The Next Chapter

June 24, 2024

I am Rev. Alison Miller, and I am honored to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Starr King School for the Ministry.

As many of you know, earlier this month our president, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, shared that this next year will be her last year at Starr King. While we are saddened by her upcoming departure, the overwhelming feeling of everyone on the board has been immense gratitude for Rosemary’s decade of extraordinary leadership.

Of course, Rosemary’s departure next year also means that Starr King is about to embark on an important transition in the leadership of the school. Among other things, transitions provide key moments of reflection – of where we have been, where we are now, and where we seek to go next. As a board, we have spent the past several weeks reflecting on Starr King’s vision and the strength of our school.

As a result of that reflection, I am pleased to share that the Board of Trustees has unanimously affirmed that we are prepared to go into search for the next president of Starr King.

That we are ready for this search is a testament to the exemplary work and commitment of our staff and faculty, and of the dedication of our students.

This is an exciting moment at Starr King. However, before we begin this search, there is still more work we on the board need to do first. We still need to figure out the right questions to ask to help us determine our best way forward in this search. In the coming weeks and months, we will share regular updates about our next steps as we begin this important work.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email

We are entering a pivotal moment in the life of the school. Transitions are a time of both uncertainty and possibility. We have much work ahead of us in the next year. And I am confident that together we can embrace this moment of change, advance Starr King’s vision, and build upon the strength of this school and our community as we write this next chapter of Starr King.

Starr King Board of Trustees

June 3, 2024

In just a few weeks, we will mark the ten year anniversary of my arrival as President of Starr King School for the Ministry. As I think back on the past ten years, I am filled with pride at all that Starr King has accomplished. We have overcome many challenges together, including a global pandemic that changed every part of our day to day lives. We have adapted to broader shifts within our country and within theological education, all while remaining true to our mission and our values.

We birthed new beginnings for our school. Found new ways to equip Unitarian Universalist and multi-religious students to become the
progressive religious leaders that our world needs. And we’ve moved toward the school’s roadmap goal to become the hub for counter-oppressive theological education by 2027.

But what brings me the most joy and pride are the nearly two hundred students who have graduated from Starr King and taken up counter-oppressive ministries in a variety of settings across the country and around the world. It’s been and continues to be an honor and a privilege to serve this school as president.

With a mix of gratitude, gladness, and some grief, I want to share with you my decision to bring my term as president to a close.

This next year will be my last year of service here at Starr King. My last day will be June 30, 2025. Making this choice was hard as I so love this school. And there’s so much exciting work ahead for Starr King. However, I made the decision for two reasons. The first reason is personal. The quote from Ecclesiastes is especially apt here.

“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Being a part of the important work of advancing progressive theological education has fulfilled one of my life’s dreams, but I have other things I’d like to accomplish. More books to write. More knowledge to gain. More advocacy to do. Most of all, my family and I would like to go back home.
My husband, Bob, and our two sons followed me here to California when I took on this role. As a family, we are ready to return to the East Coast. It is my new season and time for me to pursue all these dreams at a new stage in my life.

The second reason is the recognition that in the life of our school and our movement, it is time to pass the baton. There are enormous changes ahead for our country and our world. The ground of theological education is shifting under our feet. And we are at a critical turning point within Unitarian Universalism. We are entering a new season too. There will be both new challenges and new opportunities before us. And one of these opportunities is chance to find a fresh vision and a new perspective and let our school respond to these broader changes as Starr King moves into its next great chapter.

In all of this, I want to be clear. My commitment, my faith, my love for Starr King has never wavered and it never will. We are doing great things right now, and I am heartened by the knowledge the best is yet to come.

I know that this news will raise questions about what the transition will look like and what this next chapter will be for Starr King. Our board of trustees already is in discernment about these next steps. We will share regular updates as these decisions are made. As well as updates on the work we are doing in this next year to advance the goals of our school. So please stay tuned for those updates.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at

I’m looking forward to this coming year with all of you. This chance to complete my work, the chance to advance us toward our goal of coming the hub of counter-oppressive theological education. This chance to celebrate all we have accomplished, to say goodbye, and to pass the baton.

Let me close with words of gratitude. Thank you for this opportunity to serve the school that I love. And in so doing, serve the faith that I love.
Let us build on all we have achieved together and begin to chart the next great chapter of Starr King.