At the 175th Commencement on May 17, 2020, Rev. Dr. Lee Barker was presented as President Emeritus of Meadville Lombard Theological School. 

The Board Announcement

The Board of Trustees of Meadville Lombard Theological School bestows upon the Rev. Dr. Lee Barker the title of President Emeritus as recognition of his distinguished years of service and innovative leadership in support of the mission of the school. During his tenure as President, Rev. Dr. Barker led the school through significant transformations that ensure the school’s sustainability and strengthen its capacity to carry out its mission.

Members of the Board of Trustees’ celebrate Rev. Dr. Barker’s years of impressive leadership, commitment to ensuring Meadville Lombard Theological School continues to thrive as an institution of theological education, and loyal service to Unitarian Universalism.

“I appreciate Lee’s bold vision for MLTS and his willingness to build an academic curriculum for ministerial formation that allowed the practical training to stand alongside and interwoven with the academic preparation. His ability to lead away from the worship of real estate and into the opening of a vision for a larger ministry, including non-ordained paths to ministry, will leave a lasting mark on the world.” —Rev. Parisa Parsa, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees

“Thanks to Rev. Dr. Barker’s innovative leadership, Meadville Lombard has created a rich contextual model of education that prepares students for their chosen ministries in this changing world.” —Susan Weaver, Finance Chair of the Board 

“When Lee hired me 14 years ago, I was grateful for the job offer, and impressed by his kindness, intelligence, and passion for the Meadville Lombard’s mission—but I was fresh out of grad school and had no idea what I was getting into! I had no idea at the time that I was about to embark on one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. One of Lee’s great talents through his tenure at Meadville Lombard was his ability to inspire a community of deep moral, spiritual, and professional learning for all of us (faculty, staff, and students), even as he was leading us through a number of profound changes.” —Dr. Michael S. Hogue, Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion, Faculty Representative to the Board