and propel us all into a new and dynamic era.”

During his tenure at Trinity, Dr. Theonugraha led the enrollment team, athletics department, alumni office, and student life division, and also served on the President’s University Leadership Team and the Gender Equity Task Force. He also served as co-chair of the Racial Reconciliation Implementation Team and taught courses in the Master of Arts in Leadership program. Dr. Theonugraha led the graduate student affairs division for a time, and also worked alongside international students and helped to introduce intercultural elements to Trinity’s chapel services.

“Western Theological Seminary has an incredible history,” Dr. Theonugraha says. “The deep commitment to ministry and passion for the Lord that characterized the students who in 1866 requested to continue their theological studies in Holland are still evident at WTS today. My prayer is that I can continue to extend and deepen that history, so that WTS can continue to be a place that prepares women and men who are called by God to lead the church in mission, and do so in a way that is mindful and responsive to our time and place in God’s story—such as the increasing ethnic diversity in our country and the growth of the church in the Global South and East.”

He was born in Indonesia, and later spent time in Taiwan before arriving in Central California around the age of twelve. Dr. Theonugraha is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (B.A.) and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.Div., Ph.D.). He is a contributor to The Wordview Study Bible (Holman)

and to Faith, Learning, and Living in Christian Higher Education: Teaching and Learning in the Evangelical Tradition (Crossway). He loves to preach, and he and his wife Esther are active in their church, where they have co-taught adult education classes and K-5 children’s ministry.

David S. Dockery, President of Trinity International University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School says, “I join with others from across the Trinity community to offer our heartiest congratulations to Western Theological Seminary on the outstanding choice that has been made for the institution’s next president. Felix Theonugraha is prepared and ready to provide wise and capable leadership for the Western community in the days ahead. His commitment to the gospel, his many good leadership gifts, his experience in the work of theological education at Trinity, and his long term relationship with the RCA will serve him well as he assumes this new responsibility. We are happy for Felix and Esther Theonugraha and hopeful for Western Theological Seminary in the days to come.”

Dr. Theonugraha will assume his duties as president of the seminary on July 1, 2019. He is following the 11-year tenure of Dr. Timothy Brown, who is retiring as president but will return to the classroom as Henry Bast Professor of Preaching.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Theonugraha!