Assistant Professor of Transformative Leadership
Betty Jeanne Rueters-Ward’s Starr King journey began as a student, helping pioneer the school’s Master of Arts in Social Change program. As a student leader, she also served in a range of capacities beyond the classroom, such as: co-leading the school’s reaccreditation and strategic planning team; coordinating marketing, recruitment, and advancement efforts; and co-teaching two graduate-level courses. In her final year of seminary, she was awarded the Jonathan Daniels Fellowship from Episcopal Divinity School for theologically-rooted leadership in social justice movements.
Betty Jeanne has served on the adjunct faculty since 2007 and the advising faculty since 2014. She teaches courses on organizational leadership, functional theology, community organizing, religious-secular coalition building, education/pedagogy, multigenerational ministry, and more. Three things that distinguish her approach:
- Linking theory, reflection and action – within and beyond the classroom
- Customizable curricula that engage students’ unique passions, interests and goals
- Multi-faceted, interactive online courses that bring virtual learning to life
Throughout her career, Betty Jeanne’s seminary studies have been integral to her work. As a student, her research centered on “Personal Sustainability in Social Movements” and “Constructive Theologies for Mental and Spiritual Health.” During a subsequent fellowship for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network crafting their leadership development strategy, her reflections on “Rethinking Work Culture and Complexifying Self Care in the Nonprofit Sector” were published by Idealist.org.
Beyond her faculty role at Starr King, Betty Jeanne is a social change practitioner whose work has included ministry, community organizing, public speaking, writing, coaching, teaching/training, fundraising, and program management. Her leadership spans the non-profit, educational, religious, philanthropic, and socially responsible business sectors. She drives spiritually-rooted 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 about her work can be found at http://www.linkedin.org/in/bruetersward.
Betty Jeanne is grateful for her religiously vibrant and diverse upbringing, having served as an active lay leader since her youth. Presently, she sings in the gospel choir at Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of New York, NY, and also attends Grace Episcopal Church with her family near her home in Brooklyn. Recently, she concluded serving on the ministerial transition team of All Souls Church in Manhattan, helping lead a large and vibrant urban congregation through significant organizational change.
When asked by her German relatives about her decision to attend and teach at a seminary, she expressed it this way: “Dieser Weg ermöglichte mir, meine tiefste Menschlichkeit einzuleben.” Or in English: “This path enabled me to live into my deepest humanity.”