Peter Laarman, 1993 M.Div

2009William Sloane Coffin '56 Award for Peace and Justice

Peter Laarman ’93 M.Div. is executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting of Los Angeles.  In its mission statement, the organization says it “inspires and equips individuals and communities for courageous leadership in the 21st century” with a vision to help “individuals and communities grow more deeply in faith, find strength in one another, and build the prophetic movement for social transformation.”  At PCU Laarman has worked on developing more vital local networking opportunities for progressive Christians, nurturing young leader development via PCU's campus program, upgrading PCU's communications and web capacity, building a stronger board of directors, and paring program emphases down so as to sharpen PCU's identity and effectiveness. An ordained UCC minister, he also writes and blogs extensively. In 2006 Beacon Press published a book of essays he gathered and edited under the title Getting on Message: Challenging the Christian Right from the Heart of the Gospel.  During a panel presentation at Convocation and Reunions 2007, Laarman said, “Our slogan is ‘See, Pray, Act.’ We want people to understand as much as possible that the unfettered rule of wealth and the habit of deference to the rule of wealth in the culture is a fundamental challenge to Christian people.  It absolutely violates the essence of Christian beliefs in the common table, shared abundance, and a place under the sun for every child of god.”