Dr. Tammy Dunahoo selected as Executive Dean of Portland Seminary

April 13, 2023

Tammy Dunahoo

An ordained minister with more than 40 years of ministry and church and denominational leadership experience has been selected to lead Portland Seminary as executive dean beginning June 1.

A Portland Seminary alumna, Dr. Tammy Dunahoo, will take the reins from Dr. MaryKate Morse, who will remain at the seminary as a half-time professor in its Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Spiritual Formation program.

Dunahoo arrives from the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, a Los Angeles-based denomination she’s worked for in various capacities the past 20 years, most recently as director of leader health and development (2021-present), a role that required she develop and implement strategic vision for several teams.

She previously served as the organization’s vice president of U.S. operations and general supervisor (2009-21), supervising ministries of the national church in all 50 states, which incorporates some 1,800 churches and congregations and about 6,500 credentialed ministers.

Dunahoo’s experience also includes serving as vice president of Foursquare’s Women in Ministry Leadership program (2008-09), as director of Foursquare Women International (2005-09), and as district supervisor of the Arkansas District of Foursquare Churches (2003-07).

“As I was discerning my next season of ministry, I clearly sensed I am to give my full attention to the formation of spiritual leaders – those who would be equipped to engage these days with wisdom and grace, influence and shalom,” Dunahoo said. “Portland Seminary profoundly shaped my development, and it gives me great joy to join our tremendous faculty and staff to provide this same opportunity to many more.

“I desire to see the seminary grow in its innovation while fulfilling our mission to prepare students spiritually, academically and professionally. I want us to prepare our graduates to think with clarity, live with integrity, and serve with the heart of God as they navigate an ever-changing culture in the church and the world.”

Dunahoo’s work in ministry began in 1981 as a co-pastor and teaching pastor at churches in Taft, Concord, Ukiah, and Newbury Park, California, and as a church co-planter in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She also has higher education teaching experience, serving as an adjunct professor for Life Pacific University in San Dimas, California, since 2015. She also served on the board of trustees of LPU from 2009 to 2023, and as the chair of the academic committee from 2020 to 2023.

“We are elated that Dr. Dunahoo will lead the seminary team,” Morse said. “Her love of Christ and the church, her communication and executive leadership skills, her international church and denominational network relationships, and her vision for theological education make her the right person for this role. Portland Seminary has been ‘Lighting the Way’ for those called to ministry since 1947, and she will guide us into what the Spirit has for us next.”

Dunahoo did undergraduate work in theology at The King’s University in California before enrolling at Portland Seminary, where she earned a master's degree in ministry leadership and a doctorate in leadership with global perspectives. Her doctoral dissertation was titled “Cultivating a Disciple-Centric Growth Culture in the Foursquare Church.”

Portland Seminary offers four master’s degree programs – a Master of Divinity, a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and a Master of Arts in Leadership and Culture – as well as a Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives, a Doctor of Ministry in Semiotics, Church and Culture, and a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Spiritual Formation. Masters specializations in biblical studies, chaplaincy, Christian history and theology, and spiritual formation and discipleship are also offered, as well as certificate programs.

George Fox University is classified by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best National University.” More than 4,100 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland and Redmond, Oregon. George Fox offers 60 undergraduate academic programs, degree-completion programs for working adults, and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.