Princeton Seminary Names Columbia Professor Emerita Kathleen O’Connor Distinguished Alumna

Princeton Seminary Names Columbia Professor Emerita Kathleen O’Connor Distinguished Alumna

May 28, 2016—Princeton Theological Seminary invited Dr. Kathleen M. O’Connor, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emerita of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary to speak at their Alumni Reunion on May 16. In addition to giving The Edwin H. Rian Lecture on the topic “Beginnings to Begin Again,” she received that seminary’s 2016 Distinguished Alumna Award.

Click for The Edwin H. Rian Lecture.

In a statement, Princeton Seminary’s President Craig Barnes said, “Kathleen O’Connor has shaped the imagination of countless students and made a significant impact in her field. In her writing and teaching, she brings together creative, critical scholarship with great care for the life of faith. Kathleen teaches us that deep engagement with the biblical text will help us at attend to the present realities in the world and to care faithfully for all of God’s people. Princeton Theological Seminary is proud to honor her as the 2016 Distinguished Alumna.”

President of Columbia Seminary and fellow Princeton alumna Leanne Van Dyk responded, “The approach that Kathleen O’Connor brings to the interpretation of the Old Testament is at once courageous and pastoral. Kathleen is passionate in her presentation of a God who offers hope to even the most shattered communities. I am so grateful and deeply moved by her service to Columbia Theological Seminary and the Church. She is an inspiration to any who wish to actively encounter the living God, even in our fallen world.”

Dr. O’Connor received her Ph.D. in Old Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1984. Additionally, she has received a B.A. from the College of New Rochelle, Educational Certification from Mount Saint Mary College, and an M.A. from Providence College in Biblical Studies. She also spent several years as a Teaching Fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary.

After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. O’Connor was Professor of Biblical Studies at Maryknoll School of Theology. She came to Columbia Theological Seminary as Professor of Old Testament Language, Literature, and Exegesis in 1995. Beginning in 2005, she took the position of the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Seminary, where she retired and was named Emerita in 2011. Columbia Seminary has since named an annual lectureship in her honor.

Dr. O’Connor has served as President of the Catholic Biblical Association. She also served as a member of the Council for the Society of Biblical Literature, through which she was co-chair of the Composition of the Book of Jeremiah Group. She is currently serving as a doctoral mentor for The Louisville Institute and working on a commentary on the book of Genesis. Books written by Dr. O’Connor include Jeremiah: Pain and Promise (Fortress Press, 2011) and Lamentations and the Tears of the World (Orbis Books, 2002).

Columbia Theological Seminary is committed to “educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers seven graduate degree programs and dozens courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through the Center for Lifelong Learning courses and events. For more information, please visit

One thought on “Princeton Seminary Names Columbia Professor Emerita Kathleen O’Connor Distinguished Alumna”

  1. Sammy Arroyo says:

    Congratulations. I used to be part of the Alumni Council at PTS and I need to say that this is the highest honor the Seminary gives besides the Phd.. They give the “Distinguished Alumna” instead of the “Doctor Honoris Causa.”

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