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Rev. D. Scott Ostlund Named Vice President for Enrollment Management

July 13, 2021
D. Scott Ostlund

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will welcome Rev. D. Scott Ostlund as vice president for enrollment management beginning July 26, 2021. A provisional elder in the Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church, Ostlund comes to Garrett-Evangelical from Drew University Theological School where he served as associate director of theological admissions. Rev. Becky J. Eberhart, who held this role since 2010, has been promoted to vice president for strategic initiatives and partnerships effective July 1.

At Drew, Ostlund helped develop and lead new enrollment strategies that created growth across degree programs. Deeply invested in the future of progressive theological education, these strategies were guided by personal and institutional commitments to anti-racism, LGBTQIA+ affirmation, gender justice, and eco-justice. An advocate for those who have been underserved by traditional approaches to theological education, Ostlund worked with key administrators and faculty to expand the accessibility and adaptability of Drew’s programs for a broader range of prospective students. Prior to his positions in higher education, Ostlund worked in corporate marketing and brings to this position a keen eye and concern for how theological schools present and position in themselves in the larger ecologies of social and traditional medias with a desire to reach new audiences and communities.

Ostlund serves as co-chair with our own Rev. Katie Fahey, director of admissions and recruitment, of the group of admissions officers for the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools, where he coordinates and facilitates the gathering of enrollment administrators from each of the 13 United Methodist seminaries and theological schools. In addition, he serves as their liaison to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

“We are excited to welcome Rev. Ostlund to the Garrett-Evangelical community,” said President Javier Viera. “I know Scott to be a creative and justice-minded leader, a phenomenal partner and collaborator with faculty and staff, a conscientious manager of teams and processes, and a visionary leader who cares deeply about the student experience and the future of theological education. Garrett will benefit greatly from his varied professional background and his training as a scholar of race, evangelicalism, and Methodism.  I’m confident that his energy and ideas will bring thoughtful, compassionate, and inclusive leadership to this critial position for the seminary.”

Ostlund is currently completing a doctor of philosophy degree in theological ethics within Drew University’s Graduate Division of Religion. His research focuses on white racial formation, U.S. evangelical studies, and political theologies. In addition, he is completing a concentration in Wesleyan-Methodist studies. He holds a master of arts in theological and philosophical studies from Drew Theological School and a bachelor of science in religion and Christian ministries from Warner Pacific University.

Though Ostlund’s official start date is July 26, 2021, he will begin meeting with key administrators and members of the enrollment and admissions team as early as July 15. Ostlund and his partner, Anna, will be relocating to Chicago from the Pacific Northwest in the weeks ahead and Anna will begin in her new position as an oncology nurse.