By Bob Allen
Daniel Aleshire, a former faculty member at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has announced plans to retire as executive director of the Association of Theological Schools no later than June 2017.
Aleshire, 68, was hired in 1990 as associate director for accreditation for the organization of seminaries and other graduate schools of theology based in Pittsburgh, Pa.
A graduate of Belmont College, Southern Seminary and George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tenn., he has served churches in New Jersey and Kentucky as pastor and associate pastor, including five years as associate pastor of Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., between 1981 and 1985.
Forces of the day prompting the departure of many Southern Baptist seminary professors in the 1980s and 1990s followed Aleshire to his new position.
In 1992 the ATS put Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., on probation for two years, citing governance issues following the forced resignation of President Randall Lolley and three top administrators in 1987.
In 1996 Aleshire wrote the letter reaffirming the accreditation of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, ending two years of probation imposed following the March 1994 firing of then-President Russell Dilday by the seminary board of trustees.
Aleshire was promoted to associate executive director in 1996 and elected executive director in December 1997. During his tenure he oversaw two major revisions to the accrediting standards, one in 1992-1996 and the most recent one in 2008-2012.
Aleshire said his decision to retire “comes at both the right time in my life and a time of considerable strength and capacity in the life of ATS.”
The association is on “sound financial footing,” he said, and celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018, a “propitious time” for new leadership to usher in the agency’s second century.