Dr. Mark J. Olson
The John Leland Center for Theological Studies announces that President Mark Olson has accepted the position of Senior Pastor of Haymarket Baptist Church. Dr. Olson will begin part-time duties at Haymarket immediately but will continue full-time as Leland's president through the end of the calendar year. Following December 31, he will transition to full-time work at Haymarket.
Dr. Olson has served as Leland's President since July 2007. He is the second president in the school's history, and led the school to launch a new Master of Christian Leadership (M.C.L.) degree program and also to receive a 10-year reaccreditation from the Association of Theological Schools. We are grateful for the time he has shared with Leland and wish him the best as he begins this new chapter. Before coming to Leland in 2007, he served as pastor of five Baptist churches in Virginia and North Carolina over a period of 26 years. He believes passionately that seminaries exist to serve the local churches by preparing young men and women as Christian leaders to reach a new generation of people for Christ. Dr. Olson has also taught New Testament at Sweet Briar College and Virginia Tech and published three books, including the most recent, Romans: the Letter that Changed Christian History (Smyth and Helwys, 2003). Dr. Olson is a graduate of Wake Forest University (B.A.), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and the University of Virginia (Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christianity).
Mark resides in Falls Church, VA. He and his lovely wife will celebrate their 33rd anniversary this coming July. Linda serves as Connections Coordinator at Columbia Baptist Church. His daughter Kristin is practicing law in New York City and his daughter Jaclyn is pursuing her MSW at George Mason University. Jaclyn's husband, David, works in e-discovery in Washington, D.C.