BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. R. Robert Cueni, retired President of Lexington Theological Seminary, is Bethany College’s second Renner Visiting Scholar of the 2008-09 academic year. An ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the holder of an honorary degree from Bethany, Dr. Cueni will also serve as interim pastor for Bethany Memorial Church and chaplain of the College.
“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Cueni back to the Bethany campus as part of our Renner Visiting Scholar Program,” said Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College. “Our students and the entire Bethany community will benefit greatly from his extensive knowledge and experience.”
Dr. Cueni announced his retirement this summer following a six-year stint as President of the Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS) in Lexington, Ky. Near the end of his tenure as president, Dr. Cueni worked closely with President Miller to lay the groundwork for an educational partnership between Bethany and LTS. Bethany is the oldest college affiliated with the Christian Church while LTS is the oldest Christian Church seminary. Beginning this year, the two institutions have partnered to offer courses for lay leaders in the Christian Church.
A noted author and leader in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Dr. Cueni is the author of nine books on congregational ministry, including Dinosaur Heart Transplants: Keys to Renewing a Mainline Church in 2000 and Questions of Faith for Inquiring Believers in 2002. In addition, he has been a contributing writer for numerous other books and has published more than 100 magazine articles and sermons.
Before assuming the LTS presidency in 2002, Dr. Cueni had spent the previous decade as senior pastor of Country Club Christian Church, a 3,000-member congregation in Kansas City, Mo. Over the course of his ministry, Dr. Cueni has served 34 years as pastor of local congregations in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri in addition to two years as an area minister in Texas.
His academic background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Kent State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Dr. Cueni also completed additional studies at Bethany College, Michigan State University and Western Theological Seminary and was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Bethany College in 2001.
Dr. Cueni will be in residence at Bethany through Christmas at the newly-restored and renovated Hibernia. The historic house, located on Main Street just two blocks from campus, now serves the College as the official Renner Visiting Scholars Residence. Dr. Cueni succeeds Dr. Peter Morgan, past President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society and current Historian in Residence at the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., who was Bethany’s first Renner Visiting Scholar of the 2008-09 academic year.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.