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Dr. Lallene J. Rector, President
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Lallene J. Rector was named president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on May 16, 2013 and began her term on January 1, 2014. President Rector has been an esteemed faculty member at Garrett-Evangelical since 1986 as Associate Professor of Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Psychotherapy and most recently held the role of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean (2006-2013). 

Among her numerous achievements as academic dean, President Rector developed and implemented the seminary’s strategic plan, chaired the budget reduction task force, initiated curriculum review, and negotiated the seminary’s charter membership in the Seminary Stewardship Alliance. Her influence at the school can be further witnessed by looking at the student body. Rector is committed to creating a diverse community, which has driven her to develop strong relationships with the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE), Advanced Latino/a Theological Education Program, and the Center for African American Studies program. 

President Rector’s influence expands far beyond her work at Garrett-Evangelical. Locally, she has convened the academic deans of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) and served as the secretary for the ACTS Common Council. Nationally, she is a member of the Association for Theological Schools (ATS) Advisory Committee for Chief Academic Officers, and a member of the Board of Directors for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Further involvement with ATS includes serving as member or chair of several re-accreditation teams since 2005 and being a panelist or presenter at various ATS meetings and conferences.

A member of First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple in Chicago, Illinois, President Rector is the first layperson to be appointed president in the seminary’s 160-year old history. Her background as a United Methodist who brings expertise in pastoral psychotherapy makes her an invaluable asset on the Ministerial Assessment Specialists Advisory Committee on Candidacy and Clergy Assessment for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Additionally, she has served as a convener for the United Methodist Theological Schools academic deans and regularly represents the seminary at denominational conferences.

President Rector’s educational background includes a bachelor of arts in psychology and religion from Texas Christian University, a master of theological studies from Boston University’s School of Theology, and a doctor of philosophy in psychology of religion from Boston University’s Graduate School for the Arts and Sciences. She holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion; has served on the Steering Committee for Person, Culture and Religion Section; and has been a member of the American Psychoanalytical Association and the Chicago Society for Psychoanalysis.

She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters and the co-editor of Psychological Perspectives and the Religious Quest: Essays in Honor of Orlo Strunk, Jr.

Dr. Rector resides in Evanston, Illinois and has a deep appreciation for the arts, especially music.