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David T. Tomlinson

Church Governance and Administration


Teaching in this 'new' seminary environment is an invigorating and challenging task. How does one combine information/academic content with practical, hands on, 'real world' experience? That is the question NTS West works to pose in each of its classes.  Using a variety of approaches - inside and outside the classroom - I am trying to equip students to be effective in their own ever-changing situations within the Church.

"My passion for teaching is in my field of expertise which is often called 'practical theology.'  As that name implies, I see my task -- theologically informed and practically oriented -- to help students not only survive, but thrive in the rapidly changing realities of the church.  This includes the church as congregation and also in the many ways it more broadly witnesses in and to the world.  My 'passion' is working to prepare students to operate in the variety of church settings they will face, without having to say, 'I never learned THAT in seminary!'"



  • D.Min., McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
  • Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
  • B.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
  • B.A., Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

Academic Positions

  • Coordinator, NTS West [current]
  • Professor of Ministry Emeritus, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Southern California
  • Acting President, San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA [Fall Semester, 2008]
  • Vice President and Professor of Ministry, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Southern California [1999-2009]

Ministry Positions

  • Interim Pastor, Moravian Church of Downey, CA [2008 - 2009]