May 31, 2012
Three Prominent Evangelical Leaders Announce Departures
Richard Mouw will retire from Fuller seminary; Shane Hipps will leave Mars Hill; and Darren Whitehead will leave Willow Creek.
Three evangelical leaders have recently announced departures from prominent ministries.
Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary for the past two decades, will retire at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. Mouw, who recently released a much-discussed book on evangelical engagement with Mormons, plans to take a year-long study leave and then continue teaching at the Pasadena seminary.
Shane Hipps, teaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church, will leave once the Grand Rapids church selects a replacement. Church elders, seeking to shore up Mars Hill in the wake of celebrity pastor Rob Bell's departure to Los Angeles after releasing the controversial Love Wins, wants the teaching pastor to preach 40 Sundays a year and report to the church's executive director; Hipps explained that he "knew instantly my internal shape did not fit the role they created" because it would "dramatically reduce my service to the broader church which is an integral part of my sense of call." Hipps has two new books in production and plans to start a leadership development company.
Darren Whitehead, teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, will leave the suburban Chicago megachurch by the end of the year because he feels called elsewhere. The announcement was made during the May 19th and 20th services.