News at Princeton

Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
Frederick Borsch

Frederick Borsch


Photo courtesy of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia



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Borsch named interim dean of religious life

Frederick Borsch, dean of religious life and the chapel at Princeton University from 1981 to 1988, will return to that role on an interim basis, effective Feb. 1.

Borsch, a member of Princeton's class of 1957, will serve while a search is conducted for a permanent successor to Thomas Breidenthal, who has resigned effective Jan. 31 to become bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. Breidenthal had been dean since 2002.

"The role of the dean of religious life and the chapel is a central one at Princeton. As its website notes, the Office of Religious Life embodies the University's care and support for the many religious communities that flourish on our campus," said Janet Dickerson, vice president for campus life, who is leading the search. "The dean provides leadership for more than 20 denominational and nondenominational chaplaincies and student religious organizations, and is responsible for providing moral and spiritual leadership within the context of our secular University environment."

She said she hopes to conclude the search by the end of the spring semester.

Borsch, the retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, currently is professor of New Testament and chair of Anglican studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminar at Philadelphia.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in English from Princeton, he earned a second bachelor's degree in theology from Oxford University. He studied at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham in England.

Borsch taught at Seabury-Western Seminary in Evanston, Ill., and at the General Theological Seminary, then served as dean, president and professor of New Testament literature at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif. After his time as dean at Princeton, he was bishop in Los Angeles for 14 years. Following his retirement, he was interim dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University and associate dean of the Yale Divinity School for a year.

Borsch served as a Princeton trustee from 1998 to 2002 and his son Benjamin is a member of Princeton's class of 1984. He is the author or editor of 18 books and has contributed essays, articles and poetry to a number of journals and newspapers.

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