Celebrity to Nerd: New Leadership at The King’s College

Who will train a new generation how to bring America to Christ?

The leaders of The King’s College decided a nerd can do the job better than a celebrity.

After its unhappy breakup with headline-grabbing conservative icon Dinesh D’Souza, The King’s College will now be led by Southern Baptist theologian and administrator Gregory A. Thornbury.

Image Source: The King's College

Image Source: The King’s College

The bowtie-wearing, Carl-Henry-loving, religious-school administrating Thornbury seems to be the exact opposite of D’Souza, at least within the world of conservative Christian higher education.

Thornbury’s career has been squarely within the world of conservative evangelical higher education.  Before Manhattan and The King’s College, Thornbury served as the founding dean of Union University’s theology school.  His academic background as a philosopher with degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Messiah College puts him in a different league from the sometimes-fevered punditry of D’Souza.

Leaders of the evangelical establishment love him.  Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention called Thornbury “Jonathan Edwards meets Rolling Stone magazine.”

Thornbury himself seems to prefer the Jonathan Edwards part.  His recent book about theological Carl Henry hopes to make Henry “cool again.”  Unlike other leaders at The King’s College, who stress its Manhattan location as the ideal spot to influence mainstream American culture, Thornbury himself notes the location’s close ties to the strongest intellectual giants of American evangelicalism and conservatism, including Jonathan Edwards, Alexander Hamilton, and Carl Henry.

What’s next for The King’s College under its new president?  In the words of one enthusiastic King’s College alum, Thornbury will lend new life to The King’s College mission: “a counter cultural Christian college in New York City that leads with academic excellence and ‘convictional civility.’”


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  1. I “stumbled” across your blog via “The American Spectator” article on “Gregory Thornbury” and found your post interesting. I have read a few other posts on him from other blogs and all told after reading the differing views on his selection to The Kings College position I am in a “wait and see” hoolding pattern. Too often there is a big hulabalu and all the intellectuals write giddy articles stating why this is a good thing for the evangelical movement. Time will tell. My opinion (for what it is worth) on this is when folks like Mr. Thornbury are placed in the bowels (you could rightly infer my use of the term “bowls”) they start off like Secretariat, (the race horse) and end up like Mr. Ed (the horse of tv fame).

    At this time in our nations history the Christian leadership is non-existant. Sure there are a lot of names thrown around, but not one of them has the ability to catch the Christian masses attention and rally them for Christ. I congratulate Mr. Thornbury on his selection to lead The Kings College, I wish him well and hope he doesn’t become just another casualty on the road to saving the American Christian commmunity.

    George G. Finney wrote in the late 1800’s an article called; “The Decay of Conscience”, which must have been written for us today. He said that when society starts to lose it’s moral compass the pulpit is to blame. We at tis time don’t have a Christian leader that can effectively mmobilize and inspire the Christian masses to get out of the pews and be heard.

    I wish Mr. Thornbury well, I pray I am wrong……

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