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Rev. Dr. Thomas C. Pfizenmaier appointed as Director of Formation and Leadership Development and Associate Professor of Formation and Leadership Development

April 19, 2016

It is with great pleasure that Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary announces the appointment of Rev. Dr. Thomas C. Pfizenmaier as Director of Formation and Leadership Development and Associate Professor of Formation and Leadership Development.  This position was fully funded by a generous grant from a friend of the seminary to give significant attention to the formation and discipleship of our students.


Dr. Pfizenmaier comes to us from the Bonhomme Presbyterian Church near St. Louis, MO, where he has been Senior Pastor for 20 years.  Prior to this position he had served churches in California and Oklahoma.  Dr. Pfizenmaier has a B.A. from Marietta College (OH), an M.A. in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, an M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.  Tom and his wife Donna, an elementary school teacher, have three adult daughters: Lenny, Kate and Ann.


Dr. Pfizenmaier brings a deep commitment to and life-long experience of discipling men and women in their journey with Christ.  He describes his philosophy of formation and discipleship this way:  “The formation of Christian character is the gracious work of God which occurs through a person’s divine encounter with all three persons of the Holy Trinity.  This encounter happens ‘inwardly’ by encountering God through the spiritual disciplines in scripture, prayer, meditation, solitude and silence.  This encounter happens ‘outwardly’ through accountable community with others, which includes corporate worship, groups, one-on-one discipling/direction and kingdom service.”


In this position Dr. Pfizenmaier will personally disciple students, provide resources and guidance for faculty doing the same, and teach several courses in discipleship and formation.  In addition he will help coordinate the strong initiatives already in place such as our Pierce Center and several M.A. and D.Min. degree programs in Spiritual Formation.  Together representatives of these programs will develop institution-wide goals and strategies in discipleship and formation.


President Dennis Hollinger is enthusiastic about the growing emphasis on discipleship at Gordon-Conwell.   He believes that “Dr. Pfizenmaier will be a rich resource for our commitment to see students grow in their personal relationship with the Triune God.  His pastoral experience, appropriate academic credentials, love of students and personal gifts will be a welcomed addition to Gordon-Conwell.”