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Bethlehem, Pa., September 27, 2013 —Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary recently named the Rev. Dr. Christine L. Nelson to the position of director of seminary advancement. Nelson will plan, guide, and lead the Seminary’s overall development efforts.
Ordained in 1978 by the United Church of Christ, Nelson was among the front runners of women clergy serving local parishes. She began ministry at St. Peter's UCC, Punxsutawney, Pa., served a second parish, Church of the Good Shepherd, Boyertown, Pa., and a third congregation, Faith UCC, Allentown. Called as Executive Director of the Lehigh County Conference of Churches in 1999, Nelson led 140 churches and faith based organizations to put their faith into action, strengthening Christian unity, and annually assisting 12,000 of the most vulnerable among us with food, housing, mental health and youth succeeding ministries.
Nelson’s community awards include Peace Pilgrim of the Year Award from the LV Peace Pilgrimage, Wallenberg Tribute Award of the Institute for Jewish Christian Understanding of Muhlenberg College, Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Executive Education Scholarship, Lehigh Valley Woman of Distinction from the Great Valley Council of the Girl Scouts, and the Distinguished Partner Award from Communities In Schools of the Allentown School system.
Her community initiatives include the Allentown/Lehigh County 10-year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, Women’s Leadership Initiative of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Affordable Housing Task Force. Nelson’scommunity involvements include serving on the Muhlenberg College Board of Associates, Lehigh Valley Health Network Board of Associates, and the Allentown Rotary. Dr. Nelson is a frequent contributor to the Morning Call religious and editorial pages. She also served for number of years on the Sacred Heart Hospital Ethics Committee, being the first Protestant to so serve on this Catholic Board. She is also affiliated with the Association of Fund Raising Professionals, the North American Association of Ecumenists and the National Association of Ecumenical and Interreligious Staff.
On March 8, 1998, Rev. Nelson received her Doctor of Ministry degree from Hartford Seminary, having completed a thesis entitled "Saying Yes to a Future Shaped by God: Change and the Church." She holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, S. Hamilton, MA, and a BA in Psychology from Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA
Chris served with distinction at the national level of the United Church of Christ as chair of the Stewardship Council, and previous to that the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries. Other past local volunteer positions include the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding of Muhlenberg College Board and Executive Committee, Phoebe Ministries Board of Directors, and President of Phoebe Home. She is a native of Conneautville, Pa., and currently resides in Allentown. Moravian Seminary is rooted in the Moravian faith tradition---centered in Jesus Christ, grounded in Scripture, ecumenical in spirit, committed to community, and focused on developing missional leadership in the church and community.