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Dr. MaryKate Morse will assume the duties at the university's Portland facility in July

George Fox University has named a new leader for its Portland Seminary.COURTESY PHOTO: GFU - Morse

Dr. MaryKate Morse — who has served as a lead mentor, professor and has been instrumental in the school's doctor of ministry track for more than three decades — will assume the role of dean of the seminary in July.

Morse, according to a press release from the school, has filled a variety of faculty and administrative roles and "was instrumental in developing the seminary's focus on spiritual formation and helping move the seminary to hybrid learning models," the release said.

Morse is assuming the role of dean from Dr. Roger Nam, who accepted a professorial role at Emory University in Atlanta after leading the seminary for 12 years.

"I am honored to serve as dean of Portland Seminary at such a time as this," Morse said in the release. "For more than 30 years, I have witnessed and been a part of what the seminary can be and accomplish when it is at its very best. We have been a whole-person seminary engaging and forming the mind, the heart and character and the dreams of every student who comes."

During her time at the seminary, Morse has taught everything from New Testament to various spiritual formation courses, from leadership to organization change classes. She was also responsible for designing several of the seminary's programs and served in myriad administrative positions at the school, including as associate dean, director of hybrid programs and as director of strategic planning.

"Dr. Morse has led the seminary in developing spiritual formation as a hallmark across all degree programs and she has modeled Christ-centered leadership through her fruitful career in ministry," GFU President Robin Baker said in the release. "As we prepare for an unprecedented fall start to the seminary, I am confident in Dr. Morse's abilities to effectively further the seminary's renewed commitment to the church during these challenging times."

Morse got her start in ministry living in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia and Peru, where she did theological education and undertook evangelism and social projects with the Aymará Indians. Upon her return to the United States, she studied spiritual formation and direction, became certified as a spiritual director and pastor with the Evangelical Friends Church.

Morse has master's degrees in biblical studies and divinity from Western Evangelical Seminary, earned a doctorate in theology from Gonzaga University and was instrumental in the formation of two new churches.

In her spare time, Morse has authored a trio of books on spiritual formation and leadership, including her most recent work, "Lifelong Leadership: Woven Together Through Mentoring Communities."


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