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Rev. Dr. José F. Morales

DSF’s Acting President & Assistant Professor of Historical and Comparative Theology at Claremont School of Theology

Rev. Dr. José F. Morales named Acting President of Disciples Seminary Foundation

August 9, 2019 


CLAREMONT, CA – The Disciples Seminary Foundation has named Rev. Dr. José Francisco Morales Jr. as its acting president, replacing Rev. Dr. Jon Berquist. Berquist had been president since 2011. 

Marilyn Fiddmont, chair of the DSF Board of Directors, said the Executive Committee unanimously voted to terminate the relationship with Berquist. 

Fiddmont stated, “We appreciate Jon’s service, and we are now positioning the Disciples Seminary Foundation for a new beginning.” 


Fiddmont said Morales will serve as acting president until an interim president is named. Morales will continue to perform his mentoring duties as director of pastoral formation at Claremont and hold his joint appointment as assistant professor of historical and comparative theology at Claremont School of Theology. 


“I look forward to serving DSF as Acting President during this transition. As has been our legacy, DSF will continue doing what it does best: journey with our amazing DSF students, sustain our relationships with our superb partner schools, execute with excellence our educational offerings, and stay connected to the wider church in order to serve the God of all creation,” Morales said. “Our top priority remains the same: to serve our students as they respond to their sense of call and to nurture the relationships and programming that makes possible our unique ministry with and for our students and the ministries they serve.” 

DSF works with five partner seminaries on the West Coast to provide excellent education, mentoring, networking, and financial support for people preparing to lead in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ. 

Prior to his ministry at DSF, Morales served as the executive regional minister for the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he demonstrated the ability to offer executive leadership and pastoral care amidst major transitions. His ministry experience is broad, including wider denominational work, congregational ministry, advocacy, community organizing, and education. 

Morales holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Theology and Philosophy from Claremont School of Theology (Claremont, CA), and an M.Div. from McCormick Theological Seminary (Chicago, IL). He and his wife, the Rev. Daphne M. Gascot Arias (also an ordained Disciples of Christ minister and Ph.D. student in Hebrew Bible) have a daughter. 

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