President of the Seminary, Professor of Faith and Public Life
Ph.D., American University
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Inaugurated in 2012, Rev. Dr. James McDonald became San Francisco Theological Seminary’s 11th president in 2012. For 13 years prior to the beginning of his tenure at SFTS, McDonald, an ordained Presbyterian minister, worked for Bread for the World, a faith-based advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., that urges national legislators to end hunger. McDonald managed day-to-day operations, spearheaded fund-raising, and focused on advocacy and strategic efforts to build a broad movement against hunger and poverty. With a Ph.D. in international relations from American University, McDonald led efforts to secure debt relief for the world’s poorest countries. After receiving Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees from Princeton University and Union Theological Seminary in New York, respectively, McDonald worked in pastoral ministry for 15 years. He was associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Indiana, and then served Tabernacle United Church in Philadelphia from 1980-1990. Throughout his career, McDonald has shown a deep passion for education that makes a difference. He was an adjunct faculty member at American and George Washington universities for nearly a decade, teaching courses on world politics, foreign policy and Latin America.