Gary Peluso-Verdend is the President and Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK, an ecumenical seminary affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He previously served at Phillips in several roles. For five years, he was the director of church relations at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL.
Gary is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and earned his PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
A scholar in the field of practical theology, his 2005 book, Paying Attention: Focusing Your Congregation on What Matters (Alban), represents his interests in leadership education, congregational dynamics, social change, and Christian practices.
He is currently working with the seminary to establish a Center for Religion, Democracy, and Public Values. He is a board member of Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice.
He and his wife, Cheri, live with their daughter Eliana in Tulsa, in the fourth (and last) house-in-need-of-updating they have owned. Gary’s grown children include: Peter (married with two children) Abbie, and Zach. They all live in the Chicago area.