PSR alum becomes president of CARE board

February 4, 2010

David HowellPSR alumnus David Howell has been selected as president of the board of directors for GTU’s Center for the Arts, Religion and Education (CARE). He will lead the 13-member board in its mission to promote the arts in ministry.

“As the past president of CARE, I was delighted when David Howell agreed to become our new president of CARE's board,” says Wilson Yates, outgoing president. “David—an alum of PSR, a leading clergyperson in the church, and an individual deeply interested in the intersections of religion and the arts—brings leadership skills and a creative and steady hand to this essential role in the life of CARE.”

Howell, who earned an MA in religious education and the arts in 1998 and an MDiv in 2000, says that the CARE courses he took while at PSR “had a big impact” on his ministry. As senior pastor for the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, United Church of Christ, he integrates the arts into many aspects of his ministry, from his work with youth and intergenerational musicals to worship and preaching. “Art is a great way to encourage spiritual growth in people—not just in artists, but in everyone,” he says.

Howell hopes to focus the board’s efforts on combining arts education on campus with outreach to community faith leaders. “GTU is one of the best places to study the arts and religion, and we want to make sure that people training in the ministry and people in local congregations know how to integrate the arts into what they do,” says the Menlo Park, California resident, who served on the CARE board for four years before becoming its president. Music, theater, painting, and other creative expressions are an important tool in seeking the divine, he continues. “In art, we can express a depth of feeling and thought that we sometimes can’t capture in words.”