Kathi McShane returns as vice president for institutional advancement

October 4, 2010

Kathi McShane returns to PSR as vice president of Institutional Advancement, a position she held from 1998-2002, after serving eight years as a United Methodist pastor--first at San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church in Alamo, CA, and most recently at First United Methodist Church in Sacramento. In her new post, she will oversee fundraising, alumni/ae relations, and marketing and communications.

McShane was born in Oakland, and grew up in the Armenian Orthodox Church. She attended UC Davis, where she majored in political science, and Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley. She practiced law for 16 years, in business and real estate litigation. She graduated from PSR with an MDiv in 1998, and was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church in 2001.

Speaking about her circuitous career journey, McShane said, “My first career was practicing law; I did that for 16 years. But I was one of those lawyers who always thought, ‘I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life.’ About every three years I would think, ‘What else could I do?’ Now I recognize all that anxiety about not being in the right profession as a sort of spiritual longing, but I didn’t recognize it then.”

She began at PSR with the intention of studying ethics for a year, and soon discovered a love for pastoral leadership and preaching. While a student, she started working in development and later directed PSR’S “Tradition of Boldness” capital campaign. This work revealed yet another facet of her ministry.

“I learned to do development as ministry, focusing on a theology of stewardship—the opportunity to remind people that your deepest convictions can be lived out in what you do with your money. We all have a longing to align our practical economic lives with our spiritual lives, and philanthropy is a way to do that.”

For the last four years, McShane has served as a member of the PSR Board of Trustees, and is currently chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“I'm really glad to be returning to PSR at this moment in its history,” McShane said. “The chance to work with Riess again is a privilege, and there could not be a better time for PSR to grow with faith communities into a new understanding of what it means to be preparing leaders for the Church. There is so much good work before us!”