Leanna Fuller Named Interim Dean

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has named the Rev. Dr. Leanna K. Fuller as interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. She will continue in her role as associate professor of pastoral care. This appointment began May 3, 2021.

“When I circulated Dr. Fuller’s name to the other faculty members for their consideration and comments, I received resounding support of her appointment,” said the Rev. Dr. David Esterline, president and professor of cross-cultural theological education. “Dr. Fuller’s care for students and colleagueship with faculty and staff, along with her dedication to our mission of preparing students for ministry, make her an ideal candidate for this position and in this particular time.”

Fuller is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (Ph.D.), Vanderbilt Divinity School (M.Div.), and Furman University (B.A.). Her most recent book is titled When Christ’s Body is Broken: Anxiety, Identity, and Conflict in Congregations (Wipf and Stock, 2016). Fuller has earned numerous fellowships, awards, and honors. She was selected to participate in the 2016-2017 Wabash Center Workshop for Early Career Theological School Faculty, and she received the Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship in 2010-2011. Fuller’s conference paper, “One Body, Many Parts: An Ecclesiology for Churches in Conflict” was presented at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. Her ministry experience includes serving as associate pastor of Oakland Christian Church in Suffolk, Va., where she coordinated youth ministry and Christian education programming. Fuller also worked as chaplain resident at Riverside Regional Medical Center, in Newport News, Va., providing pastoral care for patients. Recently she taught courses in spiritual formation; systems theory; loss, transition, and transformation; pastoral care; leadership through conflict and change; pastoral listening and communication; and justice and pastoral care.

Fuller succeeds the Rev. Dr. Heather Hartung Vacek who served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty since 2016. Vacek has accepted a position as vice president/dean at Moravian Theological Seminary, the seminary of her denomination in Bethlehem, Pa.

Pittsburgh professor Leanna Fuller interim academic dean