The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Phyllis Anderson elected PLTS president

Phyllis B. Anderson, 61, was elected president of Pacific Lutheran Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., effective Feb. 1. Anderson, an ELCA pastor and the first woman to head an ELCA seminary, has served since 1998 as director of the Institute for Ecumenical Theological Studies at the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry.

The seminary's board of directors chose Anderson to succeed Timothy Lull, who died May 20, 2003, from complications following surgery. Ted F. Peters, a professor of systematic theology at PLTS, served as interim president.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to lead this excellent seminary as it shapes Lutheran leaders for our time and place, marked by rapid change, diversity, secularity, spiritual longing and great human need," Anderson said. "I pray God will continue to bless this institution with outstanding faculty, staff and students, with good friends and partners, and with all that we need to fulfill our part in God's mission."

Anderson's collaborative approach and her experience with strategic planning, fund raising and administration "make her the ideal leader for PLTS," said Gary Andeen, chair of the search committee.

Ordained in 1978, Anderson served Lutheran congregations in Iowa — Trinity, Dyersville; Immanuel, Earlville; and Grace, Farley. She went on to serve as staff of the former American Lutheran Church Iowa District; director of pastoral studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; and director for theological studies, ELCA Division for Ministry. She is a graduate of Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, and Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis.

Anderson and her husband, Herbert, an ELCA pastor and theologian, have two adult children.


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