Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Distinguished Alum Glenn Doak: Serving in Pastoral Ministry

This year Pittsburgh Seminary honors Glenn Doak as our Distinguished Alumnus in Pastoral Ministry.

The Rev. Dr. Glenn Doak ’72/’80 began his pastoral ministry in Pittsburgh in 1972 as assistant and then associate minister of Southminster PC. Beginning in 1980, he next served for 16 years as head of staff at First PC of Norman, Okla., before accepting a call in 1996 as head of staff at First Presbyterian Church of Athens, Ga., where he continues to serve today.

A particular focus of Glenn’s ministry has been strategic planning and visioning, and he has led churches, campus groups, and others through the mission-writing and strategic planning process. Many churches have used his A Guidebook for a Pastor Search Committee (Desert Ministries Inc., 2009) in their pastoral search processes.

While Glenn emphasizes the ministry of human presence as a compassionate means of helping people discern the presence of God while they seek answers to difficult questions and face complex problems, he has also been very active in service to the wider church and the community. He has provided leadership to the Presbyterian church through a variety of committees, councils, and boards, including those serving the Indian Nations Presbytery, for which he served as moderator; the Northeast Georgia Presbytery’s Witness and Service Commission, Committee on Ministry, and Permanent Judicial Commission; the Personal Faith Program of Oklahoma City; and Desert Ministries Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., a gathering of ministers and people of faith who use personal experience and insights from the Bible to guide others through difficult journeys such as grief, illness, divorce, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Also, since 2003 Glenn has directed the Presbyterian Large Church Conference for leaders of large churches.

For the wider community, in Norman, Okla., Glenn served as president of the board for United Way and commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, while also serving on the board of the University of Oklahoma’s Presbyterian Student Center. In Athens, Ga., he has been a member of service agencies and boards ranging from the Samaritan Counseling Center (for which he also served as secretary in Oklahoma City) to Presbyterian Health Foundation, Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, and the University of Georgia’s Student Center. He continues to serve United Way as a board member for Northeast Georgia.

Glenn earned his bachelor’s from Sterling College, Kansas (1968), and his master of divinity and doctor of ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His doctoral work focused on evangelism and church growth. For the fall of 1992, he returned to the Seminary as Distinguished Pastor in Residence.

Glenn and his wife, Ginny, have a daughter, two sons, and three grandchildren.