Gary Pence, Ph.D.


M.S., California State University, Hayward (1992), clinical counseling and family psychology
Ph.D., Princeton University (1981), classical philology (Greek and Latin)
Graduate study, Oxford University (1966-1968), patristics
M.Div., Concordia Seminary (1966), theology
A.M., Harvard University (1962), classical philology (Greek and Latin)
A.B., University of Michigan (1961), Greek

Modern Greek, Adult Greek School, Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, Oakland, CA, Spring and Fall 2007
Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, Milton H. Erickson Foundation, Anaheim, CA, May 25-29, 2000.
Brief Therapy Conference, Milton H. Erickson Foundation, San Francisco, CA, December 11-15, 1996
Clinical Internship, New Health Dimensions, Walnut Creek, CA, 1992-1995.
Clinical Internship, San Leandro Community Counseling, San Leandro, CA, 1990-92.
National Group Relations Conference, A.K. Rice Institute and Washington School of Psychiatry, South Hadley, MA, June 13-21, 1987.
Warren H. Deem Institute for Theological Education Management, an executive program sponsored by the Association of Theological Schools, Harriman, NY, July 13-August 1 and December 7-10, 1986.
Private sabbatical study of Tavistock group relations theory directed by Verneice D. Thompson, Ph.D., Berkeley, CA, February-August 1985.
Group Relations Conference, GREX (An Affiliate of the A.K. Rice Institute), Oakland, CA, January 16-19, 1985.
MBTI Professional Qualifying Program, Institute for Type Development, Chevy Chase, MD, January 7-12, 1985.
Career Counseling and Life Planning Program, The Center for Ministry, Oakland, CA, August 27-29, 1984.
Management Work Conference for Interpersonal Competence, NTL, La Jolla, CA, March 17-23, 1984.
Training Laboratory, "Model A Workshop" (a career assessment and planning program for clergy and spouses), Colorado Springs, CO, March 8-15, 1976.

Academic Awards and Distinctions

Phi Beta Kappa
Oreon E. Scott Freshman Prize (1958), James B. Angell Scholar (1958-61), Alfred P. Sloan National Scholarship (1959-61)
A.B. with High Distinction, High Honors in Greek (1961)
Woodrow Wilson Graduate Scholarship (1961-1962)
Danforth Graduate Fellowship (1961-1970)
Lutheran World Federation Exchange Fellowship (1966-1968)

Employment (Retired)

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (1976-2005)

  • Adjunct Professor of Biblical Greek (2005- )
  • Professor of Pastoral Theology Emeritus (2007- )
  • Dean of the Faculty (2003-2005)
  • Professor of Pastoral Theology
  • Director of Continuing Education
  • Acting President (1987-88)
  • Academic Dean (1982-89)
  • Director, Doctor of Ministry Degree Program (1976-82)

Private Practice. Marriage and Family Therapy  [CA License # 32673], Oakland, CA (1995-2003)
Consultant Staff, Tavistock Group Relations Conferences, Sponsored and Directed by Verneice D. Thompson, Ph.D., 1986, 1987, 1988
Chaplain and Director of Continuing Education, Grand View College, Des Moines, IA (1974-76)
Pastor, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Momence, IL (1970-73)
Chaplain, Lutheran Hospital, St. Louis (Summer 1966)
Pastoral Intern, First Lutheran Church, Boston, MA (1964-65)

Courses Taught (since 1990)

Reading New Testament Texts in Greek
Introductory Biblical Languages
Introduction to New Testament Greek
Interpreting the Gospels
The Gospel of John in Greek
Paul's Epistles in Greek
Hearing Call
The Gospel of Mark in Greek
Loving Children
Sex and Sensibility
Abusive Religion and Its Remedy
Pastoral Care and Counseling
Formation: Call to Ministry
Healing Religion's Harm (Graduate Theological Union Cooperative Summer Session, 1997, 1998)
Revisioning Men's Lives (co-facilitated with Walter Stuhr, Spring 1993)
Healing the Circle of Life (Graduate Theological Union Cooperative Summer Session, 1992)
Ministry and Personality
Family Systems Premarital Counseling
Ritual and Pastoral Care
Growing Christians
Human Development

Lectures and Presentations (since 1990)

"Jesus' Story/Our Story in Mark," Family Camp Adult Sessions, Outlaw Ranch (Lutherans Outdoors in South Dakota), Custer, South Dakota, July 29 - August 3, 2007
"Ministry as a Subversive Activity" (May 14, 2005) - PLTS Commencement Address
"A Tale Told by an Idiot"? Finding Meaning When Myths Collapse "   (September 22, 1999) - My inaugural lecture when installed as Professor of Pastoral Theology.
"Computer-Assisted Learning Applications," Winter Workshop, Science & Religion Course Program, Berkeley, CA, January 12, 1999
"Peaceful Parenting," Adult Camp presentation, Mt. Cross Lutheran Camp, Felton, Ca, August 20, 1997
"Parents and Politics: The Cradle of Civic Life," Individual Rights and Corporate Responsibility - The National Debate from a Biblical and Theological Perspective. First Annual Northwest Theological Symposium. Spokane, Tacoma, Issaquah, WA; Portland, OR, February 3-6, 1997
"Distance Learning and the Western Mission Cluster," Luther Seminary Faculty Retreat, September 29, 1996
"Feeling at Home: Finding Intimacy and Integrity in Your Family and Your Church," weekend conference presenter and preacher, St. Luke Lutheran Church, Albuquerque, NM, March 23-25, 1996
"A Stable Faith for a Changing World," satellite teleconference, PLTS/American Lutheran Church, Sun City, AZ, January 24, 1996
Facilitator, Professional Leaders' Retreat, Santa Clara Lutheran Parish, San Jose, CA, December 5, 1995

Preacher, Adult Forum leader, Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church, San Luis Obispo, CA, October 29, 1995
Work/Study Week Lay School, PLTS, August 7-11, 1995
Adult Forum, Trinity Lutheran Church, Alameda, CA, November 27 and December 4, 11, 18, 1994
Preacher, Adult Forum leader, Church of the Wayfarer United Methodist Church, Carmel, CA, October 17, 1993
"Rituals for Individuals and Families," Growth Faire, John F. Kennedy University, February 6, 1993
"Healing the Circle of Life", PLTS Lay School of Theology, April 22, 29, May 6, 13, 1992
Lenten Sermon Series, 6 Lutheran congregations, South Bay, March 11, 18, 25, April 1, 8, 1992
"The Circle of Life", adult forum, Trinity Lutheran Church, Alameda, CA March 1, 8, 15 29, 1992


Website: Healing Religion's Harm.
A Revisionist Response to Alan Padgett ," dialog , 42:3, Fall 2003, pp. 304-306.
"Constructing a Christian Polydoxy," dialog, 40:4, Winter 2001, pp. 264-269.
"On Sin: Response to George Murphy," dialog, 39:3, Fall 2000, pp. 237f.
"Sin--An Abusive Doctrine?" and "Response to My Responders," dialog, 38:4, Fall 1999, pp. 294-297.
"Infant Baptism as a Family Rite of Passage," Pastoral Psychology. 46:3 (1998), 185-206.
"Healing the Circle of Life," Resource. (Continuing Education Cassette Series). Augsburg Fortress, 20:6, June 1993.
"We Laughed Too Soon," Currents in Theology and Mission 15:2 (April 1988). Republished in edited form as "Mission Accomplished" in Discovery YMCA 6:3 (Winter 1988): 24f.
"The Inclusive Language Lectionary and the Church's Holy `Censorship' of the Bible," Currents in Theology and Mission 13:5 (October 1986), 261-265.
"A Response to Carl Graesser," Currents in Theology and Mission 13:5 (October 1986), 272-275.
"M.Div. Degree Program by Extension," Trinity Seminary Review, Special Conference Issue, vol. 6 (June 46, 1984): 76-78.
"Demosthenes' Use of Epideictic Commonplaces in his Deliberative Speeches Against Philip," unpublished dissertation, Princeton, 1981.
"Goals and Plans for Minority Ministry," LCA Partners 1:2 (April 1979): 7-9.
"What's Ahead for the Church in America?" Kirke Og Folk 25:17 (October 25, 1976): 9-11.
"What's Ahead for the Church in America?" Kirke Og Folk 25:16 (October 10, 1976): 9-11.
"Grand View Sermons," Kirke Og Folk 24:18 (November 10, 1975): 9-10.
"A Response," Kirke Og Folk 24:13 (August 15, 1975): 12-13.
"Sermon--Iowa Synod Convention 1975," Kirke Og Folk 24:10 (May 25, 1975): 8-10.
"Grand View Sermons," Kirke Og Folk 23:19 (November 25, 1974): 9-10.

Revised: February 25, 2016.