Pacific School of Religion Names New President
Pacific School of Religion’s Board of Trustees today voted Rev. David Vásquez-Levy the school’s 13th President. He will be one of only three other persons of Latino/a descent currently serving as president of an accredited seminary in the US and its territories.
“PSR has adopted a bold new vision to prepare spiritually rooted, theologically informed leaders for social transformation,” said Julien Phillips, PSR Board Chair and co-founder of the education non-profit Partners in School Innovation. “David’s experience at the intersection of the church, the academy, and the broader world of social changemaking equips him uniquely well to lead PSR.”
Vásquez-Levy graduated from Texas Lutheran University, earned an MDiv degree from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and holds a DMin degree in Preaching from the Association of Chicago Theological Schools. He went on to become Pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Batesville, Indiana. Since 2001, he has served as Campus Pastor at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
“In this radically changing world, theological education needs new thinking,” faculty and presidential search committee member Boyung Lee said. “I see David as already living into that changed reality.”
In response to the unprecedented 2008 Postville Raid in which 400 people were arrested, Vásquez-Levy co-led the Postville Relief Effort, providing those impacted with food, housing, and legal resources, while also advocating for the implementation of more humane immigration policies. This work led him to become a much sought-after voice in immigration advocacy, including speaking at a congressional hearing on immigration policy, working closely with Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services, and attending two White House briefings.
“I am excited and deeply humbled by Pacific School of Religion’s invitation to join in the task of re-imagining theological education,” he said of his appointment. “The school is ready to join with a broad spectrum of partners to educate leaders who have passion and resilience in a world that is in desperate need of good news.”
Rev. Vásquez-Levy will be assuming office on January 1, 2015.