WASHINGTON — Fr. Frederick J. Tillotson, O.Carm., an education and healthcare administrator and ethics consultant, has been named president of Washington Theological Union here.
He replaces Fr. John Burkhard, OFM Conv., who served as interim president for the past 18 months. Fr. Tillotson will be formally inaugurated in the fall.
The new president, who directed clinical ethics at a Franciscan health center, comes to WTU from Salpointe High School in Tucson, Ariz., where he was president and head of school for nine years. He also was administrator of St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson from July 2007 to December 2008.
A widely experienced educational administrator, Fr. Tillotson has served at schools and spiritual centers in California, and Ontario, Canada. From 1989 to 1998, he directed clinical ethics at the Franciscan Health System of Philadelphia, founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.
“I am delighted and very humbled to be selected as the new president of Washington Theological Union,” he said. “I will give all my energy and commitment to this new assignment, and look forward to the challenges of the upcoming years.”
Fr. Tillotson has also been director and instructor for the Kino Institute, the Academy of Religious Studies for the Diocese of Phoenix, an affiliate school of the University of San Francisco that provides formation for lay ministers. He was also president of Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif., and interim director for Mt. Carmel Spiritual Center in Niagara Falls, Ontario, until he was appointed to Salpointe Catholic High School.
Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, a member of WTU’s board of directors, said Fr. Tillotson is well-suited for the position.
“Fr. Frederick brings a breadth of experience in Catholic education, lay ministry formation, parish life and Catholic healthcare that embodies the direction the Washington Theological Union is currently pursuing,” he said.
“As a member of the Carmelites, one of our founding orders, he deeply values the Union’s mission of preparing priesthood candidates for ministry,” added John, who is meeting with Fr. Tillotson this week. “His diverse ministerial experiences will help WTU to provide theological education in non-traditional but much needed areas of Church life.”
Fr. Tillotson was ordained in 1969. He holds graduate degrees from the Gregorian University, Rome and the University of San Francisco. He has pursued graduate studies at Oxford University, University College in Dublin and the University of London. He has held provincial positions as coordinator of school ministry, and a member of the provincial council, as well as membership on many commissions for the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary in Darien, Ill.
He is a member of an Institutional Review Board of the University of Arizona for human subject research in the colleges of social and behavioral sciences, and a consultant for the ethics committee of Tucson Medical Center. He is a member of the Bishops’ Committee on Sexual Misconduct, a chaplain to the Equestrian Order of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher with the rank of Knight Commander, and a chaplain to the Tucson Notre Dame Alumni Association.
In the June 24 announcement, John expressed gratitude to Fr. John Burkhard for his service to the 40-year-old institution.
“As he had done over his 19 years of service to the WTU, Fr. Burkhard selflessly gave of himself to meet the Union’s needs,” HNP’s Provincial Minister said.