|Four alumni named to key positions, including chaplain and director of enrollment
There’s a new spirit of hope and expectation around San Francisco Theological Seminary these days, fueled by the arrival of a new president and four SFTS alums recently named to key positions.
Scott Clark, a 2009 Master of Divinity graduate, will serve as interim associate dean of student life and chaplain. Elizabeth E. P. McCord (M.Div. ’06) is the new director of enrollment, Donald P. Hammond (M.Div. ’11) is interim assistant to the director of enrollment and Barbara England (M.Div. ’11) is interim program manager for the Program in Christian Spirituality.
Clark has worked with the SFTS Program in Christian Spirituality for the past two years and preaches regularly in Bay Area churches. Before attending seminary, he practiced law in Birmingham, Ala., working primarily on cases involving constitutional law and employment discrimination.
Clark’s new position at SFTS combines the chaplain’s duties with administrative responsibilities related to student services and community life. His passion for worship and pastoral care, combined with 10 years of business experience managing a law firm, puts him in a unique position to assist on many levels during SFTS’s time of transition.
“This is an exciting time at the seminary as we welcome our new president,” Clark said. “Worship will continue to be at the heart of our life together as a community, as we continue to listen for what the Spirit is calling the seminary and the church to do and be in the world. I’m looking forward to working with the worship team as we plan worship and to partnering with the student services team as we work together to support our students as they prepare for service in the church and world.”
Since graduating from SFTS, McCord completed a year of Clinical Pastoral Education at John Muir Medical Center in Concord, Calif., where she specialized in oncology. She has also worked in children’s ministry. She will be ordained in the United Church of Christ.
McCord is a 2002 graduate of Davis & Elkins College, a Presbyterian-affiliated school in West Virginia. She was a leader in her campus ministry program and also served as a circuit preacher in rural West Virginia, driving to two different churches each Sunday for 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. She was named the Purdum-Goddin Distinguished Graduate when she earned a BA from Davis & Elkins.
“I’m so happy to be back at SFTS at this time,” McCord said. “I’m very optimistic about the future of the seminary and feel privileged to welcome new students into the community that nurtured my own call to ministry. The church is in a major period of transition. I believe SFTS offers a depth and breadth of theological education that will enable future Christian leaders to respond to the changing church with wisdom, flexibility and compassion.”
Joining McCord on the enrollment team is Hammond, who began working in the department as a student assistant last February. Hammond, who earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from San Francisco State, brings a variety of skills, experiences and insights to SFTS. He’s been a customer service rep for a bank, an award-winning journalist and missionary.
Before coming to SFTS, Hammond served in the East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania. He has also ministered and preached in various regions around the United States as well as Finland, Turkey and Mexico. It was his experiences there that propelled him to seek training and education at seminary.
“The opportunities presented to me at SFTS and the Graduate Theological Union far exceeded my expectations about the value of seminary education,” Hammond said. “As I prepare for the next step in my vocation, I saw a real opportunity to invite others to make full use of the resources and the people here, to help prepare them for their ministries. My work here is similar to that of any missionary: to join with others in experiencing and participating in working within the Body of Christ; in this particular context of graduate study and preparation for ministry.”
Hammond is a candidate for ordination in the PC(USA) and expects to complete a Master of Arts in Systematic and Philosophical Theology granted jointly by SFTS and the GTU. He plans to return to Africa to begin PhD studies at University of Kwazulu Natal in January.
England replaces Clark as program manager for the Program in Christian Spirituality. “Barb is well-known to the community,” Clark said. “She brings her heart for spirituality, her experience in the business world and her super-abundant gifts of hospitality.”
Before arriving at seminary, England raised three sons while working full-time for the phone company in Minnesota. Her undergraduate work was in business management and her passions in ministry are for social justice and mission projects. After mission trips to Mexico, Cuba, Palestine and Iona, she hopes to harvest olive trees in the Holy Land as her next international destination.
“After 26 years of experience in the corporate world, I am excited to bring my project management skills to this position,” England said. “Combining business skills with spirituality is an amazing opportunity and I am excited to serve the seminary in this capacity.”