Betty Jeanne Rueters-Ward

My Starr King journey began as a student, helping pioneer the school’s Master of Arts in Social Change program. I’ve served on the adjunct faculty since 2007, teaching courses on leadership, community organizing, education, religious-secular coalition building, social change theory, and multigenerational ministry. My graduate research centered on “Personal Sustainability and Social Movements” and “Constructive Theologies for Mental and Spiritual Health”. My seminary studies are infused into my work outside the academy: While serving as a national fellow for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, my reflections on “Rethinking Work Culture and Complexifying Self Care in the Nonprofit Sector” were published by

Beyond my faculty role at Starr King, I am a social change practitioner whose work has included ministry, community organizing, public speaking, writing, coaching, and program/campaign management – in organizations spanning the non-profit, educational, religious, philanthropic, and socially responsibly business sectors. I drive social change through capacity building and by developing effective, sustainable leaders of all ages, with the goal of activating people, organizations and communities in pursuit of the common good. More information about my work can be found at

Three things that distinguish my teaching approach:

–          Linking theory, reflection and action – within and beyond the classroom

–          Curricula that respond to students’ unique passions, interests and goals

–          Multi-faceted, interactive online courses that bring virtual learning to life

I’m grateful for my religiously vibrant and diverse upbringing, particularly my experiences with music and arts ministries. Presently, I sing in the gospel choir at Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of New York, NY, a congregation known for its bold theology, creative worship, radically welcoming community, and innovative work for social justice.

When asked by my German relatives about my decision to attend and teach at a seminary, I responded: “Dieser Weg ermöglichte mir, meine tiefste Menschlichkeit einzuleben.” Or in English: “This path enabled me to live into my deepest humanity.”