PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN PASTOR. PROUD CALIFORNIAN. BICULTURAL. INTERFAITH.
FROM MONTANA TO HARVARD
Born in North Central Montana, Tim was raised in the United Church of Christ and began preaching in high school. Captivated by the tradition of justice that is at the heart of the denomination, he decided to devote his professional career to serving the church that was the first to ordain a person of color, a woman, and an openly LGBT person: The United Church of Christ. As a first generation college graduate, he holds a bachelor's degree in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. During this time he served as a pastoral resident at two Boston-area congregations (Brighton Allston Congregational Church and Harvard Epworth United Methodist Church) as well as a chaplain intern at an assisted living facility (Youville House). He is currently a Doctor of Ministry candidate at the Pacific School of Religion.
COMMITMENT TO INTERFAITH UNDERSTANDING
As a student of comparative religion and a graduate of an interfaith divinity school, Tim believes that interfaith engagement is a catalyst for faith development. This is why he has spent a significant amount of time traveling through over 39 countries on 5 continents in search of new ways to grow his interfaith praxis. In his professional ministry he has led his current congregation into a partnership with Temple Beth El La Jolla and has facilitated several visits, dialogues, and tours with local religious communities from Sikh, to Buddhist, and Muslim. He has participated in interfaith treks to The Philippines, Israel/Palestine, and South Africa where he enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
A UNIQUELY CALIFORNIA MINISTRY
In 2017 Tim was granted Ordained Ministerial Standing in the United Church of Christ. He was called to serve the Congregational Church of La Jolla, one of San Diego's oldest Protestant churches. His ministry in La Jolla has included building on its intellectually rich and spiritually engaging worship program, fostering increased community visibility through direct communication of progressive Christian values, spiritual deepening through small group study, and opportunities for creative worship opportunities that draw upon both the mind and the heart. Tim finds his pastoral gifts uniquely tailored for ministry in California's young, vibrant, multicultural, beach communities where the ancient rhythms of Christian worship meet modern innovation and a casual lifestyle.
Pictured here with the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Tim is proud to have a foot on both sides of the border in what he believes is one of the most important and culturally significant bi-national regions in the world. He has a residence in Tijuana, Baja California and as a candidate for Mexican nationality, he continues to advocate for policies that further progress for both the United States and Mexico and their relationship. He feels proud to be associated with what he believes are two of the world's most inspiring nations. His intellectual passion project includes collecting the stories of notable naturalized Mexicans who blended Mexican culture with their own culture and who chose to bind their futures, identities, and personalities to Mexico's political destiny.
PASSION FOR ART AND COLLECTING
Since his youngest years, Tim's deepest love has been for art. It is in art that he encounters God in the most poignant form. It was his relationship with art, history, and literature that led him into a life of Christian ministry. Art is an important motif in Tim's life and ministry and plays a significant role in his teaching and preaching. Since the onset of COVID-19, Tim has led his congregation in a weekly art history lesson that doubles as a worship opportunity. Additionally, he hopes to inspire other millennials to understand that one need not be ultra-wealthy to curate a historically significant collection of art that is at once well curated, autobiographical, and a potential tool for legacy building if bequeathed to the right cultural or artistic institution.
The seating of a new member to the La Jolla Parks & Beaches group is normally a simple, maybe 90-second process. But when it came to seating the Rev. Tim Seery during the board’s April 26 meeting, there were debates, lengthy discussion and multiple votes.
Controversial arrest in San Diego causes indignation on social media. Rev. Tim speaks with Univision about why he supports justice for Jesse Evans. (in Spanish)
As a progressive minister, nothing is more frustrating than hearing someone restate the culturally ubiquitous phrase “Keep politics out of the pulpit.” Users of this phrase are mostly always well-meaning and cite this tired cliche as if it is not only a gospel truth but also a legally binding principle — which it is not.
La Jolla: We need to talk.
This beautiful jewel of a city by the sea has been gracious to me. It’s been the first community in which I have practiced ordained ministry after leaving divinity school three years ago. It has received me with warmth and hospitality. I consider myself fortunate to get to be the one who represents the United Church of Christ in La Jolla.
Times of San Diego: Why I Put a Black Lives Matter Sign on My La Jolla Church
This past Wednesday, I found myself in my office with a giant magic marker carefully spelling out a theological truth onto large sheets of paper. These giant block letters soon brought this truth into view: “Jesus was a person of color. We stand on the side of love. This means: Black Lives Matter.” I didn’t think long about what to write. I wrote what I knew to be true and what I believe reflects the heart of God....
Interview for the San Diego Reader at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic exploring issues of life after death, contemporary issues facing the church, and navigating a changing cultural landscape.
Times of San Diego: The Poignant Power—and Responsibility—of a President in a Democracy
In my short twenty-seven-year life, I have had the great fortune of meeting six U.S. presidents. The circumstances around each encounter were all different, as was the age and season of life I was in when each meeting took place. In each case, I have tried to learn something from them....
La Jolla Light: Lessons of the Lorax Tree
This past Easter, we at the Congregational Church, held one of our Easter morning services gathered around the towering Monterrey Cyprus that once stood in Scripps Parks as a living testament to the legacy of Dr. Seuss. We gathered around this tree not simply because it and the surrounding coastline served as a stunning backdrop to our worship, but because it, along with the body of Dr. Seuss’ work, greatly informs our faith...
By offering comfort and a sympathetic ear, bartenders are sometimes compared to clergy. But what if your drinking buddy was an actual minister? From 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, the Rev. Tim Seery will host his first “Beer With a Pastor” at the Karl Strauss brewpub in La Jolla, 1044 Wall St. To be clear: Seery, the pastor at Congregational Church of La Jolla, is not pouring or buying the beers. But he hopes to stimulate open, engaging conversations on any topic....
La Jolla Light: Millennial reverend revs up La Jolla’s oldest congregation
In September, just after learning that he landed the job as the Congregational Church of La Jolla’s new pastor, Reverend Tim Seery took a stroll around the Village of La Jolla to explore his new community and introduce himself. Inside the Norma Kay gift shop, he was immediately summoned to the counter to dispense advice....
Aside from being the pastor of the Congregational Church of La Jolla, and a minister of the United Church of Christ, Tim is proud to be a member of Cohort 11 of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative, a leadership development program that equips, energizes, and empowers younger UCC local church pastors to build vibrant congregations that change lives and further God’s mission in the world.
Bachelor of Arts (2011-2014)
Comparative Study of Religion
Harvard Divinity School
Master of Divinity (2014-2017)
Pacific School of Religion
Doctor of Ministry (2021 - Present)