First woman named Lancaster president to be installed April 28

First woman named Lancaster president to be installed April 28

April 18, 2012
Written by Connie Larkman

Making history as the first woman appointed president in the 187-year history of UCC-related Lancaster (Pa.) Theological Seminary, the Rev. Carol E. Lytch will be installed April 28 at a ceremony in the Barshinger Center at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

Lytch, the 11th president in school history, is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) with standing in Donegal Presbytery. Before coming to Lancaster, she served as assistant executive director of the Association of Theological Schools, the accrediting agency for theological schools in the United States and Canada.

She also has served as coordinator of the Lilly Endowment’s Program for Strengthening Congregational Leadership, and was visiting scholar and researcher-in-residence at Louisville (Ky.) Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

"I'm very committed to the church and its vitality and to quality education for ministry," said Lytch. "I want to be about benefiting the multicultural and multiracial society that is becoming increasingly multireligious."

Lytch succeeds the Rev. Riess Potterveld, who had been LTS president since 2002. He resigned last Sept. 30 to become head of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif.

A cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., Lytch earned her M.Div. degree from Princeton (N.J.) Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. in Christian ethics and sociology of religion from Emory University in Atlanta. Her research focused on the factors that influence teens to embrace a church-related Christian commitment –– a topic that has continued to inform her scholarship in subsequent years –– and on the Christian practice of testimony.

Lytch and her husband, the Rev. Stephens G. Lytch, have two adult children and two grandchildren.

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Connie N. Larkman
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