Dr. Carol E. Lytch began as the 11th president of Lancaster Theological Seminary August 15, 2011. She is an ordained minister in The Presbyterian Church (USA) and in the United Church of Christ. Early in her career, Dr. Lytch served as co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Cranbury, NJ, with her husband.
Before coming to Lancaster Seminary, Dr. Lytch served as assistant executive director of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the accrediting agency for theological schools in the United States and Canada. Prior to her work with ATS, she was coordinator of the Lilly Endowment’s Program for Strengthening Congregational Leadership. She also was visiting scholar and researcher-in-residence at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky.
Dr. Lytch is a cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She studied at St. Andrews University in Scotland for one year and spent an additional year at the University of Edinburgh, also in Scotland. Her PhD in Christian ethics and sociology of religion is from Emory University. Her research focused on the factors that influence teens to embrace a church-related Christian commitment, a topic that has continued to inform her scholarship in subsequent years. She is the author of the book, Choosing Church: What Makes a Difference to Teens? Another research focus is the Christian practice of testimony.
She and her husband have completed the 500-mile ancient pilgrimage across northern Spain called the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
Dr. Lytch speaks on a variety of topics especially theological education, opportunities and challenges for mainline Protestant churches, and faith formation in young adults.
Dr. Lytch and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Stephens G. Lytch, have two adult children and three grandchildren.