The Reverend Dr. Laura Sheridan-Campbell was raised in central Iowa. Her parents (now deceased) were Harry and Patricia Sellner of Slater, Iowa, and her brother was SSgt. Timothy Sellner of Ft. Campbell, KY (killed in a military air crash in Gander, Newfoundland in 1985). Laura was raised in the Disciples of Christ tradition, and was only first introduced to the Episcopal Church while earning a graduate degree at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.
Laura received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Iowa (Iowa City) in 1987, and her M.S. in Plant Genetics from Iowa State University (Ames) in 1990. Throughout college, Laura worked as a laboratory and field assistant for the Biotechnology Department of Pioneer Hi-Bred, International, Inc.
Beginning in the Fall of 1990, Laura attended seminary at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in New Haven, CT, where her clinical pastoral training was done at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, and her seminary internship of three years at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Haven, the 4th oldest African-American Episcopal Church in the Episcopal Church (USA). As St. Luke’s was a key force in combating the decline of inner city New Haven, Laura learned much from St. Luke’s Rector, Victor Rogers, and members, about the positive role that religious institutions can play in civic life. She also took great interest in Youth Ministry, leading the Acolyte Corps and the Youth Group.
Following ordination to the diaconate at St. Luke’s (May 19, 1993), Laura returned to The Diocese of Iowa to serve as Curate of St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown Des Moines (1993-96). She was ordained priest on March 19, 1994. Under Dean Michael Barlowe’s direction, Laura’s primary responsibilities in this multi-staff parish were in areas of Liturgy, Youth Ministry and Outreach.
In May of 1996, Laura accepted the call to be Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church and School in Odessa, TX (Diocese of Northwest Texas). As St. John’s had lost numerous members due to an unfortunate chapter of leadership in the early 1990s, it took much effort to retire debt and to revitalize ministries of Worship, Education and Outreach. During her twelve years at St. John’s, Laura worked closely with both the Church and onsite Dayschool. Together, over the course of twelve years, the two entities were able to complete two significant building projects, totaling $2 million. While in the Diocese of Northwest Texas, Laura served on various committees including the Standing Committee, and as Deputy to General Conventions 2003 and 2006.
In 2007, a study sabbatical took Laura to Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. There she began a Doctor of Ministry program in the area of Congregational and Ministry Development. After completing twelve years with St. John’s, Odessa, Laura moved to Berkeley, CA, in 2008. While completing the D. Min. degree, she served St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Oakland, CA, as a non-stipendiary priest. Her doctoral thesis is entitled Sacred Other: Difference and the Congregational Practice of Catholicity.
In the spring of 2010, Laura accepted a call to Holy Cross. She began as Vicar on July 1, 2010. In addition to her role as Vicar, Laura serves on the Committee on Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, and is a newly-inducted member of Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club.
Laura is married to Jerry Campbell, a former Methodist pastor, who most recently served as Vice President for Advancement of Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. Now resident in the Diocese of San Diego, Jerry seeks to support and to serve Episcopal congregations in an advisory capacity in areas of Stewardship and Fundraising. Jerry has one daughter, Megan, who lives in Berkeley, California, and who works as an Asst. Stage Manager for Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Jerry and Laura love living in Carlsbad, with all of its panoramic beauty, seasonal weather and warm hospitality. They enjoy live theatre, and are season ticketholders to the Old Globe Playhouse. Also being Major League Baseball fans, Laura and Jerry are loyal to the San Francisco Giants (except when playing the Padres ? well, that only holds true for Laura!). When Jerry and Laura get away, they enjoy visiting friends and family in Berkeley, and in various other parts of the country. They also frequent the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR, where they own a home and eventually hope to retire.