SFTS Administration
The San Francisco Theological Seminary Administrative Cabinet consist of the Seminary's president, four vice presidents, and two associate deans. They meet weekly to coordinate the administrative leadership needs of the seminary.

Rev. Dr. James McDonald, M.Div., PhD
President of the Seminary
Professor of Faith and Public Life

Denomination: Presbyterian

Rev. Dr. James McDonald is the 11th president in San Francisco Theological Seminary’s (SFTS) history. For the past 13 years, McDonald, an ordained Presbyterian minister, worked for Bread for the World, a faith-based advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., that urges national legislators to end hunger. McDonald managed day-to-day operations, spearheaded fund-raising, and focused on advocacy and strategic efforts to build a broad movement against hunger and poverty. With a PhD in international relations from American University, McDonald led efforts to secure debt relief for the world’s poorest countries. After receiving Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees from Princeton University and Union Theological Seminary in New York, respectively, McDonald worked in pastoral ministry for 15 years. He was associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Ind., and then served Tabernacle United Church in Philadelphia from 1980-90. Throughout his career, McDonald has shown a deep passion for education that makes a difference. He was an adjunct faculty member at American and George Washington universities for nearly a decade, teaching courses on world politics, foreign policy and Latin America.

Rev. Dr. Jana Childers, M.Div., PhD
Dean of the Seminary
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Homiletics and Speech Communication

Denomination: Presbyterian

Rev. Dr. Jana Childers is a long-time professor of Homiletics and Speech-Communication at SFTS, and this will be her second term serving as Dean of the Seminary, a position she held from 2002-2009. Childers holds a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and also enjoys an international reputation as a preacher and popular conference speaker. She has been featured by the Chicago PBS show "Thirty Good Minutes" and on the "Great Preachers" television series and has written, edited and contributed to many books and articles on the art of preaching, including the award-winning Birthing the Sermon: Women Preachers on Creative Process.

Jack Kirkman
Vice President for Advancement & External Communications
Denomination: Lutheran

Jack Kirkman brings a 40-year background in banking, law, financial and program analysis, strategic planning, healthcare administration, Foundation presidency, small business ownership, and over 20 years as a senior partner in a national consulting firm. This breadth and wealth of experience has informed his work performing philanthropic feasibility studies; establishing and leading foundations; and managing comprehensive capital campaigns. His motivational flair and creative solutions are rooted in a deep sense of value of philanthropy, and is happy to be applying these professional skills as the new Vice President for Advancement & External Communications at San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Barbara Brenner Buder, MBA-MPPM
Vice President for Administration and Finance
& Chief Financial Officer

Denomination: Presbyterian

Barbara Brenner Buder holds a bachelor's in business from University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from Yale School of Organizational Management. She worked for 14 years at Bank of America Corporation in San Francisco, advancing to executive vice president in the Corporate Strategy and Development Group. Prior to that, Brenner Buder was a manager in the audit department of Deloitte & Touche, a public accounting firm in San Francisco. Brenner Buder is an ordained Presbyterian elder and a member of First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, where she sings in the Chancel Choir.

Rev. Scott Clark, M.Div., JD
Associate Dean of Student Life and Chaplain
Denomination: Presbyterian

As Chaplain and Associate Dean of Student Life, Scott Clark leads the seminary's worship life and coordinates the community's pastoral care. Additionally, Clark has administrative responsibility for leading the seminary's student-services team. Clark previously has worked with both the SFTS Program in Christian Spirituality and the seminary's CPE Program. In addition to his work at the seminary, Clark preaches regularly in Bay Area churches, and has worked at local and national levels advocating for the full inclusion of all people in the life of the church. Scott Clark is a 2009 Master of Divinity graduate from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He also holds Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Alabama. Before attending seminary, Clark practiced law in Birmingham, Ala., working primarily on cases involving constitutional law and employment discrimination. He also served as adjunct instructor and co-director of the Judicial Internship Program at the University of Alabama School of Law.

Rev. Elizabeth E.P. McCord, M.Div.
Associate Dean for Vocations
Denomination: United Church of Christ

Rev. Elizabeth E. P. McCord received her Master of Divinity from SFTS in 2006. Prior to returning to the seminary as the Director of Enrollment, she spent a year in CPE residency at John Muir Medical Center – Concord Campus and later served as a Christian educator at San Geronimo Community Presbyterian Church. Elizabeth is a native of Appalachia who claims Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia as her childhood home. It was her experience as a circuit preacher in rural West Virginia that led Elizabeth into ministry. Elizabeth is ordained in United Church of Christ and is an active member of Fairfax Community Church.


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Contact Information

San Francisco Theological Seminary
105 Seminary Rd
San Anselmo CA, 94960
Phone: 415.451.2800
email: info@sfts.edu