Frederich H Borsch

Biographical Information
The Right Reverend Frederick Houk Borsch, Ph.D.
2930 Corda Lane
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Present Address:
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119


Frederick Houk Borsch is presently Professor of  New Testament and Chair of Anglican Studies at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.  Earlier he was the Interim Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and Associate Dean of the Yale Divinity School.  He is the retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.  Educated at Princeton, Oxford and the General Theological Seminary, his Ph.D. degree is from the University of Birmingham in England.  In addition to teaching posts in England at Seabury-Western and the General Theological Seminary, he was formerly Dean, President, and Professor of New Testament at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific.  He was Dean of the Chapel with rank of Professor of Religion at Princeton University where he taught in the Program in the History, Archaeology and Religions of the Ancient World.  From 1988-2000 he was Chair of the Theology Committee for the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.  

Contributor of essays, articles and poetry to a number of journals and newspapers, he is the author or editor of some twenty books.  He has been a conference leader and given university and seminary lectures at a number of institutions in this country and abroad.  In 1985, for thirteen weeks, he was the preacher for the Protestant Hour.  For further biography see “The Backyard Missionary: The Other Bishop” in Los Angeles Times Magazine, April 11, 1999 or “Spirit Searching”  at 

Positions held:


Professor of New Testament and Chair of Anglican Studies, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 2003-09; Coordinator, the College for Bishops (2003 –2007); Interim Dean Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and Associate Dean Yale Divinity School (2002-3); Visiting Professor Yale Divinity School, 2003)

Bishop, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, 1988-2002

Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life with rank of Professor of Religion, Princeton University, 1981-1988; also Interim Dean, Spring Semester, 2007. Visiting Lecturer, Princeton Theological Seminary (1982-84)

Dean, President, and Professor of New Testament Literature, The Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 1972-1981

Professor of New Testament Literature, The General Theological Seminary, 1971-1972

Assistant and then Associate Professor of New Testament, Seabury-Western Seminary, 1966-1971

Tutor, The Queen’s Theological College, Birmingham, UK and Lecturer and Examiner, The University of Birmingham, 1963-1966

Curate, Grace Episcopal Church, Oak Park, IL, 1960-1963


Ph.D. The University of Birmingham (Theology), 1966

S.T.B. The General Theological Seminary, 1960

B.A. Oxford University (Theology), 1959: M.A. 1963

B.A. Princeton University (English Literature), 1957


Day by Day: Loving God more Dearly* (Morehouse/Chuirch Publsihing: 2008);
The Spirit Searches Everything: Keeping Life’s Questions (Cowley Publications:2005);
New Proclamation, Year B, 2002-3, with J.M. Childs, P.H. Pfatleicher, M.F. Connell (Fortress
Press: 2002); The Magic Word: Stirrings and Stories of Faith and Ministry* (Cathedral Center Press: 2001); Outrage and Hope: A Bishop’s Reflections in Times of Change and Challenge (Trinity Press International: 1996); Christian Discipleship and Sexuality (Forward Movement: 1993); Editor, The Bible’s Authority in Today’s Church, (Trinity Press International: 1993)Proclamation 4, Epiphany 1 (Fortress Press: 1989); Many Things in Parables: Extravagant Stories of New Community (Fortress Press: 1988);  Jesus: The Human Life of God* (Forward Movement Publication: 1987); Proclamation 3, Pentecost 1 (Fortress Press: 1985); Editor, Anglicanism and the Bible, (Morehouse-Barlow: 1984); Power in Weakness: New Hearing for Gospel Stories of Healing and Discipleship* (Fortress Press: 1983; new edition, 2008); Coming Together in the Spirit (Forward Movement Publications: 1980); Proclamation, Series II-A, Advent-Christmas, with D. Napier (Fortress Press, Philadelphia: 1980); Introducing the Lessons of the Church Year: A Guide for Lay Readers and Congregations (Seabury Press, New York: 1978; Trinity Press International, 1991); God’s Parable (SCM Press: 1975; Westminster, 1976); The Christian and Gnostic Son of Man (SCM Press: 1970); The Son of Man in Myth and History (SCM Press, Westminster Press: 1967; New edition Wipf & Stock 2007).

*Also in audio publication by the Episcopal Media Center.

Essays, articles, poetry, book reviews, op-eds published in

The Anglican Theological Review; The Anglican World; The Anglican; The Christian Century; The Chronicle for Higher Education; Crossings; Crossroads; The Daily Princetonian; Ecumenical Trends; Episcopal Life; The Episcopal News; The Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church; The Journal of Biblical Literature; Journal of Theological Studies; The Living Church; Los Angles Times; New Testament Studies; New York Times; Princeton Alumni Weekly; Quarterly Review; Religious Education; The Sewanee Theological Review; The Tablet; Theological Education; Theology; and, The Weekly Nassau.

Essays in other books and selected articles:

“A Dangerous Book the Bible” in Seeing God in Each Other (ed.  Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook: 2006)

Contributor to The People’s Bible (Fortress Press. 2008); Feasting on the Bible (Abingdon Press, 2008- ).

“The Common Good and the Invisible Hand: Faith-Based Economy” inThe Anglican Theological Review 87/1 Winter 2005

“The Gospel According to John” Forward Movement Publications 2003

“Cultures and Communion: Diversity and Community in the Church andThe World”  (Bishop Gray Memorial Lecture: University of Cape in The Anglican Theological Review 84/2 Spring 2002

 “New Christian Understandings of Same Gender Sexuality” in New Jewish and Christian Approaches to Homosexuality (The 2002 Swig Lecture at the University of San Francisco)

“The Ministry and Authority of Bishops in a Changing World and Church” in The Anglican Theological Review

“Further Reflections on the “Son of Man’: The Origins and Development of the Title” in The Messiah: Developments in Judaism and Early Christianity (ed. J.H. Charlesworth: 1992)

“Faculty as Mentors and Models” in Building Theological Faculties for the Future in Theological Education: The Journal of the Association of Theological Schools in the United Sates and Canada. Vol. XXVIII Autumn 1991

“It’s Often Difficult Helping Students Learn More About Values and Ethics” in Point of View of American Higher Education, Vol. II (ed. S.H. Barnes: 1990)

“Jesus and Women Exemplars” in Christ and His Communities (ed. A.J. Hultgren and B. Hall: 1990)

“Lifted to Holiness” in The Gospel Imperative in the Midst of AIDS (ed. R.H. Iles: 1989)

“Remembering and Envisioning: The Responsibilities of Theological Education” in Theological Education for the Future (ed. G.F. Lytle, Forward Movement: 1988)

“Guidance of Charismatic Experience: New Testament Evidence and Implications for Today” in Open to the Spirit (ed. C. Craston: 1987)

“The Responsibility of the Seminaries in Future Accountability to the Church” in New Perspectives on Episcopal Seminaries (ed. T.L. Ehrich: 1986)

“Ye Shall Be Holy: Reflections on the Spirituality of the Oxford Movement” in Tradition Renewed: The Oxford Movement Conference Papers (ed. G. Rowell: 1986)

“Where Was God When the Plane Crashed?” in The Christian Century March 13, 1985.

“Love Bade Me Welcome” in The Living Church October 9, 1983.

“Ears That Hear and Do Not Hear: Fundamental Hearing of the Bible” in Scripture Today (ed. D.R. McDonald, Morehouse-Barlow: 1980)

“The Authority of the Ministry” in Towards a New Theology of Ordination: The Ordination of Women (ed. M.H. Hicks and C.P. Price: 1976)

“The Priest as Professional” in To Be a Priest (ed. U.T. Holmes and R Terwilliger: 1975)

“Jesus, the Wandering Preacher?” in What About the New Testament? (ed. C. Hickling and M. Hooker: 1975)

“Fragging the Beast: the Apocalypticists’ Device of Depersonalizing and       Dehumanizing the Enemy is Still Very Much With Us” in The Christian Century June 9, 1971

“Forward and Backward from Wilhelm Bousset’s ‘Kyrios Christos’”, Religion 3 (1973) 66-73

Memberships, Trusteeships, Honors:

Member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas;  Phi Beta Kappa; Fellow, the Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture, Associate and Companion the Order of the Holy Cross; Representative to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church (1981-1988) and the Anglican Consultative Council (1983-1988); Theological Consultant to the Planning Committee for the 1988 Lambeth Conference; Past member of the InterAnglican Theological and Doctrinal Consultation V (1991-1994); Chair of Section III for the 1998 Lambeth Conference and Chair of the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops (1988-2000); Member (now Honorary Member) of the Corporation of the Anglican Theological Review (1969-1987); Preacher, The Protestant Hour radio program (1985); Trustee (now Honorary Trustee) of the Princeton-Blairstown Center (1981-1988); Executive Director of the Chicago Theological Institute (1969-1971); Chair of the Council of Deans of Episcopal Seminaries (1979-1981); Trustee of the Graduate Theological Union (1972-1981) and the Absalom Jones Theological Institute (1976-1982); Episcopal Representative to the National Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission (1974-1981).

As Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles (1988-2002): Chair or member of a number of oards of directors including Good Samaritan Hospital, Hillsides Home for Children; The Neighborhood Youth Association; The Diocesan Investment Trust; The Cathedral Corporation; The Diocesan Council, and The Corporation of the Diocese. Also Chancellor of the Harvard-Westlake School; Chair of Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders (1993-­1994); Founder (1991) Episcopal Urban Intern Program; Co-Founder (2000) of the Los Angeles Interfaith Environmental Council; Director of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (1992-2002).

Chair of the Board of Governors; Trinity Press International, Inc. (1989-1996), and the Advisory Board, Trinity Press International, Inc. (1996-2003); Member of the Advisory Board for the UCLA School of Public Affairs (1998-Present); the Skirball Institute on American Values (2000-2003), and the Advisory Council of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton (1999-Present); Trustee of Princeton University (1998-2002); Advisory Board of Death Penalty Focus (1995-present);  Degrees - Summa Cum Laude, Princeton University; Keasby Scholar, First Class Honors, Oxford; Honorary D.D., Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and The General Theological Seminary; Honorary S.T.D., the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale; Honorary M.A. Yale University.  Humanitarian Award, the National Conference for Community and Justice; Inaugural Award Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy; member Yale University Council and Chair, Committee on Religious and Spiritual Life at Yale University (2003-5). Frederick Borsch Professorship, St. Nicholas Theological College, Cape Coast, Ghana.


Married in 1960 to Barbara Edgeley Sampson Borsch

Three sons Benjamin, born in 1962 and Matthew and Stuart, born in 1964

Grandfather to Jack and Emily.


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