New Associate Dean Barbara Blodgett Coordinates Student Learning Assessment and Joint Degree Programs
“The heart of my calling to ministry is educating and forming people to love and serve God and to live faithful lives as followers of Christ,” says PTS’s new Associate Dean of Programs and Assessment the Rev. Dr. Barbara Blodgett.
She continues: “We are to love God with all our heart and soul and might. Our whole selves are engaged and committed to learning and living this out.”
And her own ministerial career has borne out her conviction. She has served as a church educator, taught professional ethics to college students, directed a theological field education program, and taught pastoral leadership to seminary students. “While these activities may seem disparate, they are all connected by the common mission of educating and forming others,” she notes.
The author of four books on ethics and ministry, Barbara came to PTS from Lexington Theological Seminary, where she taught as Donald and Lillian Nunnelly Assistant Professor in Pastoral Leadership. Previously, she’d spent more than a decade directing the supervised ministries (field education) program at Yale Divinity School, where she created and developed a program called Leadership in Public Ministry aimed at teaching seminarians the skills of leadership for the church and world. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Barbara has also served in parish ministry and in denominational leadership in the national offices of the UCC.
Beyond her experience in the fields of ethics and leadership, Barbara has expertise in pedagogy and contextual education and was recently elected chair of the steering committee of the Association of Theological Field Education for its next biennium. She has also been part of the Association of Theological Schools’ working group to develop standards for online theological education for the 21st century and beyond. She leads workshops for seminarians, clergy, and other leaders, writes for the journal Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry and for a blog on distance education of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, and has published articles in the Center’s journal.
In her position at PTS, Barbara will coordinate the faculty’s work of assessing student learning outcomes and degree programs. She will also serve as a key link in the administration of our joint degree M.Div. programs with the University of Pittsburgh (MSW), Carnegie Mellon University (MSPPM), and Duquesne University (JD). “I like imagining where theological education might go next,” she says. “I stay involved in conversations around innovations such as competency-based education, credentialing, and online teaching strategies.”
Barbara earned her bachelor’s from Wesleyan University, her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, and her Ph.D. from the Ethics Program of Yale University’s religious studies department.