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Gary Peluso-Verdend, PhD

  • President
  • Associate Professor of Practical Theology
denominationUnited Methodist Church
phone(918) 270-6405


  • Changing dynamics in church life in North America 
  • 19th Century Methodist history, especially the split over authority and slavery
  • Jesus and money
  • History of funding Protestant congregations in the U.S.
  • Civil religion (the nation and God)
  • The purpose of seminary education 


  • BA, Carroll College, 1977
  • MDiv, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 1981
  • PhD, University of Chicago, 1991

Key Facts

  • Named President of Phillips Theological Seminary 2009
  • Vice President of Stewardship for PTS 2005-2009
  • Doctor of Ministry Program Director for PTS 1993-2000
  • Dean of PTS 1997-2000
  • Ordained minister in United Methodist Church (Northern Illinois Conference)
  • Board member of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice

Recent Publications

  • Paying Attention: Focusing Your Congregation on What Matters (2005)
  • "How Many Churches Does It Take to Raise a Minister?," The Circuit Rider (January-February 2002)
  • "To Live or to Die In Battle: A Nineteenth Century Metaphor and Clergy Self-Care," Quarterly Review (Fall 1998)
  • "The Crisis of Local and Regional Ecumenism," Mid-Stream (October 1993)
  • Inquiring and Discerning Hearts: Vocation and Ministry with Young Adults on Campus, co-authored with Sam Potaro (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993)
  • "What is Lyle Schaller's Vision of the Church?," The Christian Century (January 27,1993)
  • Articles in the ATS-sponsored journal Theological Education
  • Two recent contributions to lectionary resources.

Current Projects

  • Essay contribution to Feasting on the Gospels commentary series

Phillips offers Christian graduate theological education in service of intelligent, just, and
compassionate religious and civic communities. We welcome students to a safe space for truth-seeking conversations about the Bible, Jesus, and faithful living. Courses are available on campus and online for certificate, diploma, MDiv, MAMC, & MTS programs, and on campus for the DMin program.

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