Rev. Stephen Sterner Named PSR's Acting President

July 23, 2013

Rev. Stephen SternerAfter an intense search led by the Board of Trustees of Pacific School of Religion, members voted to elect the Rev. Stephen L. Sterner as Acting President of the seminary on Tuesday, July 23.

Sterner has Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Lancaster Theological Seminary. He has been an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ for 43 years, serving in new and historic churches across the US. In 2008, he became Executive Minister for Local Church Ministries of the UCC, where he advocated for local UCC congregations, was a member of a task force that developed a new governance structure for the UCC National Setting, and was a member of the UCC Council for Higher & Theological Education. He is also a former PSR trustee, having served during the presidency of William McKinney. Steve also served as the Interim Conference Minister of the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC.

While getting his BA at Gettysburg College, Sterner met a college chaplain who suggested Sterner get involved with some student activities, including a trip to tutor students in New York City. Sterner’s experience there showed him that church could be engaging, and he decided to go to seminary.

Beyond his experience as a pastor and UCC national executive, he also has experience in developing sustainable endowments, and building partnerships with communities and organizations.

Of what he hopes his role at PSR will be, Sterner said, “I believe leaders today are called not to resist change or simply name it, but rather to help organizations sort out the necessary changes to enhance their vision and mission for the future.”

He and his wife Judy have 2 grown children, and Steve will be coming to PSR from residence in South Carolina.