L. Gregory Jones has been appointed as the Executive Director of A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE), effective Jan. 1, 2013, Chairman of the Board Edmund W. Robb III, announced.
“Greg is a significant leader in theological education who has a heart for classical Christianity and the Church’s vital witness,” Robb said. “He is ideally suited to lead AFTE into its next phase, strengthening focus on leadership as well as scholarship in the United Methodist Church.”
Jones will continue to serve as professor of theology at Duke Divinity School and senior strategist at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. He succeeds Paul Ervin, who is retiring from AFTE after five years as Executive Director.
A Foundation for Theological Education was established in 1977 by Albert C. Outler and Edmund W. Robb, Jr., to strengthen classical Christian witness in the United Methodist Church. AFTE sponsors the John Wesley Fellows Program, which provides doctoral fellowships for United Methodists preparing to teach and lead, especially in United Methodist seminaries. Since its founding, the Foundation has awarded more than $3 million in grants to over 140 Fellows. AFTE also sponsors Catalyst, a scholarly newsletter for United Methodist seminarians.
“I am honored to succeed Paul Ervin as Executive Director,” Jones said. “He is a good friend and has done an excellent job. As someone who was blessed to receive a John Wesley Fellowship during my doctoral studies, I know first-hand how important that support is for young scholars. My relationships with other Fellows have been a real blessing, and the John Wesley Fellows program and Catalyst have both been a stimulus for renewal and innovation in the church and in theological education.”
A United Methodist minister, Jones, 51, was the Dean of Duke Divinity School from 1997-2010. He is the author or editor of 16 books, including the acclaimed “Embodying Forgiveness” and “Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry,” of which he was co-author.
“The John Wesley Fellows program is a tremendous resource for investing in young people to provide significant scholarship, teaching, and leadership for the United Methodist Church,” Jones noted. “It is a joy to work with gifted colleagues and younger scholars and leaders in helping to re-shape theological education faithfully to serve the church’s mission in the 21st century.”
“AFTE will be in great hands under Greg’s leadership,” Paul Ervin said. “He has terrific relationships across the church, has been a gifted leader and is well-positioned to serve as a mentor for future scholars and leaders. I look forward to continuing to support Greg and AFTE in the years to come.”