The Office for Religious Life > About the Deans > The Rev. Scotty McLennan


The Rev. Scotty McLennan | Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann | The Rev. Joanne Sanders

The Rev. Scotty McLennan

William L. (Scotty) McLennan, Jr. is the Dean for Religious Life at Stanford. He was the University Chaplain at Tufts University from 1984-2000 and Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School for ten of those years. His duties at Stanford include providing spiritual, moral, and ethical leadership for the university as a whole, teaching, encouraging a wide spectrum of religious traditions on campus, serving as the minister of Memorial Church, and engaging in public service.

Dean McLennan received a B.A. from Yale University in 1970 as a Scholar of the House working in the area of computers and the mind (Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa). He received M.Div. and J.D. degrees from Harvard Divinity and Law Schools in 1975 (Cum Laude). In 1975 he was ordained to the ministry (Unitarian Universalist) and admitted to the Massachusetts bar as an attorney.

From 1975 to 1984 Dean McLennan practiced church-sponsored poverty law in the Dorchester area of Boston. He represented low-income people in the general practice of law, including consumer, landlord-tenant, government benefits, immigration, family and criminal law. In the early 1980's he developed and directed the Unitarian Universalist Legal Ministry, which used largely non-adversary means of dispute resolution, attempted to see clients' legal problems in relation to their whole life situation, and sought reconciliation with other parties.

At Stanford, Dean McLennan has taught undergraduate courses through the Ethics in Society Program ("Ethics and the Professions"), Urban Studies, with the associate deans for religious life ("Spirituality and Nonviolent Social Transformation") and the Graduate School of Business ("The Business World: Moral and Spiritual Inquiry Through Literature"). His primary research interests are in the interface of religion, ethics and the professions.

Dean McLennan is the author of "Jesus Was a Liberal: Reclaiming Christianity for All" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2009), "Finding Your Religion: When the Faith You Grew Up With Has Lost Its Meaning" (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999) and co-author with Laura Nash of "Church on Sunday, Work on Monday: The Challenge of Fusing Christian Values With Business Life" (Jossey-Bass, 2001). He lives on campus with his wife, Ellen; they are the parents of two Stanford graduates, Will and Dan.

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Cut from a Different Cloth Stanford Magazine July/August 2001