Rev. Cheri Harper has accepted a call to serve as Director of Recruitment and Admissions at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
“Cheri Harper comes to us with significant background in administration, communications, planning, pastoral nurture, and ministries among youth, young adults, and women. These areas of service have prepared her well for her new role as Director of Recruitment and Admissions at LPTS,” said President Dean K. Thompson in his announcement, following the search committee’s unanimous recommendation.
Harper is a graduate of Louisville Seminary (MDiv ’05) and Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where she majored in Spanish and international studies.
Since earning her degree from Louisville Seminary, Harper has served as a program associate for Presbyterian Women of the Presbyterian Church (USA). In that position, she has provided pastoral care, education, and programmatic support for Presbyterian women leaders at the synod and presbytery levels. She also has served as the primary staff for the Presbyterian Women church wide committees on mission, including design and administration of new initiatives and existing projects. She has published and edited several articles in Horizons magazine, the publication of Presbyterian Women.
Harper also served as the pastoral assistant at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky., where she assisted with planning and leading of worship and pastoral visits.
In her new position at Louisville Seminary, she will be responsible for designing and implementing strategies for recruitment of students, facilitating the admissions process, and administering the Office of Recruitment and Admissions.
“As a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Louisville has a strong commitment to the ecumenical church and to a racially and culturally diverse student body. Cheri’s commitment to and experience in serving the church will assist her in recruiting from diverse ecclesial traditions men and women who are theologically, racially, and culturally diverse to study with an outstanding faculty and participate in a welcoming learning community,” stated Seminary Dean David Hester, who also said that Harper’s understanding of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and its process for ministry preparation would provide added strength to her pastoral leadership with prospective students.
“I am looking forward to walking the road with men and women who are considering seminary,” said Harper, following the campus-wide announcement. “It will be an honor to serve my alma mater in this way and a privilege to help nurture the Seminary’s commitment to diversity and its continued pursuit of academic excellence in preparing leaders for ministries in the church and the world.”
Harper will begin her fulltime service as Director of Recruitment and Admissions on January 7, 2008. She is following Peter Barnes-Davies, a recent graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary who has graciously and ably served as interim director of Admissions since September, following the resignation of Kerry Rice. After nearly four years, Rice left the position to accept a call with the Presbyterian Church (USA) offices as Manager of Meeting Services/Assistant Stated Clerk with the Office of the General Assembly.
Louisville Seminary serves the church and the world by educating men and women for participation as pastors, chaplains, pastoral counselors, and leaders in the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ. Currently, 210 students are enrolled in all of its degree programs.
The Seminary is one of ten theological schools of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and offers an inclusive and diverse community, welcoming individuals from wider ecumenical backgrounds. Denominationally, the majority of the student body is Presbyterian Church (USA); however, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, and United Methodist faith traditions, among several others, are also represented. These men and women come from all over the United States and from coast to coast, including Texas, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York. In the 2007-2008 incoming class, twenty-one students are from Kentucky. The learning experience at Louisville Seminary is further enriched by a growing diversity among the incoming students, 30% of whom represent racial ethnic minorities and international countries.