Raymond Pickett, professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), has been named to serve as Rector of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, a graduate school of California Lutheran University. His service there will begin 1 June 2017. See the news release on the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and California Lutheran University websites for more details.
“This news about Ray is accompanied by quite mixed feelings,” said James Nieman, president. “I am very sad to lose such a fine and faithful faculty member who has contributed so much to our school. At the same time, I am hopeful about Ray’s new calling, grateful for our partnership with PLTS, and confident he will enrich the ELCA conference of seminary leaders. We congratulate our colleagues at California Lutheran for seeing in Ray the leadership and innovation we have long known.”
Dr. Pickett joined the LSTC faculty in 2009. The Public Church curriculum that he helped to develop for the seminary has been named one of the most innovative in North America.
“I am deeply grateful to faculty, students and staff at LSTC for the opportunity to live out my vocation as teacher and scholar,” said Dr. Pickett. “LSTC has been a stimulating environment to share in the formation of visionary leaders for the church. It has been especially gratifying to work with colleagues and students in developing the Public Church curriculum these past three years. I look forward to taking what I have learned from the collaborative work we have done at LSTC to the role of Rector at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary as they move down from their campus on hill into the city of Berkley to offer a more contextually-engaged model of theological education. These are challenging times that call for leaders able to mobilize the church to be more engaged in their communities and in the struggle for justice.”
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary is a graduate school of California Lutheran University. As Rector, Pickett will be responsible for overseeing the life and administration of PLTS. He will report to California Lutheran’s Vice President of Mission and Identity and will work alongside the seminary’s Dean, who reports to California Lutheran’s Provost.
Pickett was ordained in 1989 and was the pastor of congregations in Kansas and Oklahoma. He earned his PhD from the University of Sheffield, England. His recent scholarship on Luke-Acts interprets the texts through a political theology lens. He has written and presented on economic aspects of New Testament texts and their significance for today’s contexts. He is the author of The Cross in Corinth: The Social Significance of the Death of Jesus (Sheffield Academic Press, 1997) and “Conflicts at Corinth” in Christian Origins: A People’s History of Christianity (Fortress Press, 2005) as well as a number of articles. Pickett lives out his commitment to bringing faith into the public sphere in his research, writing and involvement with local faith-based community organizing.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.