Rev. Dr. Frank Yamada's Farewell Letter


My heart is full of gratitude as I write what will be my final letter as president to you, the McCormick community.

I am grateful for the leadership our board, faculty, and staff have demonstrated over the past six years, making bold and wise decisions to strengthen McCormick’s future. I am thankful to have worked with an effective group of people who embody our mission through teaching and service. I rejoice over students who courageously lead the church and society into a future they have the passion and tools to create.

We have committed ourselves to excellence in theological education, and our efforts have been affirmed as both the Association of Theological Schools and the Higher Learning Commission have re-accredited McCormick for ten years. In both reviews, the ATS and HLC teams recognized how every member of the McCormick community was committed to and was able to articulate clearly our vision and mission.

In addition to these affirmations of our strength and mission, we can celebrate the fact that since 2008, we have:

  • Decreased the seminary’s spending by approximately $1M and have maintained this discipline of cost reduction since 2009
  • Reduced our exposure to millions of dollars in capital costs by selling residential properties and paying off $9 million of debt
  • Launched and developed McCormick’s commitment to service-oriented young adults through the Center for Faith and Service
  • Reduced tuition by 35 percent over the past five years
  • Rebuilt relationships with donors and church partners and increased annual giving through award dinners honoring John Buchanan, Bill Enright, and Margaret Hart
  • Collaborated with denominational leaders to develop innovative cohort programs like the Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. Scholars D.Min. cohort, the Korean American D.Min. cohort, and the partnership with the Apostolic Assembly to train Latino/a leaders
  • Increased McCormick’s student population by 40 percent, making us among the top PCUSA seminaries in terms of incoming students
  • Engaged local communities through our Peacemaking in the City annual theme programs
  • Recruited a strong and diverse faculty for McCormick’s future that reflects our already diverse student body


McCormick’s position is strong, and the board’s appointment of David Crawford as interim president will allow the seminary to continue to move us forward with God’s vision for theological education and the church of the future.

My thanks to each of you who have demonstrated your love for McCormick through your time, commitment, and generosity. Michelle and I have been enriched by your friendship. We take with us a deep sense of your love and support.  

Peace and grace,

Frank M. Yamada