W. Gary Pence

Wise Colleague, Constructive Critic, Intuitive Administrator

Our Wise Colleague—Gary Pence grew up in Michigan, graduated from Concordia Seminary, received the doctorate in classics from Princeton University, and joined the PLTS Faculty in 1976. From him we have learned something of how to function as an alternative voice within the Lutheran community. As a wise colleague he has taught us to embrace our call to be a contemporary center of theological ferment and creativity for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Constructive Critic—Gary Pence in his own teaching and scholarship has been able to address those religious traditions that abuse and oppress and to provide ways of being expansive beyond conventional Lutheran circles—to challenge our tradition where its interpretations are no longer helpful and to remind us that dealing with knotty issues of biblical and confessional authority is for the sake of speaking clearly to the “real world” of today.

Intuitive Administrator—Gary Pence has served PLTS as Academic Dean, Interim President, and Director of Continuing Education. He led this faculty through a curriculum revision, provided leadership in continuing theological education both for this seminary and for the GTU. He has help us to appreciate and to own our call as an unapologetic theological explorer/adventurer/pioneer at the frontiers of the future church.

Gary Pence, you have been and are our colleague and beloved friend. We, the faculty of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, thank you. We are honored to bestow upon you the status of Professor of Pastoral Theology Emeritus the twelfth day of September in the year Two thousand and seven.

Gary Andeen, Board Chair
Rev. Dr. Phyllis Anderson, President
Rev. Dr. Michael B. Aune, Dean of the Faculty

Gary Pence