Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Board of Directors has named Leanna K. Fuller as assistant professor of pastoral care. She will begin June 1, 2013.

“Leanna Fuller brings a rich background of significant parish experience, superb teaching skills, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University to this important faculty position in pastoral care,” said the Rev. Dr. William J. Carl III, president and professor of homiletics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. “Her stellar academic work (valedictorian and Phi Beta Kappa at Furman University and Senior Graduate Teaching Fellow at the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching) bode well for her future as a scholar and a mentor to students and pastors alike. Dr. Fuller’s specialized research has been in the area of conflict in the church, an increasingly challenging issue in our time. She will be succeeding Dr. Martha Robbins (founder of Pneuma, a program for spiritual direction) who has been a wonderful pastoral presence on the faculty as a key part of our seminary community and will retire this summer after 27 years of teaching.”

Prior to coming to PTS, Fuller will receive her doctorate in religion, psychology, and culture at Vanderbilt University. Her dissertation, which she successfully defended this spring, is titled “When Christ’s Body is Broken: Anxiety, Identity, and Conflict in Congregations.” She earned her master of divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School and bachelor’s from Furman University.

Fuller has earned numerous fellowships, awards, and honors. She received the Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship in 2010-2011 and multiple graduate teaching fellowships from Vanderbilt. Fuller’s most recent conference paper, “The Role of Collective Identification in Congregational Conflict,” was presented at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. Invited lectureships have covered topics including family systems theory and death, dying, and bereavement.

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.

Fuller's family includes her spouse, the Rev. Scott Fuller, a UCC minister and chaplain; and their 2-year-old son, Simon.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a graduate professional institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Founded in 1794, the Seminary is located in Pittsburgh, Pa. and more than 300 students are enrolled yearly in the degree programs. The Seminary prepares leaders who proclaim with great joy God’s message of good news in both word and deed. PTS is rooted in the Reformed history of faithfulness to Scripture and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.