Lancaster Seminary’s Alumni

Our alumni organization creates a space in which you can interact within a community of people who shared a unique experience, whether as a master’s degree student or as a student in our doctoral program, all are welcome!

Alumni Council

Our Alumni Council is taking a leadership role in developing, planning, and promoting quality programs and events designed to keep you connected to our LTS community.

Our Alumni Council has 15 seats and we would love to have individuals from as many classes participate. In addition to the council, we also have 4 subcommittees. If you wish to become involved, please email development@lancasterseminary.edu.

  • Nominating Committee
  • Faithfulness in Ministry Committee (Meck and Moss Awards)
  • Worship Committee
  • Advancement Committee

Alumni Council Members

 

Chris Rankin ’04, ’14, President

Chris graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 2004 (MDiv) and 2014 (DMin). He is currently the pastor of Trinity UCC, East Petersburg, PA. Chris previously served as pastor of St. John’s UCC, Fredericksburg, PA, from 2004-12. He has been involved on various committees throughout the UCC. Chris currently serves as Board President of the UCC Homes and President of the Lancaster Association of the UCC. He is also on the E&R Historical Society Board and involved in the Mercersburg Society.

Ronnette Comfort-Butler ’08, ’20, Vice President

Ronnette has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Millersville University, a MDiv and DMin from Lancaster Seminary (2008, 2020). She was ordained in 2009. She received the Paul Reid Pontius Memorial Award for excellence in the field of worship. In 2015, she received the Seminary’s Meck Award for excellence in pastoral ministry. She is the senior pastor of Maytown Reformed UCC Church and works as the Facilitator for Clergy Care and Clergy Families for the Penn Central UCC Conference. Ronnette has chaired the Meck and Moss Committee and has served as the Preaching TA for seven years at Lancaster Seminary. She resides in Lancaster with her husband and two adult sons.

Stephanie Anne Thompson ’96, Secretary

Rev. Stephanie Anne Thompson is currently serving as the pastor of St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, Ottsville, PA. Stephanie served as a chaplain in healthcare for over 15 years and has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education. Stephanie is married and has one son.

Thomas Busteed ’13

Pastor Tom has served Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Old Zionsville, PA since March 2022. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains, Tom served as a community artist and musician. Before and during theological studies, he was church organist and choir director at churches of various denominations in the northeastern U.S. He has served on the executive committee of the American Guild of Organists, Lehigh Valley chapter, and currently serves on the executive board of the Mercersburg Society. Tom’s interests include 19th century German Reformed and Lutheran liturgical reforms, cooking, vegetable gardening, knitting, and yoga.

Lisa Chase ’19

Russel Clark ’86

Michele Conway ’19 ’23

Celestine Fields ’13 ’21

Rev. Dr. Celestine Fields has been serving in ministry for over 20 years. She has been a UCC pastor for nine years. Currently, she is the Settled Pastor at Arlington Community Church, Kensington, CA, located in the Northern California/Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ. Celeste graduated in May 2021 with a Doctor of Ministry from Lancaster Theological Seminary where she obtained a Master of Divinity in 2013. She also has a certificate in Applied Positive Psychology from the Flourishing Center, New York, NY. She serves as the Clergy Support Coordinator in the Bay Area Association, and sits on the Community of Ministry-Section B in the conference, as well as co-facilitator of the conference’s racial justice trainings. Celeste is in the process of becoming a level two clergy coach with the International Federation of Coaches.

Guy Johnson ’14

Guy holds many titles: singer, activist, writer, foodie, and pastor. He is a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary (2014) and Dominican University (2000). Best described as “passionate,” Guy is an openly gay ordained minister. He has served as the interim pastor of the Glade United Church of Christ (Walkersville, MD), as well as the United Church of Christ of Hummelstown, PA, both historic congregations. Prior to ordained ministry, he spent more than two decades working in both public service and for several Fortune 500 companies. Guy also serves as a public lecturer about issues around justice, economics, and food security. He has been honored to speak to groups as diverse as the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Intelligence Community Pride, and the UCC General Synod. His most important roles, however, are as Bob Davis’ husband and personal servant to Poppins Johnson Davis, a 20-pound all-American dog. They reside in Leesburg, Virginia.

Paul Knappenberger ’93

Rev. Dr. Paul W. Knappenberger is a 1993 graduate of the seminary.  He completed his Doctor of Ministry in renewal of the church from Palmer Theological Seminary in 2009. Since 2005 Paul has been the pastor of St. John’s UCC in Emmaus, PA.  He has also served Salem UCC in Harrisburg PA – 1993- 1997 and Pennsburg UCC in Pennsburg PA -1997-2005.  Over the years, Paul has served on various association, conference and national committees.

Leonard Knighton ’87

Len was born in Baltimore and graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1987. He was ordained September 20, 1987, and has served churches in Baltimore and three in Pennsylvania: Womelsdorf, Cleona, and Jonestown (interim). Len is married to Trudy. He has two adult stepchildren and two granddaughters.

Marian Shatto ’91

Marian grew up in Steelton and graduated from Susquehanna University with a BA in English in 1967. An active member of Lititz Moravian Congregation, she volunteers in the Senior Choir, the Moravian Mission Gift Shop, and as Editor of The Church Square Journal. Wider church and ecumenical involvements include serving on the Board of the Provincial Archives and as the Moravian representative on the PA Council of Churches Commission on Public Witness. Previous experiences include a term on the Board of the Lancaster County Council of Churches and fifteen years as a Delegate and Board Member for Project Via Crucis, working in solidarity with the people and churches of El Salvador. Since 1990 she has worked and sung with ecofeminist singer-songwriter Carolyn McDade. She retired in 2008 after more than 35 years as a Loan Administration Officer at Farmers First/Susquehanna Bank.

Curly Stumb ’72

Jason Stump ’19

Rev. Stump currently serves at pastor of Zion Blue Mountain UCC in Berks County. Together they focus their ministry on being a Christ centered regional force for mission, fellowship, worship, and spiritual direction. He attended Norwich University Military College of Vermont and earned a BS in Civil Engineering in 1998. He has previous professional experience in construction management, and public school teaching. Recently, he completed the MIT Short Course- Leadership in Exponentially Changing Times. He was the first graduate from Lancaster Theological Seminary to earn the MA in Ministry and Leadership, and was ordained in the same year. He has work in the Southern Conference as a Director of Christian Education, and continues to serve yearly as a camp director for Johns River Valley Camp. He has served in various degrees in civic organizations, Scouting, wider church committees, disaster recovery groups, and in addiction recovery advocacy. He is a charter member of the Schuylkill County NAACP, and Pine Grove Sons of American Legion Squadron. Jason is especially engaged and interested in honoring traditions while providing innovation in rural ministries. Of all the things Jason finds meaningful in life, his most important role God has called him to is raising his daughter, Kathleen, as a single father. Kathleen is attending Kutztown University and majoring in Marine Science.