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San Francisco Theological Seminary names new president

James McDonald will take office July 8

May 17, 2011

Headshot of The Rev. James L. McDonald

The Rev. James L. McDonald

LOUISVILLE

After 18 months of having an interim president, San Francisco Theological Seminary has named the Rev. James L. McDonald as its 11th president.

McDonald succeeds Laird J. Stuart, who served as interim president.

“Whether leading an institution with a global reach or a church making a difference in its neighborhood, Dr. McDonald has combined academic rigor, high-level management skills, a commitment to service and deep Christian faith throughout his distinguished career,” said Peter van Bever, chair of the SFTS Board of Trustees, in a press release.

McDonald, who expects to take office July 8, comes to SFTS after 13 years with Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute. Bread for the World is a faith-based advocacy group that urges legislators to end hunger nationally and internationally.

“It will be an honor to lead this exceptional seminary in its work to serve God's mission in the world,” McDonald said in a press release. “I look forward to working closely with students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni to strengthen our service to the community, the Church, and the world, and expand our contributions to theological education.”

An ordained Presbyterian pastor, McDonald holds degrees from Princeton University, Union Theological Seminary and American University. He has been an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University and board member and president of the Central American Resource Center.

McDonald said he is excited to be part of SFTS’s history of educating diverse religious leaders and Christian scholars.

“I believe this creative institution is poised to meet the challenge of preparing a new generation that has been grasped by the power of the Word,” McDonald said in the press release. “Together, the SFTS community will continue to make vital contributions to a more hopeful, caring, and just world. Let us begin.”

Information for this story furnished by Holly Woolard, San Francisco Theological Seminary.

  1. I have known Jim McDonald since he was a student at Union Theological Seminary. We have treasured Jim and Deane over many years, having been colleagues of theirs in Washington, D.C. Our friendship extends from my doing their premarital counseling to the present moment. He is eminently qualified. The Seminary has made an excellent decision.

    by Sid Skirvin, Class of '59

    May 23, 2011

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