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Biography of Dr. Brenneman

Dr James BrennemanEducator, biblical theologian and church leader Dr. James Brenneman is the 16th president to serve Goshen College in its 112-year history in Elkhart County.

Brenneman has chosen to align his vocation with the work of serving the church. The founding lead pastor of Pasadena (Calif.) Mennonite Church, Brenneman has served since 1992 on the faculty at Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (Calif.) in Old Testament scholarship and as an adjunct faculty member at Claremont School of Theology and, since 1995, as an adjunct professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, Calif.).

A 1977 Goshen College graduate, Brenneman pursued an interdisciplinary degree, combining Bible, biology and natural science. He went on to attend Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary and completed a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1982. At Claremont Graduate University, he earned a master of arts degree in religious studies in 1991 and a doctorate, with a focus in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament studies, in 1994.
Brenneman is the author of “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks: Lessons from the Book of Deuteronomy” published by Herald Press in 2004 and “Canons in Conflict: Negotiating Texts in True and False Prophesy” published by Oxford University Press in 1997, and has written numerous book chapters and articles on theological and church-related themes. An experienced public speaker, he has delivered dozens of lectures and presentations on a variety of topics related to his scholarly interests and pastorate and other church leadership experience.
With a seed planted for transformational cross-cultural study while at Goshen, Brenneman has spent time in international scholarship related to his theological studies. He was awarded a grant from the Eli Lilly Foundation for sabbatical study in Jerusalem and London and in 1999 he took part in a Jerusalem Seminar in Israel and the West Bank.

Ordained in 1986, Brenneman is a credentialed minister of Mennonite Church USA. He joined the Pastoral Leadership Commission of the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference in 1990 and served on the Council on Faith, Life and Strategy of the Mennonite Church. From 1991 to 2002, he was president of the Center for Anabaptist Leadership and School of Urban Ministry in Los Angeles, Calif., and again served in that role until recently.

Both Jim and his wife, Dr. Terri J. Plank Brenneman, who met while attending Goshen College and have one son, Quinn, have been active in leadership at Pasadena Mennonite since helping found the church. Terri Plank Brenneman, a clinical psychologist who has served as an adjunct professor in pastoral care and theological counseling at both Fuller Theological Seminary and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, has served as congregational worship leader and music team member; she is a former member of the Mennonite Church General Board.

Click here to read Dr. Brenneman's Curriculum Vitae.

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