Phillips Alumni/ae



Welcome to the Phillips Theological Alumni/ae Association. As the Director of Alumni/ae Relations, I look forward to connecting with you and interacting with you at events. We are so excited to provide affinity groups and educational opportunities to help you in your ministry – in and out of your local congregations. We hope these events will result in connections and support with other alumni/ae and I and Phillips Seminary are here to support you in living ‘the way of Jesus’ in your ministry.

Again, Welcome!

Malisa R. Pierce, MDiv (2011)

The Phillips Theological Seminary Alumni/ae Association exists to promote understanding of, pride in and support for our alma mater and its identity and mission:

Identity statement: Phillips Theological Seminary offers theological education dedicated to learning the way of Jesus in order to cultivate vital congregations, communities, conversations, and the public good.

Mission statement: The seminary’s mission is to learn and teach how to be: attentive to God; responsible biblical and theological interpreters; faithful individuals, congregations, and communities acting with God to transform the world.


Update Your Information

It is important to us to keep in touch with you, our Alumni/ae. You can update your information such as address, phone number, email, ordination date, and ministry setting. Help us keep you informed of everything happening at Phillips Seminary by updating your information.

Ways of Connection

  • Affinity Groups: Choose a group that fits you. You will find groups for your region, graduation year, ministry setting, identity, and interests. Currently we have the following affinity groups available with plans to continue to grow the list:
    • New Alumni/ae Group: If you are a new alumni/ae this is a great place to connect with those with whom you recently graduated.
    • Chaplain Group: A monthly alumni/nae Chaplain Group was started to provide peer support, educational support, and occasional guest speakers.
  • Mighty Networks: The Mighty Networks is the new platform that Phillips is using to connect with alumni/ae and to connect alumni/ae with each other. We are excited to use this platform for affinity groups, webinars, and educational opportunities. Join Phillips Seminary Connect (
  • Chapel: You can connect to our chapels on our YouTube channel, Phillips Seminary. You may join us live or watch chapel after the live event. You will find other videos from events on the YouTube channel.
  • Phillips Communities: COMING SOON! Phillips Communities will be a group in some geographic areas that will bring together students and alumni to connect and support each other. The Phillips Communities will get together once or twice a year for dinner, happy hour or similar event. There will be an alumni coordinator in each area. If you are interested in being a coordinator in your area, please contact Malisa Pierce to get more information.

Ways of Learning

  • Center for Ministry and Lay Training: CMLT provides year-round educational opportunities for you and your congregants. CMLT is a great place to provide extra training for the leaders in your church and to supplement your own education at a low cost. Each class occurs on-line for 8 weeks. Click Here to see current available classes, learn more about CMLT, and register for a class.
  • Center for Religion and Public Life: CRPL provides a podcast, blog and other resources to the public. To learn more about the programs, activities, and learning opportunities provided by the CRPL click here.
  • Audit: Every semester particular classes are designated as available to auditors. This is a great way to keep up with new theories and practices of ministry without entering a degree program.
  • Remind & Renew: Each winter Phillips hosts Remind & Renew, a two-day conference for alumni/ae, laity, and ministers. For more information about Remind & Renew and the upcoming conference theme, click here.
  • Library Usage: All Phillips graduates are automatically given alumni/ae status with the library. Alumi/ae retain all prior privileges when on campus. Remote privileges vary by license agreements with our vendors. Learn about more library privileges available to alumni/ae here. You may also access all of your benefits on the library website.
  • Other educational opportunities to look for:
    • Justice Program Coming July 2021
    • Webinars
    • Clergy Circles
    • Phillips Roundhouse

Ways of Giving

  • Volunteer Opportunities
    • Phillips Encouragement Program (PEP): COMING SOON! PEP is an encouragement program pairing alumni/ae with students to encourage them through their Phillips career. At a minimum, the alumni/ae are expected to send encouraging notes (mail or email) to the student each semester and pray for them as they prepare for them. How the encouragement relationship grows will depend on the needs of the student as long as the interaction stays within the boundaries of the program protocols. If you would like to be a PEP volunteer, please contact Malisa Pierce.
    • Recruiting: We are all recruiters for Phillips. As an alumni/ae, you are one of the most important recruiters because the majority of students are referred to Phillips by an alumni/ae. If you would like information about referring potential students to Phillips or have questions for the Phillips recruiter, contact Ulysses Allen.
  • Give a Gift to Phillips: You may give a gift by mail or online. You may visit the “Ways to Give” page of the Advancement section on the website to learn more about supporting Phillips through your monetary gifts.
  • iFundPhillips: iFP is the annual fall campaign to connect with our alumni/ae and raise funds to support student services. More information is available on the iFundPhillips page on the Phillips web-site.
  • Sustaining Donor Club: As an alumni/ae, monthly giving is a great way to support your alma mater. The monthly giving program, Sustaining Donor Club, allows Phillips to budget and count on a gift each month that will help support the students, innovation, and the monthly needs of the seminary. To become a Sustaining Donor, contact Sharon Russ.
  • Campaigns: COMING SOON!

Ways of Outreach

  • Current Assemblies Attending: Phillips wants to meet you at your assembly! Look for opportunities to connect with other Phillips alumni/ea, staff, and/or faculty at the DOC, UCC, UU, and other assemblies.
  • Mighty Networks: Join other alumni/ae on our new networking site. The site contains affinity groups, educational opportunities, and is a great way to stay up to date with activities at Phillips. Phillips Seminary Connect (
  • Update Form: We want to stay in touch with you and your ministry. Please complete this form if you have an address, phone or ministry setting change.
  • Sign up for the monthly ENews: If you do not currently receive the monthly ENews from Phillips, please send your name and email address to with ENEWS in the subject line or complete the form at the bottom of the Alumni/ae page.
  • Tell us your story: We want to stay in touch but also want to know your story. Do you have an interesting ministry story to tell or a life changing seminary experience to share? Submit your story here.

Ways of Leadership

  • The Board of Directors of the Alumni Association has responsibility for the affairs of the Association and assisting the Association to fulfill its purpose.
  • List of Board Members
    • The Rev. Dr. Mark Pumphrey (1977, 1995), President
    • The Rev. Kelley Becker (2014), Vice President
    • The Rev. Dr. Georgia Senor (2004), Secretary-Treasurer
    • The Rev. Andy Beck (2013)
    • The Rev. Andrea Clark Chambers (2010)
    • The Rev. Kent Dorsey (1979)
    • The Rev. Neil Engle (1981)
    • The Rev. Anna Hubbard (2014)
    • The Rev. Hank Jenkins (2013)
    • The Rev. Kay Korpics (2018)
    • The Rev. Marnie Leinberger (2016)
    • The Rev. Charles Ragland (1982)
    • The Rev. Jeremy Skaggs (2002)
    • The Rev. Gina Woods (2014)
    • Steven Williams (2016)

The Rev. Renee Bridwell


The Rev. Dr. Mark Pumphrey


The Rev. Daniel B. Merrick, Jr.

Frank H. Marshall Award for Ministerial Excellence

The Marshall Award recognizes graduates of Phillips Theological Seminary, Phillips Graduate Seminary, The Graduate Seminary of Phillips University, or the College of the Bible whose service to God, the Church and the human Community has been faithful and exemplary.

The Alumni/ae Association is currently in the process of accepting applications for Marshall Award nominees. Please complete the nomination form if you would like to nominate a Phillips Alumni/ae for the distinguished award. You may request a nominations form from Sharon Russ.

Distinguished Alumni/ae Award

(2001 – 2008)


January-01              Jack Allen Oliver

January-02              Spencer Austin                  Stanley Warfield

January-03              Jerry Perryman                  Paul Ehly

January-04              John Henry Cain                Marvin Nelson

January-05              Robert Elliott                      George Young

July-05                    Sharon Watkins

January-06              Robert Gartman                 Robin Meyers

July-06                    Gary Cox

January-07              David Wilson                     Orval Holt

January-08              Honored all previous alumni/ae for Centennial


Frank H. Marshall Award for Ministerial Excellence

(2009 – Present)


January-09              O. Eugene Moore              Alan Lobaugh

January-10              Leslie Penrose                  Eugene Frazier

January-11              Ron Nofziger                     Bill Reece

January-13              Phil Snider                        Archie Lawrence

January-14              Todd Adams                     Jesse Jackson

January-15              Skipped Nominations for lack of nominees

January-16              Sheri Curry

January-17              Melinda Foster                  John Wolfersberger

January-18              Mike Hardgrove

January-19              David Hockensmith            Paul Krueger

January-20              Gene Spillman, Jr.             Myrna Jones

January-21              Bill Inglish                          Maribeth Westerfield

2023 Frank H. Marshall Award Recipients

The Rev. Renee Bridwell

The Reverend Renee Bridwell may be retired, but the ministry habits of a lifetime continue. She is a member of the Committee on Ministry in southern California and active in two congregations. She grew up attending Kansas Region church camps, which led her to Phillips University. When volunteering in the regional and local church wasn’t sufficient, she finally answered the call to ministry and returned to Phillips Graduate Seminary for the M.Div. During seminary Renee was co-pastor with her husband Steve at First Christian Church in Hennessey, Oklahoma. After her ordination, they accepted a joint call to First Christian Church in Marion, Illinois, and served there until both children finished high school.

During Rev. Bridwell’s ministry with 15th Avenue Christian Church in Rock Island, Illinois, she was elected to the board of Church Finance Council and oversaw the merger of CFC into the General Assembly, a move which made other reorganization possible, including creation of the Center for Faith and Giving. In her 16 years in Illinois/Wisconsin Region, she served in several Regional roles including a term as Regional Moderator.

Rev. Bridwell’s final full-time ministry was to be an Associate Regional Minister in the Kansas region, concluding with service in a unique “Roundtable of Regional Ministry,” a transitional period for the Kansas region, in which she and colleagues Steve Martin and Ken Marston shared the Regional Minister role. Her responsibilities included General Church & ecumenical relationships, Communications, administration, and pastoral care of pastors and congregations.

Rev. Bridwell has volunteered in an estimated 50-60 sessions of summer church camp in 3 different Regions, led youth mission trips and International Affairs Seminars, served on the Oklahoma region’s Task Force on Women. She has been a member of the PTS Alumni Association Board and represented the Board as a Trustee of the seminary.

The Rev. Dr. Mark Pumphrey

Mark Pumphrey is a fourth generation Coloradan and Disciple of Christ. He has three degrees from Phillips: a BS in sociology and history ’71, Master of Divinity ’77, and a Doctor of Ministry ‘95.

Mark began his journey into ministry in 1972 when he became Youth Minister at Mountair CC in Lakewood, CO. He then became Coordinator of Special Projects at Phillips University. In 1975 he served for a year as Special Assistant to Fred Craddock when Dr. Craddock served as acting Dean of PGS. Next, he became the Senior Chaplain of the Enid State School from 1976-81 and during part of that time was Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Care at Phillips Graduate Seminary.

He began a 41-year venture into serving the local church. Mark returned to his home church where he served five years as Associate Minister at Central CC in Pueblo, CO. He was Senior Pastor for 11 years at FCC in Alamosa, Colorado where for the last four years he also served in a ‘yoked’ ministry” with the Monte Vista CC. He spent 18 years at South Broadway CC in Denver—the longest tenure in the church’s 133 history. In 2015 he was the interim minister at FCC in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 2017 he came out of retirement to serve at FCC in Greeley, CO where he is now Co-Pastor.

Mark has served on the Phillips Alumni/ae Association Board and twice as President. Mark is a committed supporter of Phillips. He created the Pumphrey Ministerial Scholarship Fund and has helped identify and recruit a number of students.

Mark has held positions on the General Board of the CC and on the Administrative Committee. In the Central Rocky Mountain Region, he led the Nurture Commission, started and led the Transformation Team and served as Moderator. He proudly shares that he has spent 33 weeks in DOC camps and conferences.

Finally, Mark shared—“The Disciples of Christ and ‘all things Phillips’ have both shaped and blessed my life beyond measure”.

The Rev. Daniel B. Merrick, Jr., Posthumous award, The Rev. Daniel B. Merrick Alumni Award for Faithful and Exemplary Service and Dedication to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Daniel B. Merrick, Jr. graduated from Phillips University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion in 1948. He went on to serve for several years as the Pastor of the Sandoval Christian Church in Sandoval, Illinois before returning to Phillips earning his Bachelor of Divinity degree from the College of the Bible in 1954.

Rev. Merrick married Dagmar Gustafson in 1952. Gustafson ’53 was working on her Director of Christian Education degree while also serving as Dean England’s secretary when she and Dan started dating. When he graduated the Seminary in 1954, the 87 hour program was not a Master of Divinity but a Bachelor of Divinity Degree. Years later when the Masters of Divinity Degree was established, he was amused to receive from the Seminary a Masters diploma in the mail.

After his ordination, Rev. Merrick served in Milwaukee, WI; the Panama Canal Zone; Peoria, IL; and Havana, IL. It was in Milwaukee that their four children were born. What made his ministry so unique was his insatiable curiosity. His sermons were an invitation to be curious with him. It was his curiosity that led him to travel and request overseas placement. He was the minister at Margarita Union Church in Panama for 10 years. There he immersed himself in their Central American culture.

Rev. Merrick talked about how there are two books a pastor touches every week, the Bible and the Hymnal and the pastor needed to be skilled in both. Through the years, Rev. Merrick nurtured his love of hymns, winning his first hymn writing contest in the mid 1950’s. Every year throughout his long ministry he wrote a new Christmas Hymn. His hymns have been published in several major hymnals. As a member of the Hymn Society of America for over fifty years, he assembled a hymnological library of over 1100 volumes. These served as great resources when he edited the Chalice Hymnal for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Rev. Merrick attended the International Society and was instrumental with the Association of Disciples Musicians.

After Rev. Merrick’s passing in 2004, Mrs. Dagmar Merrick donated his hymnal collection to the Phillips Seminary library – now known as the Merrick Hymnody Collection.

Tell Us Your Story

The Alumni/ae Office wants to know about your ministry journey. Do you have a unique journey to share? Let us know what your ministry journey has been like. You can share it here.

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