Chimes Summer 2021 - San Francisco Theological Seminary at University of Redlands

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News for Alumni & Friends of San Francisco Theological Seminary at the University of Redlands



Forming eR forming Transforming Lives


through spirit and service

from the office of the dean Dear SFTS Community, Tempus fugit. Time flies. It is a common greeting for a letter, and seems particularly apt for this one given the time-blurring pandemic we’ve been living through. Tempus fugit. It is also the way my fifthgrade teacher said we should start our correspondence after she explained that it was rude (or at least unseemly) to start a letter with the pronoun “I.” For 57 years, I have followed her instructions and avoided starting not only letters but charges, lectures, and sermons that way. “I am delighted to be here.” Verboten. “I have been thinking of you.” Not done. “I was happy to receive your letter.” Clearly not acceptable. Teachers, as we know, can leave quite a mark on us. Mrs. Lopez changed my relationship to the first-person singular pronoun forever. As the song from the popular musical Wicked says, “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” Perhaps the mark we are most anxious to leave on our students’ lives these days is their ability to manage change. To become the kind of pastors, preachers, community organizers, chaplains, teachers, and leaders who know how to read the tea leaves and how to respond. “Reformed and always reforming” is a slogan we have always taken seriously at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS). But given what we have learned this year about how sweeping change can be, we have a renewed appreciation for its wisdom. Those who would minister to the needs of this swirling planet must be poised— and equipped—to respond. A few examples of how the SFTS faculty is reforming the curriculum to respond to the needs of the day: • The SFTS/Graduate School of Theology (GST) Enrollment Team is seeing an increased interest in online degrees. Approximately half of last year’s class and this fall’s admits are interested in a fully online degree program. This spring, the faculty completed its application to offer the M.Div. program fully online. The proposal is currently under in-house review. Various curriculum committees and, ultimately, the Faculty Senate will need to approve the plan. It is anticipated that once it clears that hurdle, it will be submitted to our accreditor, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, for what we hope will be a quick approval.

• When it comes to grants available to theological schools, the Lilly Endowment is in a league of its own. We are pleased, then, to announce that the GST has received a $50,000 planning grant to develop a program potentially worth $6 million in further grants. Visiting Professor of Worship Marcia McFee is collaborating with School of Business Professor Christina Walker to develop curricula and programming for “spiritual entrepreneurs”—people who oversee ministries and other nonprofits and desire further training in business, finance, and management. • Professor Wendy Farley has worked diligently this semester with the University of Redlands College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Religious Studies faculty to build a pathway between the two schools that will enable CAS undergraduates to access a “4 + 1” program, earning their Master of Arts in Theological Studies in only one year after their Bachelor of Arts. Expected next year is a “4 + 2” program for a B.A. and Master of Divinity. Opportunities abound to reform and transform the training SFTS offers. Rev. Dr. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina and Rev. Paul Gaffney led a series of “listening events” this year that brought all faculty and several students together in a virtual room. It was an upset-the-applecart format: The students talked, and the faculty listened and learned. We were struck with the dedication and passion of the students as they recounted their hopes for this community. Issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion were front and center in the thinking of both groups as ideas for new governance structures and programs were raised and explored. Reforming and transforming often include change. The SFTS community was saddened this spring when Assistant Professor Yolanda Norton announced her departure to pursue other creative opportunities. A tireless advocate for justice, Professor Norton will be missed. But she leaves her mark on a cohort of students who have been changed for the better … and for good. At SFTS, time is flying, programs are changing, people are growing. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. In the end, we trust it all to the Creator who guides us with what the hymn writer called the “Unchanging Hand.” We hold fast to that and to our call to ministries of justice, peace, and healing—even as we throw ourselves headlong into the fray. In service of the world God so loves,

Rev. Dr. Jana Childers Former Dean, Graduate School of Theology

See page 2 for update on the leadership transition in the Dean’s Office.

san-francisco-theological-seminary SanFranSeminary

Chimes is published by the University of Redlands, Graduate School of Theology, home of San Francisco Theological Seminary. Copyright 2021 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Chimes, University of Redlands, PO Box 3080, Redlands, CA 92373-0999 Please send comments and address changes to Please also let us know if you are receiving multiple copies or would like to opt out of your subscription.

President, University of Redlands Krista L. Newkirk Provost and Marin Campus Executive Director Kathy Ogren Assistant Provost, Graduate School of Theology and Interim Dean, San Francisco Theological Seminary Christopher Ocker, Ph.D.



Former Dean, Graduate School of Theology Rev. Dr. Jana Childers Vice President for Advancement Tamara Michel Josserand


Director of Development and Chimes Managing Editor Molly Widdicombe Director of Advancement Communications and Donor Relations Laura Gallardo ’03, ’22


Editorial Assistant Chandra Ramirez

SFTS 150 Years 4

Restoring hope during a pandemic 10

Witness to women 12

2021 Commencement 13

One couple’s love story 20


Cover illustration Juan Garcia Contributors Polly Coote, Ph.D. Rev. Dr. Jana Childers Laura Gallardo ’03, ’22 Laurie McLaughlin Rev. Dr. Bear Ride ’78 (M.Div.), ’91 (D.Min.) Rev. Mary Lynn Tobin ’85 (M.Div.) Molly Widdicombe

Graphic Designer Dennis Bolt



Campus News 3 Faculty 18 Board of Directors 21 Alumni 22 In Memoriam 25


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Photo by Cris Gebhardt

Photo by Coco McKown ’04, ’10

Kathy Ogren, provost and executive director, Marin Campus

School of Business professor Christina Walker addresses a group of SFTS and U of R alumni during Alumni Weekend.

GST and Marin campus updates By Kathy Ogren, provost and executive director, Marin Campus


t is with great optimism that I write to share with you some updates about San Francisco Theology Seminary (SFTS) and the Graduate School of Theology (GST). We have begun to emerge from our hunkered down COVID-19 lives. This opening up to the new light of longer days has enabled us gradually to reopen the campus for our classes, meetings, and gatherings, as well as safely managed conferences and events. We are delighted that 2021 Commencement took place outdoors on Geneva Terrace.

Enrollments and program development By the fall semester, we expect campuses to be fully open. At SFTS, many classes will be in person, and we will also offer online degree and certificate programs. Master’s enrollment for fall 2021 should see an incremental increase from fall 2020, with 15 master’s students who have confirmed their intent to join us. Like other schools at Redlands, students continue to seek distance learning options for their degrees; we expect 50 percent of the master’s students to do so. The launch of the Seminary’s master’s degrees online beginning fall 2020 has been key to increased master’s enrollment. Few theological schools have access to nontraditional seminary education options that include public or poverty policy, business communications, health education and welfare, or social services— all areas that concern churches and

religious groups. The Schools of Business, Education, and Continuing Studies plan to more fully share those opportunities with SFTS post-COVID. New certificates in spiritual entrepreneurship and nonprofit management through collaborations with the GST, the School of Business, and the School of Continuing Studies should be available to all our students and alumni by fall 2021. Enrollment for the Seminary’s spiritual direction program hit an all-time high in January 2021 since the program launched its certificate program in January 2018, with 19 new students (75 percent certificate students and 25 percent diploma students). And the Shaw Institute is also slated to increase enrollment in the Certificate in Trauma and Spiritual Care program.

Campus activation Two years out from our 2019 merger, we continue to balance and integrate the primary needs of our academic programs and residential students with community outreach, including providing housing, events, and conference capacity. The revenue earned through the use of our physical assets is crucially important to the long-term financial health of SFTS because it diversifies income for the GST and the University. It is also a way that we share our community with others, much as we share our open campus with all those who walk through our grounds to enjoy its serene beauty.

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Leadership transition In March, I shared that Rev. Dr. Jana Childers was stepping down from her administrative role as dean of SFTS and GST and returning to the faculty on July 1. We will miss Jana’s insightful and steady contributions to academic affairs leadership, but we know that she is looking forward to returning to full-time classroom teaching and new professional opportunities. I am pleased to announce that Professor of Church History Christopher Ocker follows Jana in a new and expanded role as the assistant provost for the GST, beginning in our new academic year. Chris has primary responsibility for academic affairs and student services; academic budgets and financial planning; GST strategic planning; enrollment, recruitment, and marketing; accelerated pathways and partnerships with the College of Arts and Sciences and Schools at Redlands; and leadership in alumni and community relations. Chris will also serve as the interim dean of SFTS for 2021-2022, aiding the Seminary in developing a new description for the dean position and chairing a search to fill it. A distinguished member of the SFTS faculty since 1991 and a member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union, Chris brings extensive academic and administrative experience into this role. Additional information on his appointment will be forthcoming. 9

U of R names new president


Photo by Coco McKown ‘04, ‘10

he University of Redlands welcomed Krista L. Newkirk, J.D. as its 12th president on July 19. Newkirk, who is the first female president of the U of R, was most recently president of Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. “I am excited to join the University of Redlands,” says Newkirk, who led Converse College for the last five years and previously worked at University of North Carolina, Charlotte. “This is an especially important time in the history of the University. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with the dedicated and talented faculty, staff, trustees, students, and alumni, as well as reaching out to community members and businesses. As we continue to reassess what the higher education landscape will look like following the pandemic, this is our opportunity to create together a bright future.” Newkirk has hit the ground running upon arrival at the University. In addition to getting to know members of the Redlands community, her first priorities include launching a new strategic planning process

Krista L. Newkirk is the 12th president of the University of Redlands.

to follow the University’s successful North Star 2020 strategic plan. “We had many qualified candidates from across the country come forward with interest in this position,” says U of R Chairman of the Board Leland C. Launer Jr. “Throughout the process, we remained

dedicated to identifying the best individual to lead our University into the future. As a candidate, Krista stood out due to her range of experience in colleges and universities, large and small; successes as the head of an institution of higher education; and passion for making connections within our community.” U of R Presidential Search Committee Chair and First Vice Chair of the Board Larry Burgess adds, “We are delighted to welcome Krista to Redlands and excited for the potential she brings to the next chapter of the University’s history. Based on her outstanding track record of consensus-building, problem-solving, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, she was the top candidate of our 21-person search committee and received a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees.” Newkirk succeeds Ralph W. Kuncl, who retired from his current role on June 30 after nine years at the helm of the U of R. 9 Learn more about Newkirk at office-of-the-president/.

host your retreat, conference, or wedding at your alma mater! 10% alumni discount when booking an event Our 11 unique venues at our exceptionally beautiful 14-acre campus accommodates groups from 10 to 200. Lodging is also available. → Geneva Terrace offers an amazing backdrop with breathtaking views of Mount Tamalpais and our iconic castles. → Alexander Hall is a versatile venue with 15-foot ceilings, a beautiful oversized fireplace, and a panoramic view through a wall of windows. → Shaw Guest House has a large eat-in kitchen leading to the living and dining rooms, creating the perfect space to gather.

University of Redlands, Marin Campus—Home of San Francisco Theological Seminary 105 Seminary Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960 → Located 20 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge 415-451-2843 → → visit Summer 2021 | 3


Forming, reforming, and transforming lives By Laurie McLaughlin

Contemporary voices— those who have called SFTS home across the decades— reflect on their personal histories as the Seminary celebrates 150 years

Through Spirit & Service A

1899 alumnus Rev. James Little Courtesy of Jim Little

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Northern Ireland immigrant to the U.S., Rev. James Little, who graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) in 1899, faced challenges and achieved triumphs much like those encountered by SFTS students in more recent decades. He lost loved ones, traveled a great distance to study in California, and searched for a church to call home. He also saw successes: He was a wellliked educator, and historical correspondence reflects the lives he touched with his dedication to both ministerial duties and education. Often living with meager funds, he was sustained by his faith and an unending quest for knowledge. While the decades have seen so much change since the founding of the Seminary in 1871, ongoing forming, reforming, and transforming within the institution is a constant. Each era brings with it the unique currents of “modern times” influenced most significantly by the students and their quest for theological education. “I entered seminary restless and unconvinced that parish ministry was where I was headed,” says Rev. Donald L. Smith ’77 (M.Div.), whose career has been devoted to refugee and immigration ministry. “What I knew for sure was that a seminary education was an energizing, lifegiving option for me that I would regret for life if I passed up the chance of pursuing it. “I remain convinced that God was at work in me at SFTS, preparing me for a journey uniquely my own.”

Montgomery Hall (left) and Scott Hall, 1896

Courtesy of SFTS Archives

Forming a seminary on a hill One hundred and fifty years ago, the founders of SFTS petitioned the then Synod of the Pacific to produce a plan for “the organization of a Theological Seminary such as the present wants and future interests of this coast demand.” Soon thereafter, a small number of students, potential leaders for the church in the Western U.S., began meeting with three professors in space offered by San Francisco churches. For the move to its own space in Marin County some 20 years later, Seminary Trustee Arthur W. Foster offered the San Anselmo hilltop site. Among other benefactions, pioneer financier and philanthropist Alexander Montgomery underwrote the erection of a library and classroom building (Scott Hall) and a dormitory for students (Montgomery Hall). As the authors of San Francisco Theological Seminary: The Shaping of a Western School of the Church, 1871-19981 wrote, “Ministers had to come from the East at great expense. More often than elsewhere in the church, they turned out to be unsuited to the congregations. It was better for churches to draw on a supply of ministers in the West where they could get to know them in advance. … The West, particularly California, was different, and for congregations in the West, it was best to have ministers raised in the West—‘a race of ministers

brought up and trained here on the field.’ Such men would be less likely to become discouraged with the strangeness of the West.” As it turns out, students came to SFTS from around the world. Yes, the Seminary’s population drew heavily from the West Coast, particularly from the Bay Area, but its reputation grew, and its outreach expanded.

Answering the demands of the day From the start, there were intermittent struggles, including differences within the Presbyterian Church. There were hard times—earthquake damage closed buildings, and the Depression and Great Recession caused drastic budget reductions. There were boom times—aggressive fundraising campaigns led to enhanced financial solvency in the 1940s; increased enrollment caused unprecedented expansion in the 1950s with new buildings and expanded programs; and burgeoning Master of Divinity interest was so great in the 1980s, there was talk of capping enrollment. In 1911, women were admitted to SFTS, and the era’s feminism encouraged women to consider ministry. However, as feminism ebbed in the 1920s and the ordination of women to ministry failed to be adopted in the denomination, the number of female Bachelor

1. These details and other historical facts within this story are culled from San Francisco Theological Seminary: The Shaping of a Western School of the Church, 1871-1998, by Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Robert B. Coote and the late Professor Emeritus of Continuing Education John S. Hadsell ’54 (B.D.).

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Courtesy of SFTS Archives

A photo from spring 1943 shows Edward Arthur Wicher, Gurdon Corning Oxtoby, John Aaron Ungersma, J. Hudson Ballard, Lynn T. White, John Milton Kelly, Jesse H. Baird, Clifford M. Drury, and Margaret Tappan, the first woman faculty member at SFTS.

Finding a home Having served as an SFTS assistant professor of ministry in addition to being an alumnus, Rev. Calvin Chinn ’66 (M.Div.) was immersed in campus life. “My family loved living in what is today the Shaw House, which became known as the Chinn House during our 12 years in residence,” says Chinn, who is a retired member of the Presbytery of San Francisco and former pastor of churches in California and Oregon. “When we moved in, the house was filled with valuable antiques and was kept very dark with heavy curtains. We had it repainted in bright colors, let in as

Courtesy of Rev. Calvin Chinn ’66 (M.Div.)

of Divinity candidates declined at SFTS, and women turned to courses that became careers, such as missionaries or Christian educators. More than 20 years later, the first woman faculty member, Margaret Tappan, was hired and helped launch the Master of Arts degree in Christian education in 1937. A half century later, the renewed 1970s feminist movement would cause the female student population to grow by 45 percent in the early 1980s. “I had never met an ordained Presbyterian clergywoman, and no one had mentioned to me that ordination to the ministry became open to women [in the Presbyterian Church] in 1956,” says former Southern California Dean of Students Rev. Dr. Bear Ride ’78 (M.Div.), ’91 (D.Min.). “So I was delighted to discover my first day at SFTS that nearly half of the entering class were women, and that many had the ambition to become ordained ministers. That immediately became my goal as well.” The political, social, and economic upheavals of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s roiled the campus just as it did the rest of the world. Students and faculty debated and organized actions on civil rights, resistance to the war in Vietnam, sanctuary for Central American refugees, nuclear disarmament, and more. “I arrived a year after the Summer of Love. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Cesar Chavez was leading boycotts. And, the pacifist Berrigan Brothers spoke on campus,” says Thomas Rickert ’69 (Th.M.), founder and executive director of Access Exchange International. “The campus was filled with students, and many were there to avoid the draft, but a great many of those were strongly, avidly involved in the social issues of the day. The faculty was supportive, and they were also providing an intellectual basis for these efforts. “A very fervent, almost revolutionary feeling was in the air.” Also during the 1970s, organizations supporting gays and lesbians and their families were well-supported at SFTS in response to the UPC (USA) resolution to deny ordination to this community. While SFTS enjoyed a reputation for leading the charge for equality, the present-day Presbyterian Church (USA) did not allow openly gay people in same-sex relationships to be ordained until 2011. “I had one preaching professor who opened our class letting us know that he was not in support of the Presbyterian Church affirming the ordination and full inclusion of LGBT people.

Everyone in class looked at me, so I knew I was ordained to respond,” says Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder ’97 (D.Min.), founder and senior pastor of City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland and the presiding bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM), a national coalition of congregations and faithand justice-based organizations throughout the U.S., Africa, Asia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. “I asked, ‘What does that have to do with what you are here to teach us?’ He replied that he wanted to let us know where he stood. “I realized then I had to come up with a clear, cogent theology of radical inclusivity, extravagant grace, and relentless hospitality, which in some ways is very anti-church.” This theology took its initial form in the book she authored, Where the Edge Gathers: Building a Community of Radical Inclusion, and continually evolves through the TFAM movement. The Seminary has since cultivated a reputation as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly environments among the PCUSA seminaries, says Smith, who worked with the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, PCUSA, and is now retired. “This is among the strongest selling points for SFTS today.” While perhaps now very different than how the founders understood it, “SFTS is distinctly ‘West Coast,’” says Ride. “The atmosphere is fairly casual and extraordinarily kind and friendly, especially for a competitive graduate school. Justice issues have always mattered to SFTS faculty and students.”

At Commencement 1981 are (from left) Jean Richardson ’81 (M.Div.), ’92 (D.Min.), former Assistant Professor of Ministry Cal Chinn ’66 (M.Div.), Sue Fleenor ’81 (M.Div.), and Lynn Jones ’79 (M.Div.).

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much light as possible, and filled it with lots of noise and activity. To this day, my family still considers it home.” Examining the vitality of the campus as a student in the 1960s, “SFTS was at the forefront of serving as a prophetic voice, addressing the challenges of the day—racism, civil rights, the Vietnam War, and homophobia,” says Chinn. He also describes a personal pivotal experience that serves as a touchstone for so many: “The historic call came from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s office for a group of seminarians to participate in the Selma March. As one of the seminarians on that march, the event transformed my call to serve the poor and the marginalized.” Back in 1945, the first Black student graduated from SFTS. “An examination of its annals would reveal the fact that SFTS has been and remains a predominantly white institution. That is reflective of its history in the Presbyterian Church (USA),” says Rev. Mark S. Jones Sr. ’12 (M.Div.), pastor for mission and outreach and pastoral care at Westwood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles and National Black Presbyterian Caucus West Region representative. “That, I believe, is important because, despite the Seminary’s uninterrupted white dominance, it has equipped a significant number of racially ethnic graduates from all of its various degree programs. They have made incredible contributions to the church of Jesus Christ and to society. That is to its undeniable credit.” Rev. Roland Gordon ’83 (M.Div.), pastor of Ingleside Presbyterian Church in San Francisco and president of the Northern California Chapter of the Black Presbyterian Caucus, was among the students, alumni, faculty, and staff who helped raise the funds to establish


Courtesy of SFTS Archives

Rev. Dr. James Noel ’75 (M.Div.), ’99 (Ph.D., GTU) is pictured (left) in 1983 with Rev. Dr. Cornel Barnett ’85 (M.Div.), ’05 (D.Min.). Noel was the first occupant of the Seminary’s H. Eugene Farlough Jr. Chair of African American Christianity.

the H. Eugene Farlough Jr. Chair of African American Christianity in 2003. “It was important that the Black perspective be in the curriculum. Black alumni felt strongly that we could help save the soul of our seminary, as well as enhance the growth of all students, with an endowed Black professorship,” says Gordon, whose affection for SFTS is palpable. “I was given financial aid, which enabled me to attend SFTS. I fell in love with the old buildings—the natural scene was so beautiful. The professors worked with me knowing I was concurrently serving an inner-city church as a student pastor. God certainly called and made a way for me.” The Rev. Dr. James Noel ’75 (M.Div.), ’99 (Ph.D., GTU), who was recruited to the staff as director of continuing education and later became professor of church history while earning a Ph.D. at the Graduate Theological Union, was the first occupant of the Farlough chair. Rev. Dr. Farlough ’65 (B.D.), ’75 (D.Min.) was the founding pastor of Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond, California, and his passion was enriching the curriculum and community life of SFTS and the Graduate Theological Union by increasing the number of Black faculty and students. While studying for her Master of Divinity degree at SFTS, Rev. Ineda P. Adesanya ’13 (D.A.S.D.), ’14 (M.Div.), ’15 (M.A., GTU) was the founding president of the Students of the African Diaspora (StAD) association, offering cultural and social activities for all students of African descent who were enrolled in the Seminary’s certificate, diploma, or degree programs. “It is a space of welcome, comfort, support, and advocacy for students,” says Adesanya, who is chaplain at Williamette University, associate minister of spiritual life at the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, and president and CEO of The Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, California. Today, StAD endures as part of student life within the University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology.

Evolving educational opportunities In the vanguard of faith-affirming, world-engaging, and multi-disciplinary theological studies, SFTS has never ceased in transforming its programs to meet the needs of contemporary students. In 1981, the Seminary took the lead in the field of spiritual formation studies when Professor Roy Fairchild worked with Morton Kelsey, an Episcopal priest nationally known for promoting the cultivation of spiritual practices of the Catholic and Orthodox churches to establish the Center for Christian Spiritual Disciplines. Many students have been introduced to the idea of going to seminary by participating in one of its Companions of the Inner Way retreats. Under the leadership of Elizabeth Liebert, Ph.D. (Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary), appointed in 1987 as professor of spiritual life, the spirituality program was expanded to offer the Certificate/Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction, the Diploma in Spiritual Formation

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Studies, as well as a concentration in spirituality for Master of Divinity students. Rev. Dr. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina was appointed to the faculty in 2006 and now directs the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute for Spiritual Care and Compassionate Leadership. As well as conducting a fully accredited program in clinical pastoral education, the institute nurtures the formation of spiritual care leaders and spiritually interested learners in many ways, fostering an understanding of how caring practices are expressed across cultures and religious traditions and contribute to multiple dimensions of interreligious thought, faith, life, and witness in the world. Both of these programs, like the Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.) and the one-time Master of Arts in Human Values, extend the opportunities for theological education and training in pastoral and spiritual care to lay people from all walks of life and religious persuasions. “The program in Christian spirituality was the primary means through which I was able to respond to my divine call to pneumatology and ministry through the Spirit,” says Adesanya. “Entering seminary at midlife, the ability to grow and deepen my spirituality—my religious experience—through formation courses and retreats in prayer and meditation, spiritual direction, and other contemplative practices was transformative. It allowed space for my intellect and my heart to collide and fuel my scholarship and ministry of justice and love.”

Courtesy of Rev. Ineda P. Adesanya ’13 (D.A.S.D.), ’14 (M.Div.), ’15 (M.A., GTU

Rev. Ineda P. Adesanya ’13 (D.A.S.D.), ’14 (M.Div.), ’15 (M.A., GTU) poses at Commencement 2014.

Courtesy of SFTS Archives

Significantly, back in 1962, SFTS joined with other Bay Area theological schools in founding the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), a consortium of nine seminaries based in Berkeley. The interreligious GTU expanded master’s and doctoral degree opportunities for SFTS students. “The GTU was a pioneer in the area of bringing together schools in a cooperative, educational setting—it was exciting,” says Judy Gritzmacher ’72 (M.A., GTU), director of the Oratory Center for Spirituality in Rock Hill, South Carolina, who earned her degree through the GTU. “The schools, including SFTS, could keep their identity, yet benefit from the strengths and gifts of the other schools and traditions.” For Gritzmacher, the experience led to a personal transformation: She started at the GTU as a member of the Presbyterian Church and left as a member of the Roman Catholic Church. “It was a step in my growth process and definitely led to decisions for the future, including two years of service in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps,” she says. “Through all of this, I feel the Spirit guided, formed, reformed, and transformed me.” More recently, programs addressing contemporary issues also shaped students’ course of study: “I was drawn to the progressive nature of SFTS and its academics,” says Rev. Dr. Douglas Olds ’10 (M.Div.), ’20 (D.Min.), teaching elder in Redwoods Presbytery (PCUSA) and independent researcher in theology and eco-ecclesiology. “I joined the nascent Green Seminary Initiative during my first years at SFTS, which led to auditing the Seminary’s carbon emissions, the first such audit undertaken by a Presbyterian seminary.”

From near and far SFTS has had a pronounced influence on Presbyterian leadership in the Bay Area, according to Chinn. “I was one of many who went into the ministry as a result of being nurtured by the ministries of Donaldina Cameron House and the Presbyterian Church of Chinatown,” he says. “Most of the 40-plus seminarians from Chinatown enrolled at SFTS, and so by the sheer numbers of us, we had an impact not only at the Seminary but also the PCUSA— our alumni served at every level of the denomination.” Through extension programs in continuing education and nonresidential degree programs like the Master of Arts in Values, SFTS continued to seek ways to reach students beyond the Bay Area.

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Courtesy of Polly Coote, Ph.D.

One of the largest initiatives was the establishment of the Southern California program, which from 1991 to 2012 offered courses leading to accredited degrees, primarily the Master of Divinity, in a nonresidential format. Southern California students studied evenings and weekends at various venues ranging from Santa Barbara to San Diego; instruction was provided by local SFTS faculty and adjuncts and by San Anselmo-based faculty, who flew in for weekends or communicated by an early form of video-conferencing. The southern program was affectionately dubbed “Road Scholars,” a witty reference to the region’s web of freeways. “The classes were in various venues, including seminary campuses and churches, with uninterrupted access to a quality theological library throughout my period of study,” says Jones. “There was no shortage of immersion into ecclesial and ecumenical experiences—denominational, domestic, and international.” The program enabled a wide diversity of students, many of them already engaged church leaders, to deepen their theological education and qualify for ordination without uprooting themselves and their families to attend seminary in San Anselmo. It also expanded access to a master’s education for Korean speakers and Spanish speakers in Southern California, and under its auspices, a M.A.T.S. program, taught by SFTS faculty and local adjuncts, was offered in Korea with a short-term residence in California. The M.A.T.S. in Korea was modeled on the Doctor of Ministry program, which the Advanced Pastoral Studies (APS) department created under the direction of Professor of Continuing Education John S. Hadsell ’54 (B.D.); APS Director and Professor of the Sociology of Religion Walter T. Davis; and Warren Lee ’74 (D.Min.), subsequent APS director and professor of ministry in the Asian American context. Pastors all over the world, from Egypt to New Zealand, met in collegium groups in their home countries and attended intensive summer sessions in San Anselmo while working on dissertation projects in their own settings for ministry. The APS connection with churches in Australia and South Korea was especially strong. Beginning in the 1990s, an increasing number of students from Korea also entered the Master of Divinity and M.A.T.S. programs, north and south, so that the combination of Asian Americans and international students from Asia became the largest source of diversity in the student body. “About 90 percent of the Korean doctoral students went back to South Korea, and they had earned Doctor of Ministry degrees,” says Lee, who is now retired. Their presence changed the complexion of the Seminary, he adds. “This was very different than when I started at the school when the incoming [Master of Divinity] class was about 50 students and mostly white.”

The Southern California program was affectionately dubbed “Road Scholar,” a witty reference to the region’s web of freeways.

‘Expanding the ways to see God’s work in the world’ “During my first quarter of studies, I could have flunked out and been sent packing,” says Rev. Dr. Robert G. Stebe ’83 (M.Div.), ’15 (D.Min.), pastor of Hillsboro Presbyterian Church in Hillsboro, Oregon. “The personal attention and investment offered by faculty, administrators, and staff helped build my confidence and open me to the gifts and abilities given by the grace of God.” And, lo, these many decades after Rev. Little traveled from Northern Ireland halfway around the world to a hill in San Anselmo, students continue to form, reform, and transform lives through spirit and service. “I like to use a quote from New Testament Professor Herman Waetjen: ‘If you never get out on a limb, you’ll never jump in,’” says Stebe. “SFTS pushes to advance the gospel and expand the ways to see God’s work in the world.” Chinn underscores this sentiment: “When I was a student in the 1960s, it was no different than today. The world was in an uproar. Churches were challenged to be relevant and prophetic. “Thanks to my education and biblical/theological formation at SFTS, I was given the tools to lead my congregations in trying times. This is the legacy of SFTS. And, it will continue providing the training for leaders in today’s world.” 9

Polly Coote, Ph.D., retired associate professor of biblical Greek, registrar, and associate dean of student life at SFTS, contributed to this story, providing invaluable information and first-hand knowledge of the Seminary’s vibrant history. Summer 2021 | 9

“I look at people as children of God and know that we are more than just the crisis and problems that we present to the world. We can give people the services they need, and we can restore their hope.” —Julie Craig ’02 (M.Div.) Photo by Kat Schleicher

Restoring hope during a pandemic A registered nurse in behavioral health, Julie Craig ’02 (M.Div.) draws on her faith and theological education to understand patients in crisis By Laurie McLaughlin


s a registered nurse in behavioral health, Julie Craig ’02 (M.Div.) saw how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the patients at the hospital where she worked in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. “They came to us with serious behavioral or mental-health situations,” she says. “We were the mental-health emergency room. And we saw an increase in the acuity of depression and anxiety as more and more people reached out for services to help themselves cope with their new realities during the pandemic.” Before the pandemic, Craig says patients may have had various support systems in place: other health practitioners, supportive family and friends, or a church that congregated weekly. During the pandemic, it was harder and less safe to make these routine, in-person connections: “That church’s pastor may have been overloaded and

overworked, and couldn’t be with every person in crisis.” Craig cared for patients of all ages— including children as young as 7 years old—and her education and ministerial experience shaped the way she interacted with them: “My background in spirituality informs how I approach folks who are in the midst of crisis, and I probably did more referrals to the spiritual care department than any of my colleagues,” she says. “It’s important to have someone who can walk beside patients spiritually; I think it brings better health outcomes.” Craig’s career has been full of accomplishment and self-fulfillment. She has had a long interest in health care and worked for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for 10 years before she moved to California to attend San Francisco Theological Seminary. Ministry then took her back to a small Presbyterian church in Wisconsin, where

10 | CHIMES | San Francisco Theological Seminary |

she served for more than five years as lead pastor, which was rewarding and intense work. When the time came to move on, she traveled to destinations across the globe on what she calls an off-and-on, “self-funded sabbatical” for a few years and thought seriously about where her professional journey would take her next. Craig celebrated her 50th birthday in 2013, and says, “That’s the year I started nursing school. The call to nursing was as strong as the call to ministry years ago.” In April, she transitioned again to a new and satisfying area in health care as a hospice registered nurse case manager—“yet another holy vocation,” she says. “I look at people as children of God and know that we are more than just the crisis and problems that we present to the world. We can give people the services they need, and we can restore their hope.”9

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Courtesy of Hugh ‘87 (D.Min.) and Anne Wire

‘Witness to women’ Couple reflects on the power of professors and philanthropy at SFTS By Laura Gallardo ’03, ’22


ntoinette “Anne” Clark Wire had her first introduction to San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) as a child when her father William Harold Clark ’23 (B.D.) brought her and her two sisters to visit the campus in San Anselmo. “I got a kick out of going into the dining room and seeing his picture,” says Anne, who was raised in China during her parents’ missionary work. “We walked on the holy hill and saw where he went to school.” During her undergraduate years at Pomona College, Anne met Hugh Wire ’87 (D.Min.), and the couple married seven years later in 1959. Anne went to Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship and completed her Bachelor of Divinity degree at Yale Divinity School. After working in the inner-city housing projects of New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts, the couple relocated to North Carolina and then returned to California, where Anne attended Claremont Graduate University to earn her doctorate. “In those days, there were no women ministers in our church, but more and more women were preparing for ministry and were demanding women teachers,” says Anne. “When I saw the job opening at SFTS, it was just the kind of opportunity I had hoped for.”

Starting as a lecturer, Anne taught at SFTS for 31 years and eventually was named the Robert S. Dollar Professor of New Testament Studies. “Teaching is not just unloading ideas that you have organized in a lecture,” reflects Anne, a longtime member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union. “It’s engaging different people in different ways.” When she arrived at SFTS, Anne recalls there was only one other woman who was teaching. “When I retired, almost half the faculty were women.” Hugh recalls how “groundbreaking” it was when Anne received tenure, as she was only the second woman to have done so at a Presbyterian seminary. “It was the beginning of a cultural change,” he says. In 2004, Distant Voices Drawing Near was published as a tribute to Anne’s scholarly career, featuring a collection of essays from SFTS professors and students on several themes, including the role of women in the biblical world and feminist perspectives in biblical interpretation. Since she retired from SFTS, Anne has written two more books: The Case for Mark Composed in Performance on the Gospel of Mark and a book on Second Corinthians for the Wisdom Commentary Series. “I want to help people see the ways in which the New Testament is a book that is witness to women’s active roles in

Retired SFTS faculty member Anne Wire and Hugh Wire ‘87 (D.Min.) continue to be longtime philanthropic supporters of SFTS.

the life of Christ and the early Church community,” says Anne. Now residing with Hugh at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California, Anne is taking Chinese courses at Pomona College (an echo to her upbringing) and tending to her vegetable garden. She and Hugh continue to be longtime philanthropic supporters of SFTS. “The Seminary is an important institution, and we are pleased that its new directions are so promising,” says Hugh. “We hope University of Redlands continues to understand and build upon its history.” Anne considers their support of SFTS to be an “excellent investment” and wants to see its good work continue and grow in the new merger with Redlands. “SFTS has been very loyal to and supportive of us,” says Hugh. “And we are loyal and supportive back.” 9 For information on how you can give to SFTS like the Wires have, please contact Molly Widdicombe, director of development, at 415-451-2805 or, or visit

Reflecting on the past while looking to the future … Honor your SFTS experience with a gift

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of San Francisco Theological Seminary, we invite you to look back at your own SFTS experience. Was there a particular academic program that changed the course of your spiritual journey? Perhaps you had a professor or classmate who strongly enhanced your theological studies. Your tax-deductible gift is a meaningful way to honor your SFTS legacy in this milestone year. To make a gift, visit or use the envelope provided. All gifts directed to SFTS/GST will only be used to support SFTS/GST students and programs.


COMMENCEMENT 2021 Distinguished Alumnus

Writing new chapters Photo by Cali Godley

By Rev. Dr. Jorge William de Castro Abdala ’16 (D.Min.) The Graduate School of Theology celebrated the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on May 22. At the ceremony, Rev. Dr. Jorge William de Castro Abdala ’16 (D.Min.) was recognized as the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) 2021 distinguished alumnus and shared the following remarks:


am honored and humbled to be recognized among the distinguished alumni at SFTS, now part of the University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology. It is an even greater honor to be placed alongside the distinguished ranks of my fellow nominees, all of whom have made important contributions to the life of their communities. It means a lot to be recognized by a university that has enabled me to accomplish so many things in my life. For that, I am eternally grateful. Special thanks go to • Rev. Dr. Janet Bower, for having the generosity to nominate me • SFTS Alumni Council • Rev. Dr. Jana Childers • Two most important persons who have helped shaped my life and are always standing by my side: my wife, Andrea, and my son, Joshua • And I also recognize my father, my mother, my brother, and all those responsible for this great honor Six weeks ago, when I received notification of having been selected for this award, I was able to take a gratitudefilled journey down memory lane. One important part of my story began when I was about six months old, and I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury involving a fracture of the skull and a concussion. The severity of this accident could have led to permanent distortion in my cognitive reasoning, impairing my physical coordination, and causing psychological degeneration, all with the likelihood of stunted brain growth or even death. My condition was critical, so my parents kept vigil—and never stopped praying to God for me. Their prayers promised God that if He saved me, they would dedicate me to Him. The Lord heard their prayers, and by His mercy, I was saved (both physically and spiritually). I was dedicated to God for all the days of my life. By God’s grace, I have accomplished so many amazing things. I was able to

pursue degrees and studies in philosophy, psychology, and theology. I was ordained in May 1992 by the Presbyterian Church Philadelphia in São Paulo, Brazil, and have visited more than 20 countries (including those in Central and South America and Europe). In 2004, I moved to California after accepting an invitation to serve as the Latin American coordinator for the Knox Fellowship of Burlingame in evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development. In May 2006, I responded to God’s call to raise a new ministry to Brazilians in the Bay Area. At that time, I remember having 12 people for the very first Bible study in the Lighthouse at First Presbyterian Church San Mateo, where someone said to me, “Padre Jorge, that’s a good number to start a ministry. I know a story of a man who started his ministry with the very same number of disciples.” A year later, a Brazilian fellowship was formed, with over 80 people welcomed into the Presbytery of San Francisco. As my ministry with Brazilian fellowship was underway, it was time for me to pursue a Doctor of Ministry and improve in my field of study. As a believer that everyone should be a lifelong learner, this chance to study at SFTS brought me joy. And that’s why my love and gratitude for SFTS are so tremendous. To put it briefly, what SFTS did for me, and many others is what a good seminary should do: equip and prepare us to be used mightily for the glory of God’s kingdom on earth. As far as I know, I am the first Brazilian to graduate from this University; this brings honor to me and my people—for this, SFTS holds a special place in my heart. Currently, I serve as the pastor of the Brazilian Presbyterian Church and Latinos Unidos en Cristo, both ministries in the San Francisco Bay Area. I also serve as the moderator for the National Portuguese Language Presbyterian Council. I am committed to carrying out an integrated mission program in my community that

“We are all distinguished by God’s grace, and by sacrificing ourselves for others and having received a great education here at SFTS—we are all blessed!” —Rev. Dr. Jorge William de Castro Abdala ’16 (D.Min.)

meets not only spiritual but also physical, intellectual, social, and emotional needs. I feel called to help, minister, and offer pastoral care to a community of the most vulnerable people in this land. Today feels like a day to celebrate, but also an opportunity to be reflective and share with you some of my hopes. I hope that each of you in this audience considers writing together Acts 29. If you go to Acts 29 in the Bible, you’ll notice there is no such chapter! The book has only 28 chapters and ends abruptly; many experts contend that Luke intended to write a third volume. I believe we have the opportunity of writing Acts 29. We can write a new chapter each day—by the deeds we do and the words we say! Though I stand here today accepting this honor, it is important to share that this award also belongs equally to those who dedicate their lives to God’s service—my siblings in Christ. We are all distinguished by God’s grace, and by sacrificing ourselves for others and having received a great education here at SFTS— we are all blessed! Congratulations to the Class of 2021. You’re making history! Know without a doubt that you are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do amazing things! You are destined for greatness! God bless you! 9 Summer 2021 | 13





Board President Alvin McLean, Jr., Ph.D., Former Dean Jana Childers, and Rev. Dr. Paul Nazarian ‘84 (M.Div.) (left to right) celebrate commencement at Geneva Terrace.


n May 22, graduates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 joined with faculty and family for an in-person commencement event held on the Geneva Terrace. While the Class of 2020 graduates recognized during the online commencement were featured in the 2020 issue of Chimes, they are also recognized in the photos on these pages for their achievements.

Provost Kathy Ogren greets the graduates.

Photos by Cali Godley

14 | CHIMES | San Francisco Theological Seminary |

Bagpiper Jonathan Han leads the recessional.

Faculty, board members, and graduates gather under the balloon arch.

Sharika Gregory ’21 (M.A.T.S.) listens to the proceedings. Former Dean Jana Childers (left) stands with SFTS Board President Alvin McLean Jr., Ph.D.

Diplomas & Certificates Awarded by the faculty on the recommendation of the faculty and staff of the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute, the Advanced Pastoral Studies program and the program in Christian Spirituality

Certificate in Trauma and Spiritual Care (C.T.S.C.)

Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Formation (C.S.D.F.)

Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction (D.A.S.D.)

Wendy Cliff

Suzanne Bojdak Kimberly Elliot Karen Fields Karen L. Seth Ann (Bryn) Smallwood-Garcia Nereyda Yong-Martínez Jennifer Whitaker

Anne Blackwood-Chirchir William Capps Karen Gordon Natalie Moon-Wainwright

Summer 2021 | 15


Graduate Degrees Conferred by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the faculty

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.) Sharika Gregory

Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Erin Green Ryan Miller Susan Pierson Suzabelle Spaulding

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Dearthrice Aaron DeWitt Dying with Quiet Eyes: A Pastoral Care Modality to Alleviate the Distress of Near Death Awareness Phenomena on Hospice Caregivers

Kanyere Eaton Sister Support: Accompanying African American Clergy Women in Their Journeys Toward the Pastorate

Zac Harmon-McLaughlin

Bethany Joanna Nelson

Post-Church Ecclesiology: The Future of Community of Christ through Ambiguity and Principle

Listening for God’s Call in a Noisy World: Vocation and the Privileged Teen

Reginald Darnell Horton

Emmanuel Okonkwo

Getting to Know Your Mate Better Before You Say, “I Do”: Simulation Exercises for Engaged Couples

Stopping Social Spiral of Violence: A Pilot Program of Christian Restoration and Healing in Central African Republic

Hyung Do Lee

Marta Palma Manriquez

Educating Korean Immigrant Male Pastors: Applying Concepts of Womanist and Asian Feminist Theology for Effective Ministry with Korean Immigrant Women Experiencing Domestic Violence

Women’s Ecumenical and Interfaith Spirituality: A Resource for Peace

Diane Marcia Pate

Meggan Hannah Manlove

Engaging Young Women Leaders in Peer Spiritual Direction to Deepen Their Experience with God

Equipping Lutherans for Faith Storytelling

Juliette Razafiarisoa

Michael L. Morison Disaster and Catastrophic Crisis Ministry: Pastoral Response in Time of Terrorism, Human-caused, and Natural Disasters

Rev. Dr. Kanyere Eaton ’21 (D.Min.) (right) and husband James Dennis

John Stearns ’20 (D.Min.) (center) with his wife, Lily L. Stearns (left), and daughter, Noelle Stearns (right) 16 | CHIMES | San Francisco Theological Seminary |

A Leadership Training for Christian Religious Leaders in Madagascar Using a “Privilege-Accountability-AwarenessStewardship” (P.A.A.S.) Model

Michael Morison ’21 (D.Min.) (left) and family

Elizabeth Griswold ’20 (D.Min.) (left) and daughter Lilah Castleman

2020 and 2021 Doctor of Ministry graduates

Ryan Miller ’21 (M.Div.) Erin Green ’21 (M.Div.) (left) and Former Dean Jana Childers Summer 2021 | 17

FACULTY Jon Berquist, visiting professor of Old Testament, was excited to see the translation of his book, Judaism in Persiaʼs Shadow, published in Korean by Hagiesowon Publishers in 2020. The translator was Taek-Joo Won. This is Berquist’s second book to appear in translation. The first was Incarnation, which was translated into Italian in 2011 and published by Claudiana Editrice, the publisher for the Waldensian Church, which is the Calvinist/Reformed denomination in Italy. This past year, he has been active in the Presbytery of Riverside, California, working with the New Worshipping Communities Committee. He also provides adult-education instruction on the Bible and immigration for First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo. He is teaching at the Summer Process Institute in 2021. Teresa Chavez Sauceda, director of Advanced Pastoral Studies and senior clinical professor of ministry, reports that the newest concentration in the Doctor of Ministry program is underway with the first cohort of students to complete the last of three required courses in fall 2021. There is increased interest in the chaplaincy/spiritual care research literacy concentration in the Doctor of Ministry program, and it is designed particularly for chaplains, directors of spiritual care, and Association for Clinical Pastoral Education educators working in health care and other settings where literacy in evidence-based research is a critical skill. Increasingly, spiritual care providers in health-care settings are asked to be part of a research team or sit on ethics panels. This concentration, designed and led by Shaw Chaplaincy Institute Director and Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Education Rev. Dr. Laurie GarrettCobbina, provides critical skills and the opportunity for participants to design their own research projects. The core required courses for this concentration are taught in the fall and spring semesters in a hybrid model (weekly synchronous online classes with one weekend on campus at the end of the semester) to better accommodate the

schedules of professional chaplains. The next cycle for the chaplaincy/spiritual care research literacy concentration core courses will start fall 2022. Chavez Sauceda is also teaching a new course, Issues and Methods in Contextual Theology: Dismantling Racism, during the Doctor of Ministry program’s summer session. The course starts with a very personal question: “What is the theology we need to equip ourselves and our communities of faith to be agents of change in the struggle to dismantle the systems and structures of race in our faith communities and the larger society?” The course will focus on exploring theological and biblical studies, and critical race theory. Chavez Sauceda will draw from her work with anti-racism training and cultural proficiency in the PCUSA. The course will examine students’ lived experiences using tools that they may also use with their own congregations or other constituency groups. With the leadership of Associate Director of Advanced Pastoral Studies Rev. Ruth T. West, the course will include a spiritual practice each day to provide space for both personal reflection on students’ conversations and models for sustaining/ nurturing their spiritual lives for this work. Wendy Farley, director of the Christian spirituality program and Rice Family Chair of Spirituality, published Beguiled by Beauty: Cultivating a Life of Contemplation and Compassion (Westminster John Knox Press, 2020). She also published “Becoming Children of Light: Falling in Love with Truth During Dark Times” in Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Insights in fall 2020 and “Gender and the Image of God” in Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry in spring 2019. In August 2020, Farley led the online retreat, Arise My Fair One: Journeying with the Divine Beloved in Dark Times, and gave a talk: “Arise My Fair One: Thoughts On Radical Compassion and Contemplation in the Work Against Racism.” Farley’s teaching includes developing a section on queer theology for a capstone course, working on incorporating a section on “the spirituality of non-hatred” in spirituality courses, and creating a new course, Interfaith Theology. In this year

18 | CHIMES | San Francisco Theological Seminary |

of living digitally, she also attended online retreats exploring Mahamudra, a Buddhist form of meditation; Courage of Care, a retreat combining contemplative practices and social engagement; and Christianity and the mystery religions. Marcia McFee, Ford fellow, Center for Innovation in Ministry, and visiting professor in worship, developed a new course, Practices & Pilgrimages: Event Design and Pedagogy for Spiritual Entrepreneurs, that she will teach in fall 2021. The course is designed for the new Certificate in Spiritual Entrepreneurship offered by the Graduate School of Theology (GST). It is also available as a three-credit course suitable for the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Theological Studies electives. The course will be online with two occasions for synchronous online and/or in-person participation. “The art of gathering together for purposes of spiritual growth, support, and nurture is as old as humanity,” says McFee. “Whether within traditional religious institutions or not, spiritual entrepreneurs who are addressing the spiritual needs of society will find themselves gathering people together for various purposes. The ‘events’ in this course are defined as ‘occasions of learning and spiritual growth.’ This can be interpreted in many ways, many practices, many formats, including retreats, travel trips, small group online study, or conferences, for example. The common thread is the possibility of energizing people for their personal and communal spiritual journeys. The ‘design’ of these events will depend on the desired spiritual purpose and pedagogical goal. Students will come up with a project and then move through several ‘building blocks’ that must be considered when designing an event. Special attention is paid to design and facilitation in the communication of a theme and message, as well as skills and organizational/business acumen to carry that out successfully. Whether you consider yourself a ‘spiritual entrepreneur’ or not—and I happen to think churches will benefit from leaders who have these skills—this is a course for exploring how

FACULTY to create amazing experiences for people to deepen their spiritual journeys.” The two required books are The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters and The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred. Email McFee,, with questions or to get a copy of the syllabus. Christopher Ocker, professor of church history, was on leave for the 2020-2021 school year. During that time, he was the inaugural director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. He worked with an international group of ambitious scholars, supporting their individual research and developing a collaborative research project on “religious mobilities,” while continuing his own research. “I learned the practices and subtleties of an ambitious, publicly funded, Catholic-affiliated, diverse university situated in an incredibly vibrant international city,” says Ocker. “I also completed a number of articles on various dimensions of late medieval and Reformation intellectual and cultural life, and a book, Hybrid Reformations, which I hope will be in print next year.” For five months, Ocker was recently a senior fellow of the Research Center for the Comparative Study of Monasticism

at the University of Dresden studying material dimensions of monasticism and religious conflict before the Reformation. He also continues as editor of the Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions series and as co-editor of Arbeiten zur Kirchengeschichte. “I learned an awful lot in these two years, and a pandemic is an unusual time to expand one’s horizons,” says Ocker. “It has been the first time I’ve lived in Australia or in a post-communist country, and both experiences were full of mind-opening surprises and very little entertainment! I left with mixed feelings on the same day the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) joined University of Redlands, knowing the warm and enthusiastic welcome the faculty had received from Redlands colleagues and seeing opportunities to realize in a newly effective way, opportunities that the SFTS faculty had been discussing and exploring since the 1990s. I, like my colleagues, felt a deep intellectual and—I think this may be the best word for it— spiritual affinity with so many people at U of R. We discovered that Redlands shares SFTS’s long-standing commitments to an education for social justice. We saw many opportunities to expand and deepen pedagogy and curriculum for ministerial formation in collaboration with other Redlands programs. Under Former Dean Childers’ careful leadership, and thanks to Professor Marcia McFee and the faculty’s hard work in this last year, the Seminary has created a new Certificate

in Spiritual Entrepreneurship associated with the School of Continuing Studies and is developing new program possibilities in spirituality, an undergraduate pathway into the Graduate School of Theology (GST). A multiple-listed course dedicated to understanding migrations in past and present is planned for Salzburg next summer, which will be open to undergraduates, GST students, alumni, and friends for continuing education credit. We will be looking to lay groundwork for several additional initiatives in the next year with each of the Redlands schools. All this, while the faculty continues to adapt their teaching in the Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry programs to the lingering demands of the pandemic; continues to contribute to doctoral education in the Graduate Theological Union; and continues to pursue ground-breaking scholarship in the fields of bible, theology, history, pastoral care, homiletics, and worship, which is so essential for genuine innovation in learning. “I am looking forward to many things in this next academic year: celebrating SFTS’s 150th anniversary, rejoining colleagues and friends in San Anselmo and Berkeley, developing new relationships with colleagues in Redlands, continuing the integration of the GST into the University, reconnecting with the Seminary’s amazing alumni, witnessing new life on the Seminary’s beautiful campus, and much more.”9

Photo by Cali Godley

SFTS faculty members meet during Preview Weekend.

Summer 2021 | 19

Marian Heidel ‘58 and John Heidel ‘78 (D.S.T.) met at Berkeley Baptist Divinity School and have been married for nearly 60 years.


& U of R

Courtesy of Marian Heidel ‘58 and John Heidel ‘78 (D.S.T.)

One couple’s love story By Laura Gallardo ’03, ’22


few years after her graduation from the University of Redlands, Marian Stannard Heidel ’58 was taking religion courses at the Berkeley Baptist Divinity School (now Berkeley School of Theology) when she saw and heard a “handsome young man” who caught her attention. “He was a tenor who sang in a quartet,” recalls Marian, who loved singing in the choir at her alma mater, especially in the annual Feast of Lights holiday tradition. The young man was John Heidel ’78 (D.S.T.), and the couple became engaged two months later. They’ve been married for nearly 60 years. Raised as a Methodist, John grew up on a farm in southern Idaho but “always had his eye on the ministry.” After attending Berkeley, he was ordained in the United Church of Christ Northern California Conference in San Francisco and accepted a position as minister to youth at Central Union Church (UCC) in Honolulu. Feeling that his theology and awareness of other cultures was “evolving,” John transitioned to a co-chaplain role at Punahou School in Honolulu in 1969, a post he held until 2001. His fellow chaplain was David Steele, a Presbyterian minister who led him to SFTS, where they completed their Doctor of Science in theology degrees together. John’s SFTS experience expanded his view of ministry. “It was very foundational to who I am now,” says John, who has served as president of the Interfaith Alliance Hawaii for eight years and is passionate about social justice issues.

Marian was born in China, where her father, Raymond Stannard ’23, had relocated with his wife, Marjorie Stannard ’23, and their three oldest children in response to a calling from the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society. For several years, Raymond practiced medicine and supported the Baptist ministry in several Chinese cities, including Shaoxing and Ningbo in East China. Marian’s earliest childhood memories in the U.S. are of her grandparents’ ranch in Redlands. The first thing she learned about the University was the school’s spirited “Och Tamale” rally chant, which her parents taught their six children. Marian’s grandfather, Milo Smith, was among the Baptist ministers who first envisioned the creation of the University in Redlands, and she continued her education in the family tradition. “My professors were so supportive,” says Marian, a sociology major who was among the first U of R students to travel abroad through a Presbyterian program at the Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore, Pakistan, in her junior year. After working in health care, Marian became the secretary at Wo International Center of Punahou School in Honolulu, ensuring other students had study abroad experiences like hers. When the couple learned of the merger between U of R and SFTS in July 2019, John was initially concerned that SFTS would lose its identity. “But that hasn’t happened,” he says. “SFTS is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and is going strong.” Marian appreciates that the U of R is “still keeping up its spiritual drive and intercultural programs” and is “hopeful” about the merger, as is John. “SFTS helped me grow spiritually in ways I would not have been able to do otherwise,” says John. “It pushed me to evolve as a theologian.” 9 To learn more about SFTS alumni updates and events, including the 150th anniversary in November, visit

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U of R Board of Trustees creates SFTS Board of Directors


s approved at the October 2020 meeting of the University of Redlands Board of Trustees, a new governing body, the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) Board of Directors, was created to provide direction through spiritual and ecclesiastical leadership to the Seminary. This addition will incorporate the important creative contributions of a spiritual governing body in decision-making moving forward. In this bicameral system of governance, the U of R Board of Trustees maintains authority over facilities and budget, while the SFTS Board of Directors presides over matters related to the church. Visit to read more and learn about the members of the board.

Members of the SFTS Board of Directors • Rev. Jeannie Kim ’01 (M.Div.), president of SAM Inc. and CEO of KPP Beer Inc.; PCUSA teaching elder, and SFTS Distinguished Alumna 2020 • Rev. Joey Lee ’85 (M.Div.), executive presbyter, San Jose Presbytery, Cameron House, San Francisco; First Chinese Presbyterian Church of New York; University of California, Berkeley

• Rev. Michael Livingston, interim senior minister, Riverside Church, New York; International Council of Community Churches; president, National Council of Churches, 2006-2007 • Rev. Ana Lugo ’85 (M.Div.), regional gift planner, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, FloridaBahamas Synod; PCUSA ordained teaching elder • Alvin McLean Jr., Ph.D., dean of the College of Psychology at John F. Kennedy University; The Worship Cluster, co-chair, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland

• Rev. Dr. Paul Nazarian ’84 (M.Div.), pastor, Northwoods Presbyterian Church, Houston; PCUSA teaching elder, 1984 • Chris Ocker, Ph.D, assistant provost and interim dean, Graduate School of Theology • Rev. Dr. Bear Ride ’78, (M.Div.), ’91 (D.Min.), director, Ride Family Foundation; interfaith and queer activist; PCUSA teaching elder, 1979 • Rev. Dr. Ji-il Tark ’97 (M.A.T.S.), professor of religion, Busan Presbyterian University, Busan, Republic of Korea • Rev. Mary Lynn Tobin ’85 (M.Div.), owner, Giocoso leadership coaching and development 9

Message from the SFTS Board of Directors By Rev. Mary Lynn Tobin ’85 (M.Div.)


n spring 2020, San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) filed a remedial complaint with the Presbyterian General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (GAPJC). This complaint resulted from claims by the Committee on Theological Education (COTE) that due to the merger with the University of Redlands, SFTS no longer exists as an entity and should not be considered a Presbyterian seminary. Feeling constrained by the judicial process and being concerned about animosity and potential broken relationships between the two entities, the new Board of Directors suggested to COTE that the two groups request a temporary stay from the GAPJC to sort out our differences via mediation. COTE agreed to our suggestion, and when we jointly requested the stay, the GAPJC granted it. Mediation is not simply sitting down together with a mediator to talk—but rather, it requires finding a mediator that both parties accept (the General Assembly staff and our co-moderators, Ruling

Elder Elona Street-Stewart and the Rev. Gregory Bentley, provided a recommendation). There is also much preparation that the professional mediator assigns the two groups in advance of any “face-to-face” conversation. Both groups have completed those assignments, and we had our first meeting of the two groups on May 18, using video conferencing. We are praying for the ability for all of us to see past words and into hearts. We hope you will continue to pray for the representatives on both sides of this mediation, that we may emerge from our video conferencing mediation process transformed by the Spirit, healed from the wounds we have felt, and strengthened by the love of God. 9 Please keep those prayers coming. We remember the words of Julian of Norwich: All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. Summer 2021 | 21


‘Threads that bind humankind in wonderful ways’ Robe donations from SFTS alumni create ripple effect By Laura Gallardo ’03, ’22 The summer 2020 issue of Chimes included “One robe, two stories,” about Donald Keuper ’54 (M.Div.), whose family honored his life by gifting his pastoral robe to San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), with the “the sincere hope that this robe might be used by young pastors at the Seminary, or at your discretion, perhaps given to a deserving student.” The eventual recipient of Keuper’s robe was Heather Johnston ’20 (M.Div.), and the story included letters exchanged between the Keuper family and Johnston. The Chimes editorial team received several responses to this story, excerpts from which are included below:

such purposes. On Christmas morning, I opened a mysterious box, and in it were two robes and a stole, along with a precious note from Former Dean Jana Childers, who had been my homiletics professor when I went to SFTS in the 1990s, offering me her old preaching robe! How amazing and good our Lord is! —Lynne Vandercook ’94 (M.Div.)




n Nov. 8, I turned on the TV, and the reporter was instructing everyone in Paradise and the surrounding areas to evacuate immediately. When we got to the main road, it was pitch dark with flames on both sides. … I felt God’s presence and quickly began to pray, thanking God for my family and friends, the opportunity to

Photos courtesy of Lynne Vandercook ‘94 (M.Div.)

hat a wonderful read in this current issue of the Chimes. … My husband, Bob, began at SFTS in 1953, and I came in 1954. We were married in Stewart Chapel on March 4, 1956, with David Essler officiating. Bob had a remarkable 33-year career in the U.S. Navy, 26 of which he served as a Navy chaplain. After his military service, Bob served three churches as parish visitor. He also volunteered for 10 years at Camp Pendleton giving a Sunday evening service for students at the School of Infantry. I admired the letter written by the Keuper family about Donald’s robe, and I would be more than happy to gift Bob’s robe and hood for an SFTS graduate. Bob and I always talked about the professors we had at SFTS, all of whom were deeply devoted to their calling and always available to students. We were so blessed to be at SFTS, and every bit of learning we gained at the Seminary was put into use during our careers. —Genece Oshanyk Warren ’56

Lynne Vandercook ’94 (M.Div.), pictured with her nephew Brad Davis, is wearing a robe gifted to her by Former Dean Jana Childers.

go to college and seminary, the churches in which I had served, and all the people who had touched my life. … We lost everything in the fire but our memories. We eventually found a house in Santa Rosa, and I discovered the Presbyterian Church of the Roses, where I was invited to become parish associate for pastoral care. The first time I preached there, I realized that I did not have any robes, as they had burned in the church where I was volunteering in Paradise. My nephew, Brad Davis, contacted SFTS to inquire where to purchase one for me and was told they had robes that had just been donated for

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t is my pleasure to donate the clergy garment belonging to my late husband, Bob, to a student at San Francisco Theological Seminary—Bob would have liked that! Our mission work brought us to Window Rock/Fort Defiance, Arizona; Taiwan; and Liberia, West Africa. In between mission experiences, Bob served Covenant Presbyterian Church in Danville, North Carolina, and Plainsboro Presbyterian Church in Plainsboro, New Jersey. He retired from the church in 1990, and I am delighted to send his clerical robes to an SFTS graduate who can make use of them. —Lavonne Slusher, widow of Robert Slusher ’57 (B.Div.)


teared up when reading how other graduates and their families also have wanted to gift their robes to SFTS. It’s like ripples across a pond, and it touches me so much that it began with our donation of Dad’s robe. Right now, when the world is in such turmoil and everyone is so physically distant from each other, something like this tells us that there are still threads that bind humankind in wonderful ways. What a blessing. … Thank you for starting the ripples that I hope will benefit more of the deserving students at SFTS. —Carol Abigana, daughter of Donald Keuper ’54 (M.Div.)

If you are interested in donating your pastoral robe for an SFTS student, contact Molly Widdicombe, director of development, at 415-451-2805 or

ALUMNI 1950s


John Eugene Brown ’57 (B.D.) is retired.

Charles (Rick) Mills ’72 (M.Div.) is retired. Stephen Lutz ’73 (M.Div.) is retired.

1960s John Shellenberger ’61 (B.D.) recently published Ethical Religion and Christian Activism: A Handbook for the Modern Christian Making Church Life Meaningful (iUniverse Inc., 2020). Carol Shellenberger ’62, ’82 (M.A.) (M.Div.) is retired. Eric Iversen ’63 (M.Div.) is a pastor, chaplain, and family services worker in human resources, PCUSA, and human resources in the Commonweath of Kentucky. He explains that the Sheldon Jackson window in Stewart Chapel includes the medallion of a reindeer, and the medallion represents Jackson’s reindeer project of the late 1800s. Eric’s grandfather, Eidar Iversen, told Eric that as a teenager in Alta, Norway, Eidar assisted a veterinarian to certify the herds of reindeer shipped with their Sami [nomad] herding families to North America. The Sami worked with Alaskan indigenous families to learn reindeer husbandry. One accessible account of the project is based on the journals of the cooks and quotes from Jackson’s reports. Some of Jackson’s tactics today are not considered “politically correct,” which the cooks’ diaries point out. And yet, despite these failings, the collaborative nature of the venture, the privations endured, and the passion for Christ’s Gospel from that era, may well have lessons for the ministry of SFTS alumni around the Pacific Rim and beyond. Choo Yeow ’65 (Th.D. GTU) is intentional interim pastor with the First Chinese Church of Christ in Hawaii and is helping the church to find its next senior pastor.

Jon Hermes ’75 (M.Div.) is retired. Kim Warner ’75 (M.Div.) retired in 2012 from various congregations and the Texas Presbyterian Foundation. Geoff Nelson ’77 (M.Div.), ’07 (D.A.S.D.) served as pastor in American Fork, Utah, from 1977 to 1985 and at Whittier Presbyterian Church from 1985 to 2012. He is now retired and working in spirituality. In 2016, Geoff published Dreaming In Church (Wipf and Stock) featuring tools and guidelines for using nightly dreams as a spiritual practice. Steve Simmons ’77 (M.Div.) and Cynthia Leslie Simmons ’77 (M.Div.) pastored churches in Presbyterian congregations in Oregon, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Cynthia retired in 2016, while Steve served as director of continuing education and later assistant professor of theology at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, until his retirement in 2017. Both now serve as Parish Associates at the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, and deliver Meals on Wheels three times a week. Steve also serves as an editor for the International Journal of Practical Theology. He earned a Ph.D. in Christian theology from the University of Chicago in 1995. Greg Carlson ’78 (M.Div.) is retired.

1980s Bob Frasier ’80 (M.Div.) retired March 1, 2021, and continues serving as stated clerk for the Presbytery of North Kansas. W. Stephen Sabom ’80 (S.T.D.) is retired. William Stevens ’85 (M.Div.), ’01 (D.Min.) is retired. David Wood ’85 (M.Div.) is retired and works part-time with two small historic churches: Deer Creek United Presbyterian Church and Pleasant Unity United Presbyterian Church in the Pittsburgh Presbytery.

Mary Hansen ’88 (D.Min.) has served as pastor, chaplain, associate pastor, and interim pastor since 1978. Judith Wellington ’88 (M.Div.) is an interim paster, a transitional ministry position that began in May 2021.

1990s Nan Jenkins ’90 (M.Div.) retired in 2009 as solo pastor at Mission Presbytery. David Spahn ’93 (D.Min.) is retired.

2000s Daniel Wolpert ’00 (M.Div.), executive director of the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing, announces the publication of his fifth book, Creation’s Wisdom, Spiritual Practice and Climate Change (Orbis, 2020). Scott Wylie ’00 (CASD), ’12 (D.Min.) was United Methodist Church pastor, California-Nevada Annual Conference, from 1986 to 2017 and is now retired. Dong Won Kim ’02 (M.Div.) is senior minister at the Uniting Church in Morningside, Queensland, Australia. Roberta Karchner ’05 (M.Div.) honorably retired on Jan. 1, 2021, after 15 years as a pastor. Roberta also released the first of three lectionary books of worship resources for pastors, available on Paul Phillips ’05 (M.Div.) retired at the end of 2020. Paul spent the last three-and-ahalf years serving as an interim pastor in Alabama, Mississippi, and Northeast Ohio. He has moved to southern Arizona, his home state, and serves on the National Response Team for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and looks forward to active service with PDA once travel restrictions are lifted, as well as “whatever else God has planned next for me,” he says. In May 2021, he was called out of retirement and back to interim ministry, accepting a position in Oakesdale, Washington. Welliam Jayapranata ’07 (D.Min.) is chairman of WEJA Life Management, and she is consulting and coaching for human resource development programs for marketplace leaders. Andrew Nguyen ’09 (D.Min.) is a professor at Christian Leadership University and pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Washington. 9 Summer 2021 | 23


From the Alumni Council: Join us for the 150th anniversary celebration By Rev. Dr. Bear Ride ’78 (M.Div.), ’91 (D.Min.)

Photo by Cali Godley

Alumni Council President Rev. Dr. Bear Ride ’78 (M.Div.), ’91 (D.Min.) addresses the graduates at Commencement.


s I approached the podium on the Geneva Terrace during the recent Commencement exercises, I looked out toward Mount Tamalpais. It struck me that for 150 years, all of us have started from this same place—the lofty grounds of our beloved alma mater. However, that is where the “sameness” ends because we are so diverse today. Reaching well beyond the parameters of geography, denomination, race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity— we are “us”—and 150 years of “us” is something to behold. My job at Commencement was to introduce the 2021 Distinguished Alumnus Rev. Dr. Jorge Abdala ’16 (D.Min.) to the graduates, faculty, and guests in attendance. I invite you to read more about Jorge on page 13—his story and ministry reflect proudly on our shared institutional bonds. My “charge” included the words of the Apostle that we have all heeded and shared in our lives and ministries: Go out into the world in peace. Have courage. Hold fast to what is good. Return no one evil for evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted. Support the weak. Help the suffering. Honor all people. Love and serve the Holy One, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

As this year’s Alumni Council president, I invite you to review a bit of what we’ve been up to on behalf of the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS, now part of the University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology) this past year—and consider what we might do together in the future. The Alumni Council sponsored four virtual events over the last academic year: • October: “Thinking the Faith, Changing the World—A Faculty Vision for the Ethos of SFTS” • December: “Feast of Lights History Lesson” hosted by SFTS Trustee Candy Unruh • March: SFTS Trivia Night hosted by Rev. Dr. Bear Ride ’78 (M.Div.), ’91 (D.Min.) and Ashley Pogue ’19 (M.Div.) • April: Earth Day Discussion— “Moving Through Climate Despair with Biblical Theology and Practical Ministry Tools” with Talitha Aho ’12 (M.Div.) and Rev. Dr. Douglas Olds ’10 (M.Div.), ’20 (D.Min.) and hosted by Stephanie Ryder ’14 (M.Div.) Event recordings can be found at previous-event-recordings.

SFTS Trivia Night via Zoom

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This year



are plann

Anniversary Weekend Save the Date → November 12-14, And the next “big thing”2021 coming up (not to be missed) is the 150th Anniversary Celebration campus For an in-depthon history of SFTS overNov. the past12-14, 150 years, 2021. visit 150 years! This is a party not to be missed. Please mark the dates on your calendar and pass the word along to your fellow alumni. This is not just a celebration about the 150th birthday of SFTS; it is also an opportunity to reconnect with classmates and faculty from many generations, as well as meet and greet our new colleagues and friends from the University of Redlands. 9

GST-21-009 Chimes Magazine 150th Ad r6.indd 1

Drop me a note at to offer your ideas or comments about the past 150 years, your years at SFTS, or how you might want to become involved in the evolving new spirit of the Seminary. You may also call Alumni Relations at 415-451-2805 to find out how you can join us on the Alumni Council.


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in memoriam This section reflects passings Jan. 1, 2020–July 3, 2021.

Lorene McLaughlin ’55, March 29

continuing education at SFTS in the early 1990s. Joy and her husband Dick, who was professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis’s Graduate School of Management, generously funded the Seminary’s online implementation initiative in the academic year 2018, which leveraged technology to deliver degree and certificate program.

Lucille L. Rieben ’56, Feb. 2

Francis Bryant ’77, Nov. 1, 2020

Paul Debeer ’57, ’80, Jan. 25

Lucille Hintze ’77, March 24, 2020

John Graham ’58, April 30

Stuart Love ’77, March 15

Garner Odell ’59, ’75, Oct. 7, 2020

Earl Johnson ’78, Sept. 15, 2020

Loma Walkley ’59, ’86, April 6, 2016

Stephen Kim ’78, Dec. 16, 2020


Robert Walkley ’59, ’86, Nov. 1, 2020

Gene W. Laramy ’79, Oct. 17, 2020

James D. Akins Jr., June 25, 2020

1950s Robert E. Williams ’50, Jan. 19 Daniel H. Newhall III ’52, ’78, Sept. 16, 2020 William Pfeiffer ’52, Oct. 27, 2020

2000s C. Robert Haberman ’00, Jan. 24 Jean S. Kim ’06, July 3

2010s Peter Kang ’10, Feb. 11. Peter was adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in the School of Intercultural Studies. He also founded Providence University in California in 2019.

Katherine L. Bailey, June 5, 2020



John M. Arnedt ’60, March 2

G.H. Wells ’80, ’84, Jan. 1, 2020

George B. Johnson ’60, Nov. 5, 2020

Inez Allan ’82, Aug. 30, 2020

Laura K. Jacobsen ’61, July 8, 2020

Max Dunks ’82, Sept. 7, 2020

Richard L. Righter ’61, Nov. 14, 2020

Barbara Roche ’84, May 8

David Askinen ’62, June 5, 2020

W. Clayton Hoffman ’86, Jan. 13, 2020.

Ronald Keeshan ’63, May 3

Cornelius (Neil) Oliver Berry Jr. ’87, Sept. 1, 2020. Neil was ordained as a Presbyterian minister at Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond, California. He also served churches in Flint, Indianapolis, San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Denver. He was an active member of the Racial Ethnic Diversity committee with PCUSA. Neil was the son of Rev. Dr. Cornelius O. Berry Sr., the first full-time African American professor at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS).

R. Keith Roumpf ’64, ’93, Nov. 19, 2020 Ruth Deemy ’65, March 30, 2020 Peter Bouve ’67, Jan. 20 Maynard Smith ’67, Dec. 12, 2020 Roger Williams ’69, Jan. 15

1970s Albert Wahl ’72, Feb. 21 Raymond T. Vosburgh ’75, Nov. 16, 2020 Rev. Joy Dorf ’76 (M.Div.), May 19, 2021, and Richard “Dick” Dorf, Oct. 22, 2020. Joy served a variety of churches in Northern California, including 10 years as associate pastor at Davis Community Church. She also served as director of

Janice Brewi ’87, Feb. 12, 2020 Carl H. Burton ’87, Dec. 12, 2020 Virginia Carr-Studer ’89, March 20, 2020

1990s Clayton Cobb ’93, Jan. 2

Robert (Bob) Barr, Jan. 6. Bob was CFO of SFTS in the early 1980s. He also served as SFTS interim president and went on to be president of the GTU from 1988 to 1992. Charles Ford, Nov. 7, 2020. Charles was a former SFTS Trustee. Edna Glasbrenner, Jan. 28 Elizabeth Hargleroad, Feb. 19 Carol Holland, Nov. 1, 2020 Elfriede Kuehn, March 5. Elfi, as she was known by family and friends, worked as a bookkeeper for SFTS and started a German language school in Marin. James C. Milne, Dec. 21, 2020 Letty Owings, July 3, 2020. Letty was a former SFTS Trustee. William R. Parry, Nov. 7, 2020 Gayraud Wilmore, April 18, 2020. Gayraud was a member of the Buffalo Soldiers during World War II. After ordination in 1950, he became a pastor and was involved in the desegregation of public schools. In 1963, he became the first national executive director of the Commission on Religion and Race, where he made many contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and later authored numerous books. 9

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105 Seminary Road | San Anselmo, CA 94960 415-451-2800 | Change Service Requested

This year marks the 150th anniversary of San Francisco Theological Seminary, and we are planning an entire weekend

Anniversary Weekend Save the Date → November 12-14, 2021

celebrating this milestone with our community. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more detailed information about our programs, which will include a faculty panel, BBQ on Bouick Field, worship service, and

For an in-depth history of SFTS over the past 150 years, visit

other fun activities in and around campus!

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