Eric is a native of St. Paul, MN, and his earliest religious education and experience came at The House of Hope Presbyterian Church there. The liturgy, music, architecture, and preaching made a lasting impression on him. He received his BA from St. John’s College (the Santa Fe, NM campus), which is often known as the “Great Books School.” It was there that his call to ministry came, and upon graduation he entered Princeton Theological Seminary, where he completed his M.Div. He continued on immediately at Princeton, and received his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Theology four years later. During that time he also served a small church in Jersey City.
After finishing at Princeton, Eric became Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL. He served at Illinois College for sixteen years, maintaining his dual focus on campus ministry and scholarship. While at Illinois College, he spent considerable effort and research on church-college relations, working with the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities and the Committee on Higher Education for the Synod of Lincoln Trails. He was promoted to the rank of Full Professor and served on numerous committees at the College. While at the College he also was twice the interim pastor at the Congregational Church of Jacksonville.
In 1998, after a sabbatical at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, where he had been in residence once before, he stayed in Princeton. He taught at Princeton Theological Seminary as a Guest Professor of Philosophy, and then became Acting Chaplain. It was with that latter position that he began a career as an interim pastor. He has served several Presbyterian churches in the northeast as interim pastor, including Georgetown in Washington, DC, in Rye, NY, and Swarthmore, PA, before coming to Madison Avenue. He was also the Interim Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Monmouth.
Eric has also continued, at the same time, an active scholarly career. He has had several periods of residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry, and now serves as its librarian. As a scholar, he has written and edited a dozen books in philosophy, theology, and education. After having written his dissertation on the French philosopher, mystic, and social critic Simone Weil (1909-1943), he co-founded the American Weil Society, a scholarly society, in 1981, and served as its president for thirty-three years. Seven of his books have been on Weil’s philosophy. His works have been published in half a dozen languages. He has also taught at General Theological Seminary in New York City.
Eric is married to Brenda Lockhart Springsted, an archaeologist, now retired, who serves on the Board of Trustees of the Trenton City Museum. Their permanent home is in Trenton, although they also are “non-voting taxpayers” in Santa Fe, NM, where they maintain a home. They are the parents of three adult daughters. Simone is a teacher and vice principal in Minnesota. She and her husband, Steven, are the parents of two sons and a daughter. Leidy is a social worker in the Boston area, and her husband, Keith, is an artisan woodworker. Elspeth is in medical school at the University of Queensland, Australia, in an international program, and is now completing her clinical rotations for her degree from UQ in New Orleans.
Eric is a professional interim minister who understands his ministry as assisting a church in moving toward the future and providing structure, faith and confidence during a time of transition.