Lucy Forster-Smith

Senior Associate Pastor for Leadership Development
and Adult Education
| 312.573.3364

Lucy Forster-Smith | Fourth Presbyterian Church

Bio | From Lucy’s Statement of Faith
Books by Lucy | Lucy on Her Call to Fourth Church
Responsibiliities of the Senior Associate Pastor

Lucy Forster-Smith comes to us from Harvard University, where she was Sedgwick Chaplain to the University and former Senior Minister in the Memorial Church on the Harvard campus. On October 22, 2017, she was unanimously elected by the congregation of Fourth Presbyterian Church to serve in the newly created role of Senior Associate Pastor for Leadership Development and Adult Education and officially joined our staff on January 1, 2018.

Lucy grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the American Baptist tradition. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota. She received a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Lucy has devoted her career as a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister to working in ministry in higher education as a senior minister in a university church, a chaplain, and a campus minister.

Prior to her post at Harvard, Dr. Forster-Smith was Campus Minister at the University of Washington and chaplain at Carroll University (Wisconsin) and Macalester College (Minnesota).

Lucy met her husband, Tom Forster-Smith, at Princeton Theological Seminary. Tom is also ordained as a Teaching Elder in the PC(USA). They have two daughters, one an art teacher and the other an ordained PC(USA) minister; a son finishing his Ph.D.; a daughter-in-law who teaches fifth grade; and one granddaughter.

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From Lucy Forster-Smith’s Statement of Faith
“The Church is Christ’s body in the world, ordered by God to witness the gospel message of harmony and peace on earth. In this post-modern world as we try to crowd out God’s life in the community of believers, God continues to do a new thing. Through Christ’s radical hospitality we are called to welcome all to the feast of grace through worship, administering the sacraments, calling us to a holy vocation as a priesthood of all believers, sending the community to mend the world. Our calling is to hold one another in prayer and boldly step out in service and sacrifice.”

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Books by Lucy Forster-Smith

  • College and University Chaplaincy in the Twenty-First Century: A Multifaith Look at the Practice of Ministry across America | 2013 | Skylight Paths (editor)

  • Crossing Thresholds: The Making and Remaking of a Twenty-First Century College Chaplain | 2015 | Cascade Books (a memoir)

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Lucy Forster-Smith on Her Call to Fourth Church

“I have served for most of my professional life as a chaplain/campus minister in colleges and universities. I have loved the work on campuses, engaging with faculty and staff colleagues to usher a new generation of citizen leaders into this world that so needs them! I have written books about this, have preached, taught, lectured about this, and have thrived in this work. During the first three years of my tenure at Harvard I held a dual role of University Chaplain and Senior Minister in the Memorial Church. At that time, I discovered that I love working as a pastor, preacher, teacher, and leader in a congregation.

“When the needs of Harvard warranted my full-time engagement with University Chaplaincy, I missed the energy, intelligence, imagination, and love of congregational life. This is when I heard God’s call to consider full-time ministry in a congregation.

“Through the call process with Fourth Presbyterian Church I realized that your congregation’s life together is compelling and life-giving. I felt God’s call to join you as your Senior Associate Pastor as we together experience theologically grounded, pastorally charged, and prophetically challenging sermons; live our call to faithful discipleship beyond the congregation’s walls; deepen our faith through education and spiritual formation; work for justice and peace in our times; and engage the future by planting a holy vocation in the next generation of disciples.

“I deeply value strong collegial relationships, congregational diversity in all forms, and the visible community of faith declaring holy hospitality to all! In my work at Harvard I gained the trust of my colleagues and the University community; was instrumental in identifying organizational, worship, pastoral, and educational needs, which included a reorganization of many of the inherited systems. I supported the work of thirty-five volunteer chaplains at Harvard, who represent twenty religious/spiritual/ethical traditions, by building relationships with these valued colleagues and engaging University leaders in partnership to establish a great chaplaincy program.

“Trust, vision, collegial respect, confidence, and care were hallmarks of my work as a Teaching Elder, Chaplain, and University leader. I anticipate contributing the gifts God has entrusted to me and working together with Fourth Presbyterian Church to usher in God’s realm in Chicago and beyond.”

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Responsibilities of the Senior Associate Pastor
The Senior Associate Pastor is responsible for

  • Providing supervision and leadership for Associate Pastors, the Pastoral Resident, and other assigned program staff members
  • Adult Education Committee
  • Nominating Committee
  • LEAD Committee
  • Personnel and Joint Finance Committee, which is staffed by the Pastor with support from the Senior Associate Pastor

The Senior Associate Pastor assists the Pastor in

  • Working with lay leaders to create and guide the vision and strategy for Fourth Church
  • Communicating vision, strategy, direction, and decisions to the entire staff
  • Ensuring implementation of vision and strategy through program areas
  • Leading the staff in the absence of the Pastor
  • Establishing and supervising the creation and execution of yearly goals, in conjunction with the Pastor and Personnel Committee
  • Overseeing and monitoring performance against budget by program area
  • Supporting and advancing leadership development activities for the staff and
    lay leaders

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