GTU Welcomes Dr. Uriah Y. Kim as Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Berkeley, CA - January 4, 2017 - The Graduate Theological Union is pleased to welcome Dr. Uriah Y. Kim as Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and John Dillenberger Professor of Biblical Studies. Dr. Kim returns to the GTU to become Dean twelve years after completing his PhD here. “I'm very happy to be going back to Holy Hill,” he said. “It's a dream come true for me to be called to serve an institution I respect and love so much.”

Dr. Kim comes to the GTU from Hartford Seminary in Connecticut where he has served as Professor of Hebrew Bible and, most recently, as Academic Dean. As Dean, Kim directed Hartford’s reaccreditation self-study, guided and wrote a new faculty handbook, and developed assessment plans for all degree programs. Dr. Kim is a collaborative leader, having worked with Hartford faculty and administration to design new PhD programs in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and a new MA program in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, as well as to advance online curriculum offerings.

“Since selecting Dr. Uriah Kim to be the next Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, we have had many confirmations that he brings extraordinary experience in interreligious education and leadership development,” said GTU President Riess Potterveld. “We are blessed that Uriah brings with him innovative ideas about how to strengthen the GTU and further develop its potential.”

Dr. Kim intends to take full advantage of the GTU’s unique interactive and interreligious learning environment to help implement the GTU’s newly redesigned PhD and MA programs, building on the historic strengths of the GTU. “If we were to characterize the GTU’s first fifty years—GTU 1.0, if you will—by its ecumenical spirit and interdisciplinary approach to studying religion and theology, its second fifty years—GTU 2.0—will be known for its entrepreneurial spirit and interreligious engagement,” he said.

Dr. Kim received his PhD in Biblical Studies from the GTU in 2004, and was named the school’s Alumnus of the Year in 2013. He also received his MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary (New Jersey), his ThM from Candler School of Theology at Emory University (Atlanta), and his BA in Philosophy from New York University.

His experience as a student at the GTU gives Dr. Kim the advantage of a vision that includes inside and outside perspectives. “Having had the pleasure of being a student at GTU, I know the opportunities and challenges of studying here,” he said. “I look forward to supporting, encouraging, and enabling students as they develop their own voices and acquire and hone knowledge, skills, and strategies to make positive impacts in academia, in their own communities, and in the larger world.”

Dr. Uriah Kim began his position as the GTU Academic Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs on January 1, 2017. The GTU will host a community celebration of Dr. Kim’s arrival in February after students have returned for the spring semester, at a date and time to be announced. 

About the Graduate Theological Union

Founded in 1962, the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley is home to the largest PhD program in religious studies in North America. As a consortium of independent theological schools, the GTU includes eight seminaries—two Roman Catholic, five Protestant, and one Unitarian Universalist—as well as a variety of academic centers and affiliates, including the Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for Islamic Studies, the Center for Dharma Studies, the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, and the Center for the Arts & Religion.

Doug Davidson, Director of Communications
Graduate Theological Union, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, CA 94709
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