From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Arnold B. Come, former SFTS president, dies

Date 4 Jun 2002 08:37:14 -0400

Note #7183 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Arnold B. Come, former SFTS president, dies

Theologian led seminary during turbulence and growth of the 60s and 70s

by Ann Murphy
and Jerry L. Van Marter

SAN ANSELMO, CA - The Rev. Arnold B. Come, 84, president of San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) from 1967 until his retirement in 1982, died May 26 from cancer.

Come joined the seminary faculty in 1952 as professor of systematic theology and was later appointed dean of the faculty. He was previously been head of the department of philosophy and religion at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. 
In 1965, when SFTS president Theodore A. Gill was granted a medical leave, Come was appointed acting president. In 1967, he was elected president, a post he held for fifteen years.

"Arnold Come was a leader, a friend, a gentleman, and a fine theologian.  His legacy to this seminary will always be a significant part of its history," said SFTS interim president, the Rev. James G. Emerson, Jr.

During Come's administration, a succession of cultural changes affected the Seminary: the Vietnam War and its repercussions; the rapidly growing number of women and second-career students; the rise of ecumenical theological education, including SFTS' leadership in the recently formed Graduate Theological Union, and the seminary's leadership in advanced pastoral studies at the doctoral level. 

Come, a native of Lansing, MI, graduated from Michigan State University and Princeton Theological Seminary, where he also earned his doctorate. After ordination, he served for three years as pastor of Robert Graham Memorial Church in Philadelphia.

A widely respected theologian, Dr. Come was the author of seven books, including Human Spirit and Hold Spirit (1959) and Agents of Reconciliation (1960).  He was an expert on the theology of Karl Barth and his last three books dealt with the thought of Soren Kierkegaard.  He served on the committee that wrote the Confession of 1967 for the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. 

Come was married to Elizabeth "Betty" McClure Come, who died in 1999.  He is survived by two sons, A. Bruce, Jr., and Lee McClure.  A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, San Anselmo, CA, on Tuesday, June 11, 2002, at 2:00 p.m.  
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