We look forward to celebrating the Inauguration of Jacqueline E. Lapsley, Ph.D, as the eighth president of Union Presbyterian Seminary on May 8, 2024.

Inauguration Recap

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2:00 p.m.

Symposium: What Are Seminaries For?

A symposium will precede the inauguration. Beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Watts Chapel, this lively panel discussion will feature pastors and thought leaders.

Eric Barreto is Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary and an ordained Baptist minister. He is the author of Ethnic Negotiations: The Function of Race and Ethnicity in Acts 16 (Mohr Siebeck, 2010), the co-author of Exploring the Bible (Fortress Press, 2016), and editor of Reading Theologically (Fortress Press, 2014).

Kenda Creasy Dean is an ordained United Methodist pastor in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. She is the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. Dean is the author of numerous books on youth, church, and culture, including Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church (Oxford Press, 2010).

Gail Henderson-Belsito is a pastor, preacher, teacher, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and alum of Union Presbyterian Seminary. In addition to homeschooling her two children from birth until college, Gail has served as the associate minister at Caldwell Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC. She serves on the advisory board for the Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership at UPSem.

Jessica Tate is a Presbyterian minister based in Washington, DC and a trained leadership coach. She currently serves as associate pastor of Georgetown Presbyterian Church and is a consultant to the Presbyterian Foundation. Prior to these roles, Jessica was the founding director of NEXT Church. Most weekends, Jessica, her husband John, and their two children can be found kayaking on a river, hiking, or at a local playground.

Rich Voelz is an Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Union Presbyterian Seminary. An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), he formerly served as senior minister of the Johns Creek Christian Church in metro Atlanta. A prolific author, Voelz’ work includes Preaching to Teach: Inspire People to Think and Act (Abingdon Press, 2019) and contributions to Unmasking White Preaching: Racial Hegemony, Resistance, and Possibilities in Homiletics (Lexington, 2022).

4:30 p.m.

Presidential Inauguration

A worship service as well as a joyful celebration, the inauguration will begin at 4:30 p.m.; please dress for the weather as it will be outdoors on the Seminary’s Quadrangle.

6:15 p.m


Alumni, family, friends, students, faculty, staff, trustees, and invited guests will celebrate after the Inauguration. Festivities begin at 6:15 p.m.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton in downtown Richmond; please contact 804.344.4300 or visit and book online at the 501 E. Broad St. location. The downtown Hilton is located approximately four miles from Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Rideshare (Uber or Lyft) is encouraged when attending inaugural events, especially for individuals staying at the Hilton in downtown Richmond or other hotels. Designated parking is shown on this map; additional off-campus parking has been reserved at Veritas (across Brook Road from Union Presbyterian Seminary) and Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, which is located at 3601 Seminary Avenue.

Please email with your name and phone number so that we may contact you to answer any specific questions.