Riess Potterveld is president of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), beginning July 1, 2013. GTU is a consortium of eight seminaries and various centers and affiliates comprising one of the largest interreligious centers in the U.S. Previously he served as president of Pacific School of Religion (2010-2013), where he had earlier directed seminary development, and of Lancaster Theological Seminary (2002-2010). He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
Dr. Potterveld has taught courses in transformational leadership and the practical skills of ministry. He preaches and speaks widely on issues of church and society and offers workshops on the interface between spirituality and art.
Riess previously served as senior minister of The Congregational Church of Northridge, California for 18 years. While at Northridge, he also lectured in the religious studies department of California State University, Northridge, where he received the Meritorious Performance and Professional Promise Award in 1988.
Riess was the co-founder and for three years, beginning in 1986, the president of The Valley Shelter, a large multi-service shelter for homeless people in the San Fernando Valley.
Riess is married to Tara Potterveld, a sign language interpreter for the deaf and sculptor, and they share four adult sons and seven grandchildren.