Phyllis Anderson

  • President
  • (510) 559-2731

I am honored by PLTS’s call to serve as president and deeply grateful for the welcome the community has extended. I am excited about the opportunity to lead this excellent seminary as it shapes Lutheran leaders for our time and place, marked by rapid change, diversity, secularity, spiritual longing, and great human need. PLTS is blessed with strong partners in the GTU, in the congregations and synods of the ELCA, and in its unique relationship with Luther Seminary in the Western Mission Cluster. I pray God will continue to bless this institution with outstanding faculty, staff and students, with good friends and partners, and with all that we need to fulfill our part in God’s mission.


Doctor of Philosophy in Systematic Theology: Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, 1984; Master of Divinity: Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, 1977; attended Princeton Theological Seminary, 1970–1975; Bachelor of Arts with major in English: Sacramento State College, 1966; attended Concordia Teachers’ College, Seward, Nebraska, 1961–1963

Brief Professional History

Current President of PLTS; Associate Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University 2001–2004; Director of the Institute for Ecumenical Theological Studies, 1998–2004; Director for Theological Education of the Division for Ministry, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 1988–1998; Director of ELCA Study of Theological Education for Ministry, 1989–1995; Director of Pastoral Studies and Instructor in Theology, 1985–1987; Assistant to the Bishop of the Iowa District, American Lutheran Church 1983–1985; Co-Pastor Tri-Lutheran Parish, Epworth, Earlville, and Dyersville, Iowa 1979–1983

Select Special Service

Warren E. Deem Institute for Theological Education Management (ITEM), 1990; Regular member of Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accrediting teams; Public Member of ATS Commission on Accrediting, 1994–1998; Member of Northwest Washington Synod Strategic Planning Committee and Ecumenical Commission.

Select Publications

  • “Call to Ministry in an Ecumenical Context”, Seattle Theology and Ministry Review, Volume 3, 2003.
  • “Why Should We Care About Ecumenism?”, Seattle Theology and Ministry Review, Volume 1, 2001.
  • ELCA Study of Theological Education (1989–1995); Narrative Analysis of the Process, published as a special issue of Theological Education; the Journal of the Association of Theological Schools, Fall, 2000.
  • Primary author of three major reports of the ELCA Study of Theological Education:
    • Theological Education for Ministry in the ELCA: A Resource for Discussion, 1991.
    • The Study of Theological Education for Ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Report to the 1993 Churchwide Assembly, 1993.
    • Faithful Leaders for a Changing World: Theological Education for Mission in the ELCA, ELCA Study of Theological Education, Report to the 1995 Churchwide Assembly, 1995.
  • “Lutheran Women in Theological Studies: Headway, Hard Work, and Hope,” in Lutheran Women in Ordained Ministry, 1970–1995, edited by Gloria E. Bengtson (pp. 129-136). Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1995.
  • The Bible As Liberating Word; An Introduction to Liberation Theology. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1986.