Dean Search

A Transformative Vision


Palmer Theological Seminary stands at a crossroad in its own history and, like other seminaries, faces a changing landscape in theological education. Its institutional diversity will continue to be a distinctive advantage in the future we envision for seminary education. Palmer is seeking a visionary leader with administrative, pastoral, and scholarly skills and with wisdom for discerning God’s guidance for our future.

The Dean reports to the Provost and works collaboratively with the internal and external constituencies to advance the following priorities:

Guidance and Vision—The Dean will guide the Seminary community as it transitions from its current location in King of Prussia to our permanent location. The Dean will lead the Seminary in articulating a mission and vision that embodies its motto, “A whole gospel for the whole world through whole persons.” In doing so, the Dean will ensure that the Seminary’s distinctive diversity and identity are preserved. The Dean will formulate strategies to establish an active presence in urban contexts and in other geographical loci.

Administration—The Dean will maintain the health of the Seminary through visionary planning, responsible budgeting and prudent management of the Seminary’s human, financial and physical resources. In doing so, the Dean will embody an inclusive and collaborative spirit that suits the traditional ethos of the Palmer community

Academic Development—The Dean will encourage and develop faculty members by promoting their growth as theological educators and by providing adequate support for research, writing, and professional growth. Students will likewise be a priority for the Dean, who will be attentive to the distinctive needs of Palmer students in a time when global needs are growing and resources are shrinking.

Diversity—The Dean will foster a healthy environment for learning and growth by protecting the Seminary’s theological breadth and promoting its human diversity; differences in experience and perspective will be embraced as valuable missional and strategic resources.

Program Development—The Dean will strengthen existing programs and create new, mission-driven programs while honoring the school’s commitment to advocacy, social justice and ministerial opportunities. Curricular emphases will accentuate the school’s praxeological approach, the presence and impact of global voices, and the importance of difference and diversity. The Dean will actively recruit students where possible, especially non-traditional students whose aspirations will be well-served through the Palmer’s distinctive mission and curricula. The Dean will be committed to prudent uses of technology for delivering educational programs to students who would not otherwise benefit from them.

External Relations and Development—The Dean will represent the Seminary to a variety of internal and external constituencies, including the University’s community and its colleges, accrediting and denominational bodies, and local, national and international communities. Fruitful and healthy relationships in these contexts will require a Dean who is comfortable working across various ethnic, racial, denominational and national boundaries. As the public “face” of the Seminary, the Dean will develop in existing and potential donors a vision for the Seminary’s future and thus secure financial resources to fund the Seminary’s distinctive mission.