2012-13 Theological School Deans

2012-13 Teaching and Learning Colloquy for
Theological School Deans

June 4-9, 2012 Wabash College 
January 9-13, 2013 Corpus Christi, Texas

Leadership Team
Rebecca Slough, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Richard Weis, Lexington Theological Seminary
Paul O. Myhre, Wabash Center


  • Full-time chief academic officer in an accredited seminary or theological school in the United States, Puerto Rico, or Canada
  • A minimum of one academic year of service as dean by June 2012
  • Commitment to full participation from the opening to closing for both colloquy sessions

Read our Policy on Participation

In this colloquy, deans of theological schools will explore their role as academic leaders in the fast-changing contours of theological education. In the prior era, a dean was often seen as the mechanic who tended the curricular or institutional machinery. The realities of theological education in the 21st century require a re-visioning of the leadership role of the academic dean. This colloquy seeks to strengthen participants’ vision of their work as academic leaders and contribute to the larger conversation about the changing realities of deanship in theological schools.

Participants will identify a list of major challenges facing theological schools which will form the foci for the colloquy’s reflection on academic leadership. For example:

  • Meeting the rapidly changing leadership needs of the churches
  • Engaging the plethora of learning formats opened up by new instructional technologies
  • Dealing with financial challenges and institutional fragility
  • Addressing changes in faculty development and teaching/learning resulting from the increasing diversity of faculties and student bodies

Participants will leave the first session with language and tools for understanding leadership in their own context that can be used to frame their work in the ensuing months. Before the second session participants will be asked to reflect on their experience of the practice of deanship as informed by that language and those tools. These reflections will be shared as the starting point for the second session of the colloquy.

Colloquy Goals

  • Participants will cultivate together a richer repertoire of language and concepts helpful in defining patterns of educational leadership within theological schools
  • Participants will identify patterns and metaphors of leadership needed in their setting to address the challenges facing them in theological education today
  • Participants will be supported in claiming their identity, authority, and power as leaders of the changing educational enterprise in their schools

By and large, conversation about the everyday challenges of deanship will take place within the framework of the colloquy’s goals. However, the colloquy will include opportunities for small group and individual conversations about particularly urgent issues for theological school deans that do not fit within the overall conversation of the colloquy.

Participants will receive a stipend of $2,500 for full participation in the two sessions, plus local expenses and travel.
We are limited in paying stipends to participants who are employed in the U.S. under H-1B visa.

In addition, the Wabash Center will reimburse expenses up to $500 for your attendance at the Association of Theological School’s CAOS meeting to be held in March 2013.
Read More about Stipend Payments

Front Row (left to right):  Anne Gatobu (Asbury Theological Seminary), Sharon Henderson Callahan (Seattle University), Eleanor Moody Shepherd (New York Theological Seminary), Ellen Wondra (Seabury-Western Theological Seminary).

Second Row: Amy Oden (Wesley Theological Seminary), *Richard Weis (Lexington Theological Seminary), *Rebecca Slough (Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary), Cynthia Briggs Kittredge (Seminary of the Southwest), Michael Shire (Hebrew College). 

Third Row:  David Mellott (Lancaster Theological Seminary), Charles Gieschen (Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft Wayne, IN), Susan Ebbers (United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities), *Paul Myhre (Wabash Center).

*leadership/staff position

Wabash Center