- Director of Contextual Education
A native of Michigan and long-time resident of San Francisco, the Rev. Dr. Leslie Veen is the Director of Contextual Education where she oversees the programs that get the students out of the classroom and into ministry settings to practice what they are learning and to further develop their pastoral identity. Leslie has a deep love for helping students to grow in their faith in God and in their sense of call. When Leslie is not occupied with seminary or church work, she loves to be outdoors in the Bay Area running, hiking, walking, kayaking, or brunching with friends.
As Robert Bellah as well as Robert Putnam have shown, the dominant mainline culture in the United States of America has fully embraced rugged individualism as an important norm. This is in spite of being a largely Christian demographic that believes in a triune God whose very being is community. Religion and spirituality within this culture have also taken on an individualistic tendency. The social sciences have realized the dangers of focusing too narrowly on the individual in their own work and have reintroduced the concept of community in their work with individuals. The work in this field along with a reexamination of classic Trinitarian theology, which gave rise to the idea of the perichoretic union of the Trinity, in conversation with Womanist and Asian feminist theologies can be instrumental in reintroducing the importance of community into the fields of religious studies and spirituality.
D. Min., San Francisco Theological Seminary, dissertation title: “Practicing Perichoresis: Expanding the models of spiritual practices for ministers-in-training.”
M.Div., San Francisco Theological Seminary
M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literature, University of California, Santa Barbara
B.A. Calvin College, Spanish and Education
Brief Professional History
Director of Contextual Education, PLTS (2013-)
Parish Associate for Mission Bay Community Church (2007-)
Director of Field Education and Placement, San Francisco Theological Seminary (2009-13)
Director of Vocational Formation and Placement, San Francisco Theological Seminary (2007-09)
Ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (April 2007)
Spanish Teacher, San Domenico Schools (1994-2000)
Select Special Service
Presbytery of San Francisco: Leadership Council, Communications & Meetings Working Group, New Church Development Administrative Commission
YWCA of Berkeley/Oakland, board member
SFTS CPE Program, board member
I live in the ever-bustling Lower Haight area of San Francisco with my dear companion Murphy the Cat.
Favorite Bible quote: “[Jesus said,] ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b).