Teaching Faculty

Pastor Manuel Retamoza

Pastor Manuel Retamoza III, was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern CA. He received his bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Seattle Pacific University. After spending three years as a teacher for Head Start, San Joaquin County, CA, Manuel and his family relocated to Minneapolis, MN, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary. It was during his time in seminary that Manuel transferred his church affiliation from the American Baptist Churches USA (ABC) to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). While in seminary, Manuel drove a bus for Minneapolis public schools, worked at Home Depot, was on a residential construction crew, started an after-school program for students living in shelters in Minneapolis, and was a mission developer in Northeast Minneapolis. In 2004 he accepted a call to serve St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in San Diego, CA as Associate Pastor of youth and social ministry, where he now serves as senior pastor.

Pastor Manuel is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and is a first-generation Mexican American. Being raised in California means his family history includes the US/Mexican border crossing with his family and his family’s crossing the border for generations. This family history and experience informed his call to ministry as he guides several border education experiences for groups from across the country and in his own congregation each year. In addition to serving as senior pastor at St. Andrew’s, Manuel is Program Director for the ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza and serves as VP American Indian and Alaskan Native Association of the ELCA Board. He is Co-director of the Western States Youth Gathering 2023 and serves on the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary advisory board.

Manuel spends time with his family camping in their teardrop, hiking, bike riding, and working on home projects. His wife Lisa is a skilled chef and manages a local grocery store and shares her culinary skills with St. Andrews for meals throughout the year. Manuel Glenn, their son, is a college student and is employed as year-round staff with Lutheran Retreats Camps and Conferences of Southern California. Their daughter Isabel and her husband Blaze live in Chicago, where she is the publications manager at the National Association of Women Lawyers.

  • June 17 - June 20
    • Ethics
    • Indigenous Studies
    • Social Justice


      Holden Village is a community where your questions are valued and encouraged. Most programs led by visiting teaching faculty occur during the summer months. However, Holden also invites faculty to teach sessions for special events and retreats throughout the rest of the year.
      Check out a list of the 2024 Summer Faculty.