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The Trustees of Phillips Theological Seminary, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, seek a visionary leader to serve as the school’s next president. As the chief executive officer of the Seminary, the selected individual will be responsible for ensuring that the institution has the plans, personnel, culture, material assets, systems, and relationships necessary to fulfill its mission and to achieve the excellence for which Phillips strives. The president will exercise strategic leadership for the Seminary while ensuring its continuing spiritual, academic, fiscal, and operational effectiveness. 

Areas of Responsibility 

Although it takes a team to lead a successful theological school, there are particular functions for which primary responsibility rests with the president. At Phillips Theological Seminary, those areas of responsibility are: 

  • Planning. The president will cast vision and lead the Seminary’s comprehensive and strategic planning process.
  • Image-building. The president will enhance Phillips’ reputation and recognition within its various church-related and civic constituencies, including Tulsa area religious and civic leaders and organizations.
  • Service to region and constituents. The president will build on the Seminary’s reputation as a bridge-builder and cultural boundary-crosser by actively pursuing opportunities for even greater service to churches, organizations, and causes for the well-being of the public.
  • Personnel. The president will develop, mentor, and retain an effective senior leadership team and, with them, empower and develop the Seminary’s faculty and staff. 
  • Culture. By means of word, example, and policy, the president will set the tone for the Seminary to be an adaptable learning institution which values diversity and inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff.
  • Asset management. The president will ensure that the Seminary has the facilities, equipment, investments, cash, and financial controls to accomplish its mission and meet its obligations.
  • Processes and systems. In support of academic integrity and the best efforts of the faculty, the president will be the chief advocate of shared governance and collaborative decision-making. 
  • Fundraising. The president will devote considerable time to nurturing relationships with longtime friends of the Seminary and also to seeking new sources of support.

Leadership Opportunities

Opportunities for the Seminary’s next president to shape and strengthen an already strong theological school are many, including:

  • Bringing the 2019 ATS accreditation self-study to a successful completion. 
  • Championing development of cultural competencies and valuing intercultural learning at individual, institutional and board levels.
  • Guiding the Seminary through a period of positive change in institutional culture characterized by enhanced communication, transparency, mutual accountability, and shared decision-making.
  • Leading the Phillips community to make forward-thinking choices concerning budget and finance tied to strategic planning.
  • Drawing all members of the Seminary community, including the Board of Trustees, into a fuller sense of involvement and inclusion.
  • Pursuing opportunities by which the Seminary can be of even greater service to Tulsa-area religious, civic, and business leaders. 
  • Providing leadership in visioning the future with the Board of Trustees to continually update the strategic plan.

Presidential Qualities and Qualifications

The successful candidate for the presidency of Phillips Theological Seminary will be known for spiritual maturity and recognized as one who is uniquely prepared to advance the Seminary’s mission of preparing students for biblically and theologically responsible, compassionate, justice-oriented Christian ministry. While it is not a requirement that the next president be a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the person selected must be willing and able to work collaboratively with denominational leaders of the Disciples of Christ and United Methodist Churches.

Beyond these foundational expectations, the Presidential Transition Committee has identified the following qualities and qualifications as important in the Seminary’s next president:


  • Humility, spiritual maturity, and confidence in God’s redeeming work through Jesus Christ.
  • A deep commitment to the well-being of local congregations and the importance of an educated clergy.
  • A people person who loves being in conversation with individuals and groups and whose positive spirit draws others into the mission of the Seminary.
  • Personal and professional integrity in all relationships.
  • A consensus builder who listens and communicates directly and clearly.
  • Commitment to appropriate involvement by other administrators and faculty in decision making.
  • Adept at delegating responsibility, implementing decisions, and holding individuals accountable for achieving those objectives.


  • An earned doctorate with teaching and/or administrative experience in a higher education setting sufficient to warrant the respect and confidence of the academic community.
  • Ability to work with a diverse community including the board, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors.
  • Commitment to the ministry of the local church.
  • Demonstrated administrative and financial acumen.
  • Proven track record of success with major gifts fundraising.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Excellent people and leadership skills.
  • Knowledge of theological education and emerging issues affecting and driving change within the church today and the synergy between the two.
  • Experience working with and maximizing the contributions of a governing board.

Application Process

Applications and nominations for the position of president of Phillips Theological Seminary are no longer being received.


Phillips Theological Seminary 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 available on campus and online for certificate, diploma, MDiv, MAMC, MASJ, & MTS
programs, and on campus for the DMin program.

Phillips Theological Seminary

901 N. Mingo Road
Tulsa, OK 74116

p 918-610-8303
f 918-610-8404

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