(Orlando, Fla.) Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando is pleased to announce the appointment of Leigh Swanson as Associate Dean of Students. Swanson earned her B.B.A. degree from the University of Texas and recently earned her Master of Arts in Theological Studies from RTS. Leigh is well-prepared to assist students in this newly created position, which includes oversight of the Women in Ministry program for women students and wives of students.
Dr. Don Sweeting, president of RTS Orlando, said, “Leigh has an infectious love for people and a heart for mentoring and encouraging women."
“Leigh’s ministry experience, time as a student here and heart to encourage the women at RTS will be a tremendous asset to the seminary community,” noted Dean of Students Bob Orner.
Swanson commented, “As a student at RTS Orlando these last few years, God used the faculty and staff to shape my mind and my heart. The opportunity to now use both my education and my practical ministry experience in a place I have grown to love is an enormous blessing."
She is married to Dr. David Swanson, the senior pastor of the nearly 4,000-member First Presbyterian Church Orlando, which recently was received into the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The Swansons have three children—their two sons are students at the University of Florida; their daughter is a senior at Winter Park High School.
As a pastor’s wife, Swanson has served the local church alongside her husband for 20 years. She has also worked in a variety of ministries, most recently as a volunteer at the Seminole County Jail (since 2005) through the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, where she served on the board of directors from 2008-2012. In 2010, she received the Ray D. McCleese Award for outstanding service on behalf of inmates and their families.
In addition, Swanson was the interim director of children’s ministry at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., and served on the youth ministry staff at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. Much of her ministry involvement has been ministering to women in the churches where she has been a member—providing leadership to women’s ministries, teaching women’s Bible studies and mentoring young mothers. She is also a sought after retreat and conference speaker, and was a keynote speaker at the 2011 Global Pastors’ Wives Conference.
Swanson, who begins her new role at RTS Orlando August 15, will be the speaker at the Women in Ministry Welcome Brunch, Saturday, August 25.