The Rev. Scott D. Anderson began as Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches in March of 2003.
Scott served for six years as the California Council of Churches’ Associate Director before being elected its Executive Director in September 1996. He organized three important public education initiatives for California’s religious community, including a health care reform initiative in 1992-1994, a project focusing on violence prevention among California youth, and a major initiative to connect California’s religious community with welfare reform implementation at the local level.
Scott served as pastor of St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in North Highlands, California from 1983-1987, and then as Pastor and Head of Staff at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Sacramento before entering graduate school to study public policy and administration in the fall of 1990.
He has broad-based ecumenical experience, including six years of service on the governing board and executive committee of the National Council of Churches, President of the Sacramento Interfaith Service Bureau, and most recently as President of the National Association of Ecumenical and Interreligious Staff (NAEIS). Scott currently is a member of the Committee on Local and Regional Ecumenism of the National Council of Churches.
Rev. Anderson is a member and former Chair of the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations for the Presbyterian Church (USA). Scott now serves as the PCUSA’s representative on the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Bethany Presbyterian Church, Scott’s last pastorate, received the Presbyterian General Assembly’s Ecumenical Service Award for its outstanding collaborative work in meeting human needs in the Sacramento area.
Scott’s work in Wisconsin is focused on strengthening the public policy witness of the Council and initiating a new area of ministry focused on equipping congregations to engage the mission field that is now at their doorstep.
Scott and his life partner of 22 years, Ian MacAllister, were married in 2013 and live in Madison with their two canine children, Becky and Sam, along with their African Grey Parrot named Stewart.
Scott is a contributing author to three books: Called Out: The Voices and Gifts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Presbyterians (Chi Rho Press, 1995), Presbyterians Being Reformed: What the Church Needs Today (Geneva Press, 2006), and That All May Be One: Essays Celebrating the World Communion of Reformed Churches (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2010). He has also written for the “Living the Word” series in The Christian Century magazine.
Scott is a graduate of University of California, Davis (B.A. in Political Science), Princeton Theological Seminary (M. Div), and California State University, Sacramento (M.A. in Public Policy and Administration).
“Time and again, my life has been touched by the graciousness of God revealed most fully in the person and work of Jesus Christ. God’s presence and unconditional love, often expressed through the support of a caring community of faith, have sustained me, particularly in difficult times, and led me into a deeper relationship with God.
As a life-long Christian and Presbyterian, the counter-cultural character of God challenges me. God’s justice, which in scripture is focused on the marginalized in society, is rarely embraced by the world. From poverty to economic inequality, from environmental degradation to the growing specter of violence both at home and around the world, the prophetic call ‘to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God’ (Micah 6:8) gives shape to the church’s missional imperative in the 21st century.
My ecumenical vocation began when I helped organize a CROP walk as a high school junior. That experience gave me a larger vision of the church beyond our denominational tribalism. Jesus’ prayer for his disciples ‘that all may be one’ (John 17:11) defines ecumenism as both gift and task.
My ecumenical work in Wisconsin focused on helping the Council of churches connect with the ministry of congregations, to add value to their work and to invite them into a larger vision of the ministry beyond the confines of their community.”