Academic Affairs



Thousand Oaks, California

Berkeley, California





California Lutheran University (CLU) and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) invite applications and nominations for the position of Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of PLTS. The Dean will be one of five reporting to the Provost, along with the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Management, the Graduate School of Education and the Graduate School of Psychology.

PLTS and CLU are in the process of a legal merger which is expected to be completed in November, 2013. Upon completion of the merger, the seminary will maintain the name “Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary” of California Lutheran University. The current President of PLTS will retire at the end of December and the new position of Dean and Chief Administrative Officer will begin on January 1, 2014 (pending WASC approval). This chief administrative officer, who is an ordained ELCA pastor, will oversee the life and program of the seminary on the Berkeley campus.

The merger of PLTS and CLU aligns well with the mission of both institutions.  With added resources through CLU’s graduate programs in Education, Psychology, and Management, PLTS faculty will be able to collaborate with new colleagues to envision a curriculum to meet the needs of the church in the West and for the future of theological education.  The merger with PLTS reaffirms CLU’s commitment to the ELCA as the two institutions work together to provide education in service to Church and society. This merger supports the charge of the ELCA to “maintain programs that serve as a liaison between the … university and the various expressions of this church.”

PLTS offers the M.Div. and M.T.S. degrees, as well as a number of certificates. PLTS is a founding member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), an ecumenical and interfaith consortium of eight seminaries and nine research centers, with a cross-registration system allowing students to enroll in courses across the consortium. A joint M.A. is offered through the GTU, and PLTS provides core doctoral faculty for the Ph.D. program which is granted through the GTU.


Mission.  In accordance with CLU’s overall mission, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) develops leaders for the church by deepening faith in Christ, challenging the mind, expanding the heart and energizing for mission. 

Relationships.  PLTS is a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a founding member of the Graduate Theological Union an ecumenical and interfaith consortium of eight seminaries and nine research centers in Berkeley, California.  PLTS is in the process of becoming the seminary of California Lutheran University, whose main campus is in Thousand Oaks, California. 

History and Location.  Predecessors of PLTS were founded in Portland Oregon in 1910 and relocated to Seattle for a number of years. In 1952, PLTS was established on its current nine acre campus in the Berkeley hills, overlooking the San Francisco Bay area.  As the only ELCA seminary in the western United States, PLTS serves the whole ELCA with a special focus on the contexts, cultures, and mission challenges of the West. 

Values.  PLTS is committed to preparing leaders in a diverse, highly secularized West Coast context for a changing church and a complex world.  The faculty does this by including the following four perspectives:

  • Lutheran IdentityA shared passion for the biblical story, centered on God’s sheer love in Jesus Christ, which forms us as a community of worship, study, and service, rooted in the Lutheran confessional tradition.
  • Multiculturalism.  A shared conviction that serious engagement with one’s own and others’ cultures compels us to imagine and embrace new ways to minister within a diverse world.
  • Public Sphere.  A shared commitment to faith active in love, calling us to engage the economic, environmental, political, and social issues of the day.
  • Religious Pluralism. A shared belief that conversation and mutual critique with other Christians and those of other religious faiths expand our understanding of the human condition and deepen our own theological grounding as Lutheran Christians, revealing what we have to gain from and give to others.

Accreditation.  PLTS is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in the United States and Canada and, upon completion of the merger with California Lutheran University, also by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). 

Degree and Certificate Programs.  The following degree programs and certificate programs are offered:

  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.): Four year program of preparation for ordination includes one year of internship. One year of this program may be taken on-line.
  • Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.): Two year program of graduate theological study for a wide range of personal and professional purposes.
  • Master of Arts (M.A.): Granted by PLTS and the GTU
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): Granted through the GTU.
  • Certificate of Theological Studies (C.T.S.): One year individualized program for lay church occupations or life enrichment.
  • Certificate of Advanced Theological Study (C.A.T.S.): An individualized program beyond the M.Div. or other professional degree in ministry. Serves as the 'Lutheran Year' program of studies for students who earn part or all of their M.Div. degree at a non-ELCA school.
  • Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (T.E.E.M.) Certificate: Three year program leading to ordained ministry, involving distance education and intensive short courses at the seminary.

Faculty.  The faculty of PLTS numbers 10, with several serving in administrative as well as teaching roles. Administrative faculty include full-time directors of the TEEM program and of Contextual Education. This core faculty is augmented by emeritus and adjunct faculty of PLTS, faculty from the Religion Department of CLU, and more than 100 members of the faculties of the other Graduate Theological Union schools and centers which offer over 600 courses per year available to PLTS students in an open cross-registration system. Students also have access to courses taught by the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. 

Students and Community Life.  With a current total of about 80 degree students, PLTS draws able and committed students of all ages from across the country and beyond, attracted by the close residential community, the strong Lutheran core, the social justice and multicultural emphasis, the West Coast location and the richness of the GTU environment and offerings.  The overwhelming majority of students at PLTS are members of the ELCA preparing for ministries in the church and the world.  Students experience intentional formation experiences, contextual education, regular worship, access to the campus pastoral team and rich community life led by an active student government. 

Thirty additional students are enrolled in the TEEM program (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries).  These highly diverse leaders are meeting their educational requirements for ordination through on campus intensives, ongoing study with an academic mentor, and supervised ministry experience, while they are leading congregations in a variety of settings across the country. 

Library Resources.  The Flora Lamson Hewlett Library is the common library for GTU member schools. With 450,000+ volumes, 1,500+ journal subscriptions, and 290,000+ other media holdings, it is the most comprehensive theological library in the United States. Students and faculty also have access to the libraries of the University of California, Berkeley and will have access to CLU’s Pearson Library.

Advisory Board.  The newly merged seminary will have an Advisory Board representing the 11 supporting synods and the Churchwide Organization of the ELCA.  Board members contribute their wisdom regarding the education and formation of leaders in response to the needs of the church.  They maintain connections with the church in their respective synods and promote the seminary within their circles of influence.  They support the seminary financially and are active in encouraging others to give. 

The Advisory Board will work continually to build mutual trust between the seminary and the university as a whole through information sharing, regular communication, and awareness of the goals and concerns of each.  The Advisory Board provides support and advice regarding the academic, fiscal, and outreach programs of the seminary to the university’s administration, Board of Regents, and board committees.  The CLU Board of Regents is committed to consult the seminary Advisory Board regarding decisions affecting the seminary.  In addition, the Advisory Board advocates for resources for the seminary and works with the university Advancement Office to raise financial support for the seminary.

Leadership Opportunities and Challenges in the New Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University

This is a time of great challenge and opportunity for the new leader of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.  PLTS participates in the challenges facing theological education as a whole:  decreasing enrollment trends, an unsustainable business model, and the demand for new – and more affordable -- ways to prepare diverse leaders for a changing church and world. 

A creative, committed and adaptive faculty, administration and staff at PLTS have been addressing these challenges through:

  • active and inviting student recruitment,
  • a bold new “flexible life” delivery model which includes a year of on-line study and a fourth year internship,
  • an effective “Evangelism and Justice” concentration to prepare for mission development and redevelopment calls,
  • curricular changes to meet current needs,
  • creative partnerships with Luther Seminary in the Western Mission Cluster and in the GTU, including a recent joint faculty appointment with the Episcopal seminary,
  • strong, positive relationships throughout the church, and
  • robust development efforts and careful financial management, which have kept the seminary solvent over the last several years. 

As the seminary of CLU, PLTS will have new opportunities

  • to explore programmatic possibilities with new colleagues in the undergraduate Religion Department and in the graduate schools of Psychology, Education, and Management, which will meet the needs of the church and prospective students. 
  • to expand lay and continuing education resources throughout the region, to help the church grow and thrive.
  • to realize greater efficiency and effectiveness through integration of administrative functions within the university.
  • to participate in expanded development activity with the CLU advancement staff that will enhance both annual income and grow the endowment.

The first Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of the Seminary will have a significant leadership role in developing relationships and systems at CLU through which the seminary can thrive as part of the university.  The Dean and Chief Administrative Officer will be the pastoral, spiritual, academic, educational, and administrative leader of the PLTS community on the PLTS campus.  He or she also represents the seminary within the structures of the university and is accountable to the university for the administration of the seminary.  The Dean and Chief Administrative Officer is the primary representative of the seminary with external constituencies in the church and in theological education circles.  He or she will be active in relating to donors and graduates of the seminary and inviting their financial support.  The Dean and Chief Administrative Officer embodies the mission and spirit of the seminary.

Scope of Responsibilities of the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer

  • Overall leadership and administration of the seminary, providing vision and fostering a collaborative environment with students, faculty, staff, and other constituents.
  • Building and convening the leadership team on the Berkeley campus, in a context in which several seminary administrators (admissions, finance, seminary relations) will have direct reporting relationships with administrators located in Thousand Oaks. 
  • Developing short-term and long-term plans consistent with the mission of the seminary, the mission of the university, and the university strategic plan, within a fiscally responsible environment.
  • Working collaboratively with faculty to create new academic programs and life-long learning programs for the future of theological education.
  • Engaging actively in raising funds for the seminary, in cooperation with the seminary development director and the university VP for Advancement.
  • Representing the seminary within the university, serving on CLU’s Dean’s Council, Graduate Council, and as a member of the Office for University Ministry.
  • Overseeing faculty and staff at the Berkeley campus, developing and implementing personnel policies, procedures, and evaluation protocols within the guidelines of the university.
  • Working closely with the Associate Dean, a Seminary faculty member serving half-time in this administrative role, who has responsibilities for academic programs and support of faculty.
  • Representing the seminary to the church and other external constituencies, including the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the ELCA Council of Seminary Presidents, the 11 supporting synods of the seminary, graduates, donors, and friends.
  • Working with the Council of Presidents of the GTU as they focus on needed changes for a more sustainable model of seminary education.
  • Coordinating the work of the Seminary Advisory Board.
  • Advocating for the needs of the seminary, its faculty, staff and students.
  • Serving as a pastoral presence, guide, and model for students and embodiment of the values of the seminary.
  • Providing effective communication within the seminary community.
  • Modeling inclusivity and hospitality to all, providing strong leadership for the seminary’s efforts to promote pluralism and mutual understanding of identities and cultures among its students, faculty, staff and advisory board.


Located in the community of Thousand Oaks, halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and 15 miles from the coast, CLU is a growing comprehensive university serving 2,800 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students.  CLU provides a challenging academic environment in support of its mission to educate leaders for a global society. Contributing to this vibrant atmosphere for purposeful learning are a distinguished faculty, a talented and diverse student body, an engaging environment that fosters individual growth and academic excellence, values-centered education, community involvement, individualized attention and an experiential approach to teaching.

California Lutheran University welcomed its first students in the fall of 1961, following the institution’s formal founding and incorporation in 1959 as California Lutheran College. CLU is an independent, co-educational institution that is dedicated to excellence both in the liberal arts and in professional studies. In 1986, the institution’s name was changed to California Lutheran University to better reflect the breadth of its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs and in particular the founding of two graduate schools, in business and education.

California Lutheran University enjoys a distinctive entrepreneurial spirit arising from its relative youth as an institution. There is little sense of bureaucracy or red tape; new ideas and initiatives are encouraged and acted upon.

In addition to the main campus in Thousand Oaks, CLU offers courses in its graduate and professional programs at nearby campuses conveniently located in Oxnard and Woodland Hills. The Graduate School of Education recently launched a new campus in the Central Coast, near Santa Maria, where the Master’s degree in Educational Leadership is offered. With the PLTS merger, CLU will add another campus in Berkeley.  It is expected that other CLU graduate programs will be offered at the Berkeley campus.

The new Dean and Chief Administrative Officer will join CLU’s Office of University Ministry group to assist the University in its foundational work as a church related University, soon with the additional asset of PLTS. The Office of Campus Ministry attends to the faith needs of students, faculty and staff under the direction of our two campus pastors, Melissa and Scott Maxwell-Doherty.  The Office of Church Relations, which strengthens our relationship with congregations and synods of Region two and the Churchwide ELCA organization, is staffed by the Rev. Arne Bergland and Linda LeBlanc.  The Segerhammar Center for Faith and Culture, which promotes moral reflections at the University and in the church, has been under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin, newly elected bishop of Southwest Cal. Synod. Together they can assess how best to integrate the faith resources of PLTS and CLU into our new shared future.

California Lutheran is one of 26 universities and colleges affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and is the only ELCA college or university founded since the first World War. It is also a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, and the Council of Independent Colleges. The University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).


California Lutheran University is guided by the following statements of identity, mission and vision:

Identity and Mission. California Lutheran University is a diverse scholarly community dedicated to excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies. Rooted in the Lutheran tradition of Christian faith, the University encourages critical inquiry into matters of both faith and reason. The mission of the University is to educate leaders for a global society who are strong in character and judgment, confident in their identity and vocation, and committed to service and justice.

Vision for the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. California Lutheran University will pursue excellence in the fulfillment of its mission with a focus on intellectual accomplishment, academic challenge, experiential learning, an inclusive campus community, and a commitment to serving others. New facilities, innovative academic programs and improved services will support faculty, staff, students and administration across all programs in order to prepare graduates to improve our community and the world.


In May 2012, the Board of Regents of the University adopted the CLU Strategic Plan 2012-2017. The Plan establishes five strategic goals for the coming five years:

  • Guide students to discover and live their purpose, with real-world learning experiences, excellent academic and career mentoring, and a campus environment that promotes inclusion;
  • Continue to set high institutional academic standards, with distinguished faculty who embody and embrace diversity and with widely respected academic programs;
  • Support student achievement across all programs, with equitable treatment for all students, by enhancing student services and by utilizing the most pedagogically appropriate delivery methods for student learning;
  • Build and modernize sustainable facilities, for an environment that sustains social, cultural and intellectual activity while respecting and protecting the planet; and
  • Attract students of high ideals and promise, by enhancing regional and national awareness of CLU’s mission, by raising the profiles of students who are drawn to our mission, and by offering new programs and scholarships to attract these students.

For the full text of the Strategic Plan, see:


Since the completion of a $93 million capital campaign in 2005, California Lutheran has continued to expand its financial resource base and infrastructure, including a new building project every year. The University operates with fiscal prudence and has maintained strong fiscal health despite the economic downturn. Faculty salaries have significantly increased over the past seven years. On June 1, 2013, the endowment of California Lutheran University stood at approximately $61 million, with an annual University operating budget of $99 million.


Applications and enrollment for both the undergraduate and graduate programs have been increasing for several years, and in Fall 2012 CLU welcomed 558 new freshmen, 264 transfers, 338 new graduate students, and 53 new students in the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program. CLU draws its talented undergraduate student body from 39 states and 41 countries, while graduate students come from 27 countries. Forty-two percent of students in the Fall 2012 entering class were in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class, and incoming students averaged a 3.7 grade point average and a SAT 25th-75th percentile of 1040-1200.


The academic programs of California Lutheran University are conducted within five organizational units: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Management, the Graduate School of Psychology and the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals. PLTS will add a sixth organizational unit. There is significant collaboration and interaction among the schools in the planning and implementation of academic programs.

College of Arts and Sciences. In the College of Arts and Sciences, 24 academic departments and interdisciplinary programs are organized into four divisions: Humanities, Creative Arts, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The University’s curricula draw from strengths across these departments, programs, and divisions, contributing to a distinctive blending of liberal learning, professional preparation, and ethical reflection. A total of 34 majors and 31 minors are offered, as well as the CORE-21 general education, the Honors Program, and the Freshman Seminar Program.

The Religion Department in the College of Arts and Sciences teaches the academic study of religion in its social, historical, ethical and theological dimensions to prepare students for a variety of careers. Students may major or minor in Religion or Theology and Christian Leadership. Religion students enjoy many opportunities for internships with community partners, service learning, travel courses and independent study, enabling them to explore specific areas of career/vocational interest while completing their undergraduate degree programs. Religion students graduate from Cal Lutheran with the resources to think in a sophisticated way about religious issues in general and the place of religion in their own lives, and they are well prepared for additional study.

The CLU Religion faculty and PLTS faculty took the lead on exploring and envisioning what a merger of our two institutions might look like and have to offer our respective, and in many ways, overlapping constituents. Although our Religion Department and Seminary programs have different outcomes for student preparation, we are energized by the collaboration our faculties have had to date. As PLTS becomes a graduate school of the University, we are committed to supporting each other’s programs, providing shared credentialed and continuing education programs for students, exchanging faculty and developing new pedagogical approaches for the ELCA, ecumenical partners, and other communities of faith.

Graduate School of Education. The Graduate School of Education (GSoE) is responsible for managing and coordinating all programs offered for the initial and advanced preparation of higher education leaders, teachers, and other school professionals. Programs include nine credential programs, six master’s degrees, and two doctoral degrees. The GSoE is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and its credential programs are approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

School of Management. The School of Management offers both traditional programs and degrees as well as customized programs relevant to and practical for working professionals. These programs fall into three major areas: traditional undergraduate, adult undergraduate, and graduate.  The graduate programs consist of four Master’s degrees: computer science, economics, information systems and technology, and public policy and administration; four MBA programs: traditional (also available online), full-time for international students, financial planning, and M.B.A. in Europe (Austria); and post-MBA certificates.

Graduate School of Psychology. The Graduate School of Psychology (GSoP) offers a doctoral degree and two M.S. degrees in psychology.  Programs are offered on the main campus and in Oxnard. Two CLU Community Counseling Centers, serving over 400 clients per week, are a key component to the clinical training of doctoral students and students in the Marital and Family Therapy programs.

Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals. CLU offers this program for adults as an accelerated, part-time bachelor’s degree program with evening and online classes, well suited for adults with family or occupational commitments. Students may earn a degree in any of seven majors: accounting, business management, organizational leadership, computer information systems, computer science, liberal studies, and psychology. The Director of the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals works closely with the Deans to coordinate offerings on the main campus and in Oxnard and Woodland Hills.


Review of nominations and applications will begin immediately, and nominations and expressions of interest will be welcomed until an appointment is made. The appointee is expected to take office on January 1, 2014. Applications received by August 30, 2013 will be assured of full consideration; these should include a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, and names of five professional references with e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. Calls to references will occur later in the search process and only with prior notification of candidates. All submissions will be treated in confidence and should be sent electronically (MS Word format preferred) to:

This position will be filled pending WASC approval.

Additional information about Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary may be found at: 

Additional information about California Lutheran University may be found at: 

California Lutheran University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

are equal opportunity employers.