Newsroom / theological education / women in ministry

Susan Blanchard called as first director of Baptist House of Studies at Union Seminary

RICHMOND, VA – Rev. Susan Pierson Blanchard (M.Div. / M.A.C.E. ’97) has accepted a call to lead a new initiative for Cooperative Baptists beginning this fall at Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Richmond campus.

As director of the Baptist House of Studies (BHS) program, Blanchard, an ordained Baptist minister, will help students navigate the institution and their ordination process. 

“I have felt a strong call to minister to students in an academic environment since I entered seminary in 1993,” Blanchard said. “A significant part of this call has been to nurture students as they embrace their own calls to ministry.”

Blanchard will add the role to her portfolio as director of student services for the seminary’s Richmond campus. For 13 years prior to her arrival at UPSem, she worked in Baptist settings with students who are now serving in Baptist ministry positions throughout Virginia and beyond. Life experiences allowed her to live in central, southern, southwestern, and northern Virginia where she attended and preached in Baptist churches, building relationships with parishioners and ministry staff.

Union’s BHS program was established in November 2020 through a partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia and CBF Global. 

“Blanchard’s ministerial relationships, coupled with the experience she gained while managing the Baptist Collegiate Ministry Center at the University of Mary Washington, and her years of being a supervised ministry field educator at the former Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) made her a strong candidate for this position,” said CBF Virginia Coordinator Terry Maples.

At BTSR, Blanchard served as registrar and director of financial aid, student services manager, and an adjunct faculty member from 2011-2018. Prior to BTSR, she was a teacher at First Baptist Preschool in Richmond, Baptist campus minister at the University of Mary Washington, and a high school teacher for Franklin County Public Schools in Virginia.

She received Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education degrees from Union Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary). She also has a Bachelor of Science in biology from Radford University.

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