Term Extended for PSR President Riess Potterveld

May 17, 2012
Jake Stafford

The Board of Trustees of Pacific School of Religion voted to extend the term of President Riess Potterveld to June 30, 2014. The Board appreciates the leadership, dedication, and good work that Dr. Potterveld has accomplished and believes he is the best person to lead PSR as it begins to shape a new future, while continuing to provide its current students with the high quality education and leadership preparation that everyone has come to expect from PSR. Dr. Potterveld returned to PSR as president in October, 2010 after serving as president of Lancaster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.

Before going to Lancaster, Potterveld served in three administrative roles at PSR from 1993 to 2002.

Among his earlier accomplishments at PSR, Potterveld oversaw an increase in the school’s endowment from $25 million to $45 million; an increase in the number of donors by over 33 percent; and, following seven years of decline preceding his tenure, a substantial increase in the school’s annual fund. In his eight years as president of Lancaster, that seminary’s number of annual donors has nearly tripled and the school has developed an elaborate system of educational programs that reach youth, lay leaders, congregations, newly ordained pastors, and seasoned pastors—providing theological education to 3,000 people annually.

Toward the end of his earlier PSR career, Potterveld was instrumental in the development and launch of the seminary’s successful capital campaign (2001-2003).

Born in Milwaukee, WI in 1943, Potterveld was educated at Trinity College, in Hartford, CT, and earned his MDiv at Yale, and his MA and PhD at Claremont Graduate University. He served as senior minister at the Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Northridge, CA, from 1974 until his 1992 appointment at PSR.

Potterveld and his wife Tara have four grown sons and four grandchildren. Tara is an accomplished artist (a sculptor and painter) as well as a nationally known sign language interpreter for the deaf, specializing in legal interpreting.