Introducing Dr. Patrick B. Reyes: A Visionary Leader for Auburn Theological Seminary

May 2023

Auburn Theological Seminary is excited to announce the appointment of Patrick B. Reyes, Ph.D., as our Seminary Dean. Patrick brings impressive credentials, relationships, and vision as well as a deep commitment to the next generation of spiritual leaders. As Seminary Dean, Patrick will report to the President and will be involved in all areas of program and operations for mission coherence.

“I have been following Patrick’s work and leadership for some time and he is one of his generation’s bright lights. I am thrilled that he has accepted my invitation to join Auburn’s team, particularly at this point in our history when inspiring just societal change calls for even deeper investments in leaders now, and for the thoughtful cultivation of tomorrow’s faith and justice leaders,” said Auburn Theological Seminary President, Emma Jordan-Simpson.

Patrick is a Chicano writer, theologian, and executive leader and the award-winning author of The Purpose Gap and Nobody Cries When We Die. He comes to us from the Lilly Endowment’s Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) as the Senior Director of Learning Design where he provided strategy and direction for FTE’s diverse programs, grants, and teams supporting the next generation of pastoral leaders. In addition, he led the historic fellowships supporting scholars of color, the Institutional Doctoral Network, and partnerships in theological and higher education.
Patrick hosted the Sound of the Genuine podcast where listeners are invited into the vocational journey of spiritual and religious leaders, and spearheaded research and resource design. He is a peer among public theologians and deeply respected among faith and justice leaders and funders. He is the current Board President of the Religious Education Association and serves as the Co-Dean of the Freedom Seminary for the Children’s Defense Fund which is in session during the annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, offering an immersive experience for diverse seminary students from across the country to engage and cultivate prophetic voices with communities on the margins.
Patrick provides leadership on several boards in theological and higher education, publications, and the nonprofit sector, supporting the next generation of Black, Indigenous, and Chicano spiritual and cultural leaders. In the last decade, he has been recognized for his service and scholarship by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Boston University, Claremont School of Theology, Drew University, Duke Leadership, Children’s Defense Fund, Hispanic Theological Initiative, Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy, and Raices Latinas among others. 
Patrick was recently inducted into the Morehouse College MLK Jr. Collegium of Scholars, and the Council of Independent Colleges NetVUE selected The Purpose Gap as the Big Read for 2022-2023. He lives in New Mexico, where he and his family embrace the cultural and religious traditions and communities they have inherited. 

Patrick will play an integral role in Auburn’s mission to deepen theological and educational frameworks that will prepare faith and moral leaders for the challenges of the modern world as a seminary without walls.

“Throughout its storied history, Auburn has seeded a moral, spiritual, and theological vision for this nation’s religious communities and their leaders. The invitation to serve alongside Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan Simpson and the staff feels like a call from the ancestors to do sacred work on behalf of our descendants. It is a gift and honor to join the team in our shared work to bring joy and love from the deep wells of our sacred traditions. Patrick B. Reyes, Ph.D.

Patrick joins the Auburn Theological Seminary team on May 15, 2023. 

Please help us welcome him to Auburn and learn more about his work at

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