|SFTS Names New Academic Dean: Jana Childers
San Anselmo, CA– Rev. Dr. Jana Childers was unanimously approved by the San Francisco Theological Seminary Board of Trustees to serve as its Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective July 1, 2013. Childers replaces Dr. Elizabeth Liebert, the first Roman Catholic sister named as Dean of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminary, who is stepping down to go on sabbatical leave to complete the writing of her next book. Liebert served as Dean for 4 years and has been a member of the SFTS faculty for 26 years. She plans to return to teaching at SFTS upon the completion of her sabbatical.
Childers is excited to serve as Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs, a post she previously held from 2002 – 2009. “This is an exciting and challenging time to be stepping back into the role of Dean. I am very much looking forward to working with President McDonald and the faculty in this period of great innovation and growth,” said Childers. The role for Childers will differ somewhat from when she held the position previously as SFTS begins to live into its new strategic plan. The path that lies ahead marks a season of change for the 142 year-old seminary as it readies itself to serve the Church of the 21st century.
“I rejoice that both the Faculty and Trustees unanimously approved Jana’s return to this key leadership role. She is a deeply respected member of the SFTS community, and her leadership and commitment to the fresh vision and plan for the seminary will help us move our new strategic efforts forward,” stated Rev. Dr. James McDonald, SFTS president. He added, “We all give hearty applause and thanks to Beth Liebert, who has served ably as Dean for the past four years.”
Childers, a professor of Homiletics and Speech Communications at SFTS is also a popular conference speaker. She has been featured on the Chicago PBS show “Thirty Good Minutes” and on the “Great Preachers” television series. An internationally respected preacher and lecturer, Childers 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.
Childers, holds a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. Prior to coming to SFTS, Childers was a pastor in Pluckemin, NJ.