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Alma College vice president selected to be Louisville Seminary’s 11th president

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville will begin his new duties on July 1

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville has been elected to be the 11th president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. (Photo courtesy of Alma College)

LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville, the Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement and the Senior Chaplain at Alma College in Alma, Michigan, was announced Wednesday as the 11th President of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He begins his service July 1 following the June 30 retirement of the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III.

“I am overwhelmingly excited to be here. It’s more than a dream come true,” Pomerville said during a service held Wednesday morning at Caldwell Chapel on the campus of Louisville Seminary.

Pomerville, 43, recalled the day in 2020 Pollard spoke to Alma College students about Louisville Seminary’s “Whosoever” commitment, which LPTS Board of Trustees Chair Elizabeth Clay explained as “a calling that captures not who we are but who and how we want to be in this world.”

“When President Pollard spoke, it was different. Alton spoke about justice and equity. He bragged about the faculty and students. He won me at that very moment,” said Pomerville, who’s adopting the social media hashtag #POMERintheVILLE. “I remember thinking, I want to be part of that.”

“The LPTS commitment to be a Whosoever community was the most influential factor in my decision to apply to be your next president,” Pomerville said.

“In the wake of Breonna Taylor’s murder, you were there,” he told the large crowd gathered Wednesday, a crowd that showered standing ovations on both him and Pollard. “Other schools wondered how to say the appropriate thing. You were the gospel in action. You rallied around one another … I am delighted to pick up that ball and run with it into a very bright future.”

“I will do my best to live up to your expectations, but I’ll tell you right now I will let you down” from time to time, said Pomerville. “Let us practice forgiveness. Let us joyfully love one another … I look forward to being with you now and for many years.”

Alma College’s the Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville was announced Wednesday as the 11th president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. (Photo courtesy of Alma College)

Pomerville is the founding director of the Center for College and Community Engagement at Alma College, an institution with roots in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He came to Alma College in 1998 from The Peoples Church of East Lansing, Michigan, which he served as senior pastor. He’s also a Church Financial Leadership Coach at the Presbyterian Foundation.

Ordained in the PC(USA) in 2007, Pomerville is a graduate of three Presbyterian schools: he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and religious studies at Alma College in 2001, an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2007, and a DMin from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2018 focused on Reformed theology in a joint program with the University of Aberdeen. He holds a certificate in Adaptive Leadership from Michigan State University’s College of Business.

Rachell and Andrew Pomerville are pictured with their children, Bryce and Denali, who are named after national parks. (Photo courtesy of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary)

His wife, Rachell, is currently a Great Start Readiness Program specialist in the Lansing (Michigan) School District. They have two children, Denali and Bryce, both named after national parks.

“They call me out on my own hypocrisy,” Pomerville said of their children, who are high school students. “They are waiting for the church to step up and do something.”

At Alma College, Pomerville co-led efforts to raise $2 million to renovate the historic chapel. In its announcement, LPTS said Pomerville “has been a champion” for antiracism policies and LGBTQIA+ affirming practices in education and the church.

“Andrew Pomerville is a transformational leader who will bring dynamic energy, robust enthusiasm and rich creativity to his work as president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary,” said Dr. Jeff Abernathy, the president of Alma College. “I share his joy that he has been called to this important work.”

Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, held a community forum in 2019 with staff at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rich Copley)

“When Andrew and I first met, I saw the kinds of qualities after God’s own heart,” Pollard said, adding that he and Pomerville have had conversations “about what it means to accept that call of a new assignment.” One of Pomerville’s best qualities, Pollard told the president-elect and those gathered Wednesday, is knowing that “relationality matters infinitely to you.”

“He is a non-anxious presence,” Pollard said before delivering this observation: “I was with him in the classroom, where I saw a divine restlessness I believe should be emblematic of us all … I believe LPTS is going to be in wonderful hands. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to journey with you, and now I get to look forward to seeing where you and all our colleagues are going. Thank you, my friends. May God bless and keep you all.”

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