The Rev. Dr. Jana Childers will take over as the new dean and vice president of academic affairs at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo on July 1, but she's no stranger to life on the campus.

The 59-year-old native of Taft previously served as the seminary's academic dean from 2002 to 2009. Childers replaces Dr. Elizabeth Liebert, the first Roman Catholic sister named as dean of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminary, who is stepping down to go on sabbatical leave to complete the writing of her next book.

Childers' role as dean will be somewhat different this time as she will be focusing on implementing the seminary's new strategic plan to serve as community of worship for the 21st century.

"This is an exciting and challenging time to be stepping back into the role of dean," said Childers. "I am very much looking forward to working with President (the Rev. Dr. James) McDonald and the faculty in this period of great innovation and growth." A professor of homiletics and speech communications, Childers is also a frequent conference speaker and contributor to books on the art of preaching. She has been featured on the Chicago PBS show "Thirty Good Minutes" and on the Odyssey Network series "Great Preachers." Childers holds degrees from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and Princeton Theological Seminary and was a pastor in Pluckemin, N.J., before coming to SFTS.