The Rev. Dr. Rodney Petersen

Denomination: Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA)
Organization: Lord's Day Alliance in the U.S.


The Rev. Rodney L. Petersen, Ph.D. is Executive Director of Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries (Boston); Executive Director of The Lord's Day Alliance in the U.S., and a Visiting Researcher at Boston University School of Theology. He currently runs workshops in the Greater Boston area on topics of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Petersen is formerly Executive Director of The Boston Theological Institute (BTI), the consortium of theological schools, seminaries, and university divinity schools in the Greater Boston area. In addition to this work with the BTI, he has taught in both the member schools and overseas in the areas of history and ethics, focusing on issues of religion and conflict. Together with BTI colleagues these courses have taken students to various regions of the world to understand and film ways in which faith communities are implicated in regional violence and how they can be avenues of reconciliation. He is co-founder of the Religion and Conflict Transformation program now centered at Boston University; is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (1980), serving on several of their committees and co-chair of the drafting body for "An Inter-Religious Stance"; and is past Moderator of Boston Presbytery and is President of the Board of Trustees. From 1995 - 2002 he also served as interim pastor of the Allston Congregational Church (U.C.C.).

Prior to coming to the Boston area, Dr. Petersen taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois), Webster University (Geneva, Switzerland), taught conflict analysis for the Fédération des Institutions établies à Genève (FIIG) and worked with churches in France and Eastern Europe. He did research at the World Council of Churches, Geneva, Switzerland, on a project for the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S.A. and Canada and wrote a church history textbook for theological education by extension in the former Eastern Europe. He is a graduate of New Trier High School, Harvard College, Harvard Divinity School, and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Dr. Petersen is, or has been, a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Inter-Religious Center on Public Life, the Board of Ministry at Harvard University, the Lord's Day Alliance of the USA (co-director), Sec/treasurer, American Society of Missiology, member, PCUSA General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations and numerous other academic and ecclesiastical organizations. His work with voluntary organizations includes: Forgiveness International, Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM), and prison ministry with the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP), and Church and Prison, Inc., and the Boy Scouts (troop committee).

He is author or editor (and co-editor) and contributor of numerous articles and scholarly works, including the books, Preaching in the Last Days (Oxford University Press, 1993); Christianity and Civil Society (Orbis Books, 1995); Consumption, Population, and Sustainability: Perspectives from Science and Religion (Washington, D. C.: Island Press, 1999), with accompanying video, "Living in Nature"; The Contentious Triangle: Church, State, and University. A Festschrift in Honor of Professor George H. Williams (Kirksville, MO: Truman University Press, 1999), Earth at Risk (Amherst: Humanity Books, 2000), Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Religion, Public Policy and Conflict Transformation (Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press, 2001, 2002), Theological Literacy for the 21st Century (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002), The Antioch Agenda (ISPCK, 2007), Sunday, Sabbath and the Weekend; Managing Time in a Global Culture (Eerdmans, 2010), Overcoming Violence (BTI, 2010); Formation for Life: Just Peacemaking and 21st Century Discipleship (Wipf & Stock, 2013); Religion at Harvard, 1636-1992 by George H. Williams, 3 vols. (2014); Religion and Public Policy: Human Rights, Conflict, and Ethics (Cambridge, 2015).

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he is married to Rebecca Sommer Petersen, has three sons, Eliot (35), Caleb (23), and Maximilian (22), and a daughter, Bethany (16). In addition to these pursuits, Dr. Petersen enjoys flying (private pilot, now lapsed), rowing, kayaking, mountain climbing, bee-keeping, and playing the piano. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Camp Wilmot Camping Association (New Hampshire).


Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Rodney Petersen

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Rodney Petersen: The Sabbath and Social Renewal

Tuesday May 28, 2019
Dr. Rodney Petersen explores the 4th Commandment on keeping the Sabbath, and encourages us to be countercultural by observing it in our busy and complicated lives today.