The Board of Trustees of The BTS Center announces the retirement of our Executive Director, The Reverend Dr. Robert Grove-Markwood, effective June 2019.
Bob has an extensive history with Bangor Theological Seminary (BTS), the predecessor of The BTS Center, having received both M. Div. (1982) and D. Min. (2003) degrees from the Seminary. He also served as the director of admissions (January 1985-June 1987). For five years (2006-2011), he was a member of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, and chaired both the Advancement and the Information Technology Committees during his tenure on the board.
Bob served as Interim President of BTS from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 at which time he was named President of the school, until final commencement exercises in June 2013. In the two years he was President, he helped lead the Seminary through a complex process of transition and reinvention. Bob was then appointed as the Executive Director of The BTS Center to advance its development as a think tank and incubator for equipping leaders for innovative and effective 21st century ministries.
During Bob’s time as Executive Director, there have been a number of meaningful accomplishments:
- The gifting and transfer of the BTS library (over 42,000 volumes) to Colby College.
- The gifting of the BTS historical material to the Maine Historical Society for preservation and cataloging. The BTS archive is their largest collection.
- The creation and growth of Bearings, an award-winning blog (now an online magazine) with an extensive national readership.
- The creation of our Innovation Incubator grant-funding program to create, promote, and disseminate new practices, knowledge, and scholarship to map the contours of today’s religious landscape and mark creative paths for navigating it.
- A collaboration with the United Church of Christ (UCC) to create and provide ongoing support to the Regional Theological Education Consortium, whose mission is to encourage best practices for the work of the UCC schools of ministry (non-degree).
- A strategic partnership with ARC – the Society for Arts, Religion, and Culture – exploring creative approaches to theological education.
- The evolution of the design and content of the historic annual Convocation, especially its recent focus on part-time pastoral leadership.
The Board will more fully celebrate Bob’s leadership closer to his retirement date. For now, we are extremely grateful to him for his dedication to and passion for the work of The BTS Center.
Over the next few months, the Board of Trustees will conduct a search for the next Executive Director of The BTS Center. During this transition, we will identify the best candidate to lead the organization for the future. At the same time, Bob will continue in his role for the rest of this fiscal year, managing core programs and partnerships.
The Board has engaged Berry Dunn of Portland ME as search consultants for this process. We expect to publish a position description soon. Please visit our website at
for additional information on The BTS Center and for updates on our search.