The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology has announced the upcoming retirement of Dr. Keith Anderson, President, effective fall 2017. Dr. Anderson first joined The Seattle School as Academic Dean in July 2006. In May 2009, he stepped into the role of President, succeeding the school’s Founding President, Dr. Dan Allender.
During Dr. Anderson’s tenure, The Seattle School moved from an office park in Bothell to its current red brick building at 2501 Elliott Avenue, received full accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools, added new faculty and more than doubled the size of its staff, launched The Allender Center, and navigated the recession with seven years of sustained enrollment growth and stability. “We’ve grown from a start-up organization to an institution that is well-respected for our work in educating and equipping people,” says Dr. Anderson. “We have worked hard together, created well, innovated boldly, argued heatedly, disagreed loudly, discerned deeply, grieved together, laughed and cried together, and grown.”
Dr. Anderson has spoken often about what he sees as one of the core functions of the role of President—stewarding The Seattle School’s mission and ensuring that all new programs and initiatives are directly connected to the identity that was born out of that mission: training people to be competent in the study of text.soul.culture in order to serve God and neighbor through transforming relationships. With his wisdom, rhetorical leadership, and stability of presence, Dr. Anderson has guided The Seattle School through significant growth and change while helping preserve its core identity and principles.
Recently, in his 2017 State of the School address, Dr. Anderson highlighted two aspects of The Seattle School’s identity that are rooted in its mission and seem especially vital in our complex and changing culture: the conviction of an institution that is “unashamedly Christian” and the commitment to being a place of discourse. Those two values—conviction and discourse—are not mutually exclusive, argues Dr. Anderson, adding, “Nothing is more urgent and breathtaking than being a place of both conviction and discourse.”
Because of his faithful work, Dr. Anderson will not be leaving a vacuum of leadership in his wake. He has worked faithfully to ensure that a core part of his legacy will be the continued thriving and sustainability of The Seattle School. “I believe we are poised for something extraordinary in our future,” he says. “We will stand on tiptoes together to see whom God has for us as the next president of this school which I love and in whose mission I passionately believe.”
As the Board of Trustees prepares to navigate this transition, the Board Chair, Mike Anderson, has already authorized a search committee that will gather input from the Seattle School community and lean into its existing networks as they discern the qualities and qualifications expected from the next President.
The committee is chaired by Joel Murphy (MA in Counseling, ‘04), a Trustee, therapist, and co-owner of Murphy & Associates. Through surveys, group forums, and open recommendations and nominations, the search committee is dedicated to thoughtfully engaging the needs, desires, and concerns of the institution and its entire community. Details on that process will be made available soon.
“Our next President will step into the vital role of stewarding the vision of The Seattle School’s founders—something we do not take lightly,” says Murphy. “As such, we have put together a Presidential Search Committee consisting of select alumni, faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees members that has been tasked with finding a President who will lead this institution into new, innovative ways of fulfilling the founders’ original vision.”
The Board of Trustees has officially acknowledged Dr. Anderson’s retirement announcement, and you can read the full statement from Board Chair Mike Anderson below.
The Board of Trustees of The Seattle School acknowledges the announcement of the retirement of our president, Dr. Keith R. Anderson. Keith has served faithfully and with distinction since May 2009. His tireless service and sustaining tenure as our president have been deeply appreciated and applauded by the Board.
Keith’s presidency has been nothing short of astonishing. As members of the Board, we have benefited from his commitment to biblically-based graduate programs, his compassion for the tapestry of each student’s story, and his drive for cultural relevancy. His courageous leadership brought clarity to our vision, along with determination and rigor to implementing sustainable systems.
As only the second president of The Seattle School, Keith brought an inspired capacity to attract talent. His imprint is seen vividly in every aspect of the institution—to the staff, faculty, trustees, and donors. He has clearly positioned the school for the next several decades to realize its mission to ensure service to God and neighbor through transforming relationships.
Keith leaves a legacy to be proud of, and a generation of relationships that remain eternally grateful for his influence in their lives. He also leaves The Seattle School poised for sustained growth with new leadership. The institution is on an exciting trajectory in biblically-based graduate education, and the Board is committed to that trajectory. With the vision, systems, and talent in place, we are poised for inspirational impact in the lives of students for years to come.
Please join us in wishing Keith well in his “redeployment.” The Board is confident that Keith will continue to have significant impact on each person he encounters.