Katherine Ragsdale Named Seminary Interim VP, Dean

September 8, 2023

Moravian University Appoints The Very Rev. Katherine Ragsdale Interim Vice President and Dean of Moravian Theological Seminary and Lancaster Theological Seminary

BETHLEHEM, PA, September 8, 2023: Today, Moravian University announced that the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale will serve as interim vice president and dean of Moravian Theological Seminary and Lancaster Theological Seminary until the naming of a permanent dean following a national search.

“Rev. Dr. Ragsdale is known for her deep commitment to advancing theological education, her advocacy and activism, and extensive experience in leading nonprofit organizations on a national level,” said Carol Traupman-Carr, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Moravian University. “I look forward to having Dr. Ragsdale on the team as we continue the remaining work of consolidating the two seminaries, implementing a new joint curriculum, finishing accreditation materials, and setting the way forward for the new permanent dean to lead the seminaries.”

Ragsdale has an AB (English and Religion) from the College of William & Mary, a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Episcopal Divinity School with a focus in professional ethics. She is an ordained Episcopal priest who served six years as president and dean of the Episcopal Divinity School where she also was a professor of Theology. She has been managing partner of RNL Associates, a consulting firm that provides services to religious, educational, and nonprofit organizations, before becoming president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation. She is founding co-chair of LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education, and a former senior fellow for Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy for the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Among her publications are three chapters she co-authored in LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education (2022), and the chapter she authored, “Disrupting the Institutional Imagination: A Seminary for the 21st Century,” in What Shall We Become: The Future and Structure of the Episcopal Church (2013).

Ragsdale’s interim appointment follows the departure of the Rev. Heather Campain Hartung (formerly Vacek) who has joined the Association of Theological Schools, a theological education accrediting organization, as a director of accreditation.

Media contact:
Moravian University
Michael Corr
Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Seminary contact:
Meg Graham
Joint Seminary Director of Marketing and Communication

About Moravian Theological Seminary
Founded in Nazareth, Pa., in 1807, the seminary moved to Bethlehem and grew into Moravian College and Theological Seminary (chartered 1863). Today, Moravian Theological Seminary continues to serve the Moravian Church, and is an active and progressive ecumenical seminary that continues to innovate in order to prepare faith leaders for the 21st century. Moravian Theological Seminary offers graduate and continuing education programs that equip persons with the knowledge, skills, and being to engage in vocations in ministry, chaplaincy, counseling, spiritual direction and other settings. The Seminary offers four degree programs and four certificate programs. Visit moravianseminary.edu to learn more.

About Lancaster Theological Seminary
Lancaster Theological Seminary, founded in 1825, is an accredited, open and affirming ecumenical seminary affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Home to a welcoming community of students and faculty from many Christian traditions, our mission is to educate and nurture leaders to join in God’s redemptive and liberating work so that all creation may flourish. Our graduate and certificate programs integrate intellectual, spiritual, and vocational learning that is grounded in real-world contexts through interaction with local and global communities of faith. In 2021, we announced a partnership with Moravian University and Moravian Theological Seminary that would combine the two historic seminaries. Visit lancasterseminary.edu for more information.

About Moravian University
Moravian University is the nation’s sixth-oldest university, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees that blend liberal arts with professional programs. For more than 275 years, the Moravian University degree has been preparing students for reflective lives, fulfilling careers, and transformative leadership in a world of change. Moravian University is a member of The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U), a national consortium of selective, small to midsize independent colleges and universities dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement. Visit moravian.edu to learn more about how the Moravian University focus on education for all prepares its students for life-long success.