Christopher Ocker

Assistant Provost and Interim Dean, Graduate School of Theology

Christopher Ocker is Assistant Provost and Interim Dean, as well as Professor of the History of Christianity at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) in the U of R Graduate School of Theology (GST).

He came to SFTS in 1991 and has been a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) at Berkeley since 1992. He has served as Associate Director of the GTU’s Center for Hermeneutical Studies, Co-Director of its Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, and Chair of its Department for Cultural and Historical Studies. He is also affiliated with the Department of History, the Medieval Studies Program, and the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion at the University of California. He has been a fellow of the Institute for European History in Mainz, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow of the Max Planck Institute for History in Göttingen and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Constance, and most recently a Senior Fellow of the Center for the Comparative History of Monasticism at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany. During a recent leave of absence from SFTS/GST, he proudly served as the inaugural director of the Program for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne Australia. He teaches the history of global Christianity.

Recognized for his work on the medieval background to the Reformation, Ocker’s research focuses on medieval and Reformation Europe, the history of biblical interpretation, religious conflict, and theology. His publications include Luther, Conflict, and Christendom: Reformation Europe and Christianity in the West (Cambridge University Press, 2018, paperback 2020), Church Robbers and Reformers in Germany, 1525-1547 (E.J. Brill, 2006), Biblical Poetics before Humanism and Reformation (Cambridge University Press, 2002), Johannes Klenkok: A Friar’s Life (American Philosophical Society, 1993), and numerous book chapters, articles, and edited volumes. He is the General Editor of Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions, founded by Heiko Oberman in 1966, and a co-editor of Arbeiten zur Kirchengeschichte, founded by Karl Holl and Hans Lietzmann in 1925).

Ocker is a member of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA), spouse in an interfaith family, parent of three, and a child of immigrants. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and bookbinding in his spare time.


Dean, Graduate School of Theology

The dean of the Graduate School of Theology (GST) provides leadership and works in collaboration with faculty and students to sustain effective teaching and learning, review and manage the College curriculum, and promote faculty development. The dean has oversight responsibilities in the faculty review process and is responsible for management of the GST budget. The dean represents the GST in University-wide academic policy and decisions via the Dean’s Council and serves on the President’s Cabinet.