Board of Trustees Selects New President

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Claire Pittman Named President of Phillips Theological Seminary

Following a seven-month long search that yielded an impressive and diverse pool of applicants, the Board of Trustees of Phillips Theological Seminary has named the Rev. Dr. Nancy Pittman as the school’s next president. Pittman has served as interim president of the Seminary since July 1, 2018 and will immediately assume the presidency.

“Dr. Pittman is the clear choice because of her strong leadership skills and vision for the future of theological education,” said Claire Meredith, chair of the seminary’s board of trustees and the presidential search committee.

“It was a tribute to the seminary that we attracted so strong a pool of candidates for the presidency and a clear affirmation of Nancy’s abilities and readiness to lead that she emerged as the ideal fit for this time in Phillips’ history,” Meredith said.

Pittman has served Phillips in several roles before being named president. She was Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean before being named interim president. She has also directed the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program and taught courses in the practice of ministry and the New Testament.

“I appreciate the confidence the board has in me to lead Phillips into the future,” Pittman said.  “As we continue to develop habits of hospitable inclusion of persons from many diversities, we will be better equipped to serve our mission of teaching and learning the ways of Jesus to a world that needs to hear of the compassion, grace and justice he offers the world. And we will remain firm in our historic commitment to train pastors of local congregations, ministers of various institutions, and religious leaders in a variety of settings.”

Nancy Pittman in the Phillips Theological Seminary Chapel
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Claire Pittman in the Phillips Theological Seminary chapel.
Pittman was named president of the seminary Jan. 3, 2019 by the Board of Trustees following a national search by the Presidential Transition Committee.

Pittman was ordained into the ministry by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest on April 1, 1984. She received her BA from Texas Christian University in 1979, her MDiv from Brite Divinity School in 1984, and her PhD from Southern Methodist University in 1997.

“I hope we renew our concern for churches and communities that are seeking to be faithful to Jesus in the neighborhoods they serve in ever new, ever inspiring ways,” Pittman said. “We have much work to do as we live into the transitions that have come and are coming our way.”

The search was led by a 15-member committee appointed by the Board of Trustees. The committee included six board members, along with faculty, staff, student, and alumni representation. Independent consultant Rebekah Burch Basinger served as counsel during the search. Basinger’s services were funded in part by a grant from the In Trust Center for Theological Schools.

Phillips is planning a special reception during the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) General Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa to celebrate Pittman’s new office.

Phillips Theological Seminary offers Christian graduate theological education in service of intelligent, just, and compassionate religious and civic communities. Phillips welcomes students to a safe and brave space for truth-seeking conversations about the Bible, Jesus, and faithful living.