Newswise — The University of Redlands recently announced the appointment of Dr. Christopher Ocker as assistant provost of the university’s Graduate School of Theology (GST) and interim dean of San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), both located on the University of Redlands Marin campus. 

Ocker’s appointment follows the departure of Rev. Jana Childers, who will return to teaching full time and lead planning for the much anticipated 150th-anniversary celebration of SFTS. 

“As a distinguished member of the SFTS faculty and core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), Chris’s extensive academic and administrative experience positions him well to serve in this role,” said University of Redlands Provost Kathy Ogren. “Under his leadership, the University looks to further advance new and existing degree programs as well as increase pathway integration within the University of Redlands undergraduate and graduate programs.” 

In his new role, Dr. Ocker will have primary responsibility for academic affairs and student services; academic budgets and financial planning; GST strategic planning; enrollment, recruitment, and marketing; accelerated pathways and partnerships with University of Redlands undergraduate and graduate schools. Ocker came to SFTS in 1991 and has been a member of the core doctoral faculty of the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley since 1992. He has served the GTU in several roles— as associate director of the Center for Hermeneutical Studies, co-director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, and chair of the Department for Cultural and Historical Studies. He is also affiliated with the Department of History, the Medieval Studies Program, and the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion at the University of California. He has been a fellow of the Institute for European History in Mainz, Germany, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow of the Max Planck Institute for History in Göttingen and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Constance, and most recently a senior fellow of the Center for the Comparative History of Monasticism at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany. 

During a recent leave of absence from SFTS/GST, he proudly served as the inaugural director of the program for medieval and early modern studies at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. He teaches the history of global Christianity. 

To learn more about the University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology or San Francisco Theological Seminary, visit

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