Trinity Community Bids Farewell – The Rev. Dr. Leander Harding

Leander Harding Receives Call to St. Luke’s, Catskill, NY

AMBRIDGE, PA – March 25, 2013 – The Rev. Dr. Leander Harding announced today that he has accepted a call to be Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Catskill, NY in the Diocese of Albany. He will remain at the seminary through the end of his June Intensive Class and will resign from his various roles at Trinity School for Ministry on August 31 2013.

“My wife Claudia and I have cherished our time at Trinity,” remarked Dr. Harding, “and it is with a mixture of sadness and joy that I make this announcement. The challenge of a new ministry and the chance to be closer to two of our sons brings us excitement, but we will deeply miss the Trinity community which has come to mean so much to us. While I will no longer be a daily presence on the campus, I do hope to continue some teaching through online and intensive classes.”

Leander began teaching at Trinity in 2005 after the Very Rev. Dr. Paul Zahl, then Dean/President, and others suggested that he apply for an open position in Pastoral Theology. More recently, he has taken on an additional role as Dean of Church Relations and Seminary Advancement.

“Leander has been a wise professor, a strategic thinker, and a true pastor to everyone in the Trinity community” commented the Very. Rev. Justyn Terry, Trinity’s Dean/President. “He and Claudia will be truly missed, and we pray that they will be as much of a blessing to St. Luke’s as they have been to us at Trinity School for Ministry.”

Trinity School for Ministry is an evangelical seminary in the Anglican tradition. Begun in 1976, the seminary has trained more than 1,000 graduates and many others who serve in ministries all over the world. As a global center for Christian formation, Trinity continues to produce outstanding leaders who can plant, renew, and grow churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.

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  • Anonymous

    I will always be grateful for my class with Leander in Leadership. I used almost ALL of his experiential examples my first year in the parish! I pray he and Claudia will be blessed in their new call as I am sure the folks at St. Lukes’s will be. Gratefully yours,
    Rev. Martha Horn (MDiv 2010)

  • Anonymous

    Leander’s calm, prayeful and wise presence at TSM will be greatly missed. His is a voice that is an important addition to the theological/liturgical mix of the faculty. Without that voice, a hole will be left in the faculty that will need to be filled. I do hope God will use Leander mightly at St. Luke’s!

    +Greg Brewer

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I echo Martha’s post. Leander introduced me to family systems theory and genograms, concepts which I have found invaluable when working with students and parishioners. I trust that St. Luke’s will find him to be a blessing as well.

    –Dylan Potter

  • Anonymous

    I was blessed to have Leander in class and as my professor in Mentoring. His deep love and understanding of the mysteries of the Christian faith brought a depth to his teaching. His clarity and inspired teaching brought me new insights. I will never forget the first sermon I heard him preach on quiet day when he brought a tapestry to explain the meaning behind the Christian symbols – to feed the soul. I know those who listen closely to what he says, wherever he may go, can discover a new awakening to know Jesus better. St. Lukes will have the chance to benefit from the many facets of Leander’s thoughts, sermons and teaching as we at Trinity have.

    Janet Helms (MAM in Mission 2012)

  • Anonymous

    Every Maundy Thursday, I think about Dr. Harding because when I took his course on worship and the Prayer Book, he assigned us to come up with a Maundy Thursday service–complete with minute liturgical and rubrical details–for an imaginary parish. I created an Anglo-Catholic one, and imagined the parish had an outdoor courtyard where they carried the Blessed Sacrament for adoration, after the Mass. In my marginal notes, I specified that the priest should wear white–not red–and received bonus points from Dr. Harding for this accurate detail. He wrote in the margin, “White is correct for the Anglo-Catholic tradition.”

    Now that I am ordained an Episcopal priest and serve an Anglo-Catholic parish, every year I have to remind my altar guild to use the white Mass vestments. And as I put on my white chasuble, I always think fondly of Dr. Harding and what a great class that was, how much it helped me to become the priest I am now. I’m so glad Dr. Harding will be joining us in the Diocese of Albany, where I serve!

  • Anonymous

    Hardly a day goes by that I do not quote a bon mot that I heard Leander speak in class at Trinity.

    His usually serious demeanor was often punctuated by humor and his own inimitable laugh. I shall never forget the sermon on the huge flock of sheep and the query, “What are their names?” And when Leander encountered the bear in his yard, and the bear seemed to ask, “Is that all you’ve got?”

    But especially do I recall with admiration his tutelage regarding interaction with difficult personalities, where he suggested that we “worry out loud” as a means of breaking in. This has been extremely helpful to me in my ministry.

    I wish him Godspeed in his new calling. And I am certain that he will continue to spread the gospel of Christ wherever he goes.

    The Reverend Bruce Thayer (MAM 2011)

  • Anonymous

    I also am grateful I was a student during Leander’s time of impartation and fatherly presence. Thank you Leander for your wisdom and candor. Do know that some of us have integrated your teachings to our pastoral life, carrying them on – reaching others.
    Rev. Valerie G. Schubert (MDiv 2011)
    Pastor-Developer, The Dwelling Place
    Spiritual Counselor, VNA Hospice, Inc.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Father Harding.
    Sending you good wishes on your new position.
    karen and mark

  • Anonymous

    Fr. Harding,

    Thank you for all that you’ve done to advance the mission of TSM and, by your fine teaching and wise leadership, all Anglican theological education. You’ll be missed at TSM terribly, I’m sure, but we are delighted to still have our partnership in the gospel as you serve the good Diocese of Albany.

    Garwood Anderson
    Nashotah House

  • Anonymous

    I knew this would happen sooner than later. He brought his rich experience in the rectory to bear on issues in class. I was privileged to be in two of his classes . I thank God for this! I wish the lovely couple Godspeed.

    – Israel Odita (M.A.R 2011),
    St.Mark’s Parish
    Onitsha , Nigeria