Sept. 13, 2012—Pacific School of Religion (PSR) has announced the appointment of Randall Miller as Assistant Professor of United Methodist Studies, Ethics and Leadership, and Director of a Leadership Initiative – a joint collaboration with the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
PSR President Riess W. Potterveld made the announcement on Tuesday (Sept. 11).
"Pacific School of Religion and The United Methodist Church have worked together for a long time in the education and preparation of leaders for the church, both ordained and lay," Potterveld told Instant Connection. "This week PSR named Randall Miller to a new position, Assistant Professor of United Methodist Studies, Ethics, and Leadership. In this teaching position, Dr. Miller will teach courses in the history, theology, and polity of The United Methodist Church. Additionally, [he] will direct a Leadership Institute that is being jointly designed by PSR and the California-Nevada Annual Conference and that will focus on programs of leadership development for ministry in the 21st century."
Developing principled Christian leaders is one of the Four Areas of Focus of The United Methodist Church and a significant impetus of the California-Nevada Conference, which this year hired the Rev. Greg Bergquist to fill a newly created staff position, Conference Superintendent for Leadership Development.
Resident Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. said that in his new capacity at PSR, Miller will work closely with Bergquist to develop a comprehensive leadership plan aimed at cultivating highly effective leaders (both clergy and lay) who are theologically and ethically grounded in the United Methodist tradition, shaped by lived experience, and engaged in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The goal of the initiative is to facilitate developments of adaptive skills and enable vibrant and innovative forms of leadership in both religious and non-religious settings and sectors.
"Significant changes in the context of ministry – in our society and throughout the world – underscore the importance of a renewed and strengthened partnership … aimed at supporting transformative and adaptive clergy and lay leaders who will lay the groundwork necessary for United Methodism to thrive in the 21st century," the bishop said.
Miller is a 1981 graduate of Emory and Henry College. He undertook graduate studies at Candler School of Theology in 1985, and received a PhD from Graduate Theological Union in 2007.
Before joining the PSR faculty in July 2010 as Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and Social Thought, Miller held senior positions in politics, HIV/AIDS prevention, philanthropy, and national youth ministry. He is an active lay member in The United Methodist Church and chaired the 2012 California-Nevada General Conference Delegation. At the 2012 Western Jurisdiction Conference, he was elected to the General Board of Church and Society and named chairperson of the WJ Episcopacy Committee.
"I'm very pleased to be appointed to this new faculty position," Miller said today, "and look forward to working with good colleagues at the Pacific School of Religion and throughout the California-Nevada Annual Conference to revitalize a strong, vibrant, and inclusive spirit of United Methodism in this region."