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News and Events @ Wesley
By Lyndon Orinion on Monday, July 29, 2013 3:19 PM

On Monday, July 15, Dr. Shaun Casey, Wesley Theological Seminary’s professor of Christian ethics, began his new duties as the special advisor to the Secretary of State for faith-based community initiatives. Casey remains an important member of Wesley’s faculty and will return to his regular position at the conclusion of this assignment.  

By Lyndon Orinion on Monday, July 8, 2013 7:55 AM
In 2006, Wesley launched the Spiritual Leadership for the Global Church: Asian Track Doctor of Ministry degree with a goal of providing leaders for the church and theological schools in Asian countries. The Methodist Theological University in Seoul Korea partnered with Wesley’s leadership to develop the intensive curriculum for this practical degree.

“We in this country use the mantra of becoming a global church all too glibly,” said Dr. Lew Parks, director of Wesley’s Doctor of Ministry program. “The students of the Global Asian tracks put muscle into the expression. Their project questions have obvious drama. How do you minister creatively and with limited resources in an environment where 97% of the population is of another world religion, such as in India?  What kind of training will equip lay leaders for ministry in the remote regions of Nepal where there is a dearth of formally trained clergy? How can seminary students in Indonesia be formed for cooperation across tribal culture differences? And...
By Lyndon Orinion on Monday, July 8, 2013 7:54 AM
What goes into preparing someone to pastor a church? It’s a mixture of coursework, worship, fellowship and hands-on training -- all things Wesley excels in. Throughout this month, 150 Course of Study local pastors will fill Wesley’s campus. In their classes, these students will gain a theological foundation that will guide their church-based ministries. In their daily chapel service, they will sing, praise, preach, pray, take communion, and be renewed. During their communal meals and activities, they will experience first-hand fellowship with people from diverse backgrounds, including a group of future deacons from the Bahamas Methodist Church. During their work with their congregations and as part of their time at Wesley, these students will have numerous opportunities to put theory into practice.

Course of Study provides the educational component for United Methodist licensed local pastors, who perform all the duties of a pastor, including leading worship services, performing baptisms, and serving Holy...
By Lyndon Orinion on Monday, July 8, 2013 7:54 AM
Wesley Theological Seminary at Mount Vernon Square has leveraged outside resources to attract two young leaders for short-term projects. Last month, Elijah McDavid and Robert Stewart began their work helping MVS achieve its mission – at no cost to the seminary thanks to their sponsoring programs.

McDavid is a religion major in his junior year at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He is a licensed minister in the Baptist Church and serves as president of the 103-year-old Morehouse College Glee Club. He’s also the chapel assistant at the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse.

This summer as an urban ministry intern at Mount Vernon Square, McDavid will work within the Heal the Sick program. Already, he’s helped organize the curriculum for the new certificate programs and worked on the program’s communications.

McDavid came to Wesley by way of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, an intensive program for high-achieving African-American...
By Lyndon Orinion on Monday, July 8, 2013 7:53 AM
Beginning September 16, the Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt will serve as the interim deputy general secretary of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, a disaster relief and development organization. She graduated from Wesley with her Doctor of Ministry degree in 2007 and currently serves as pastor of St. Matthews United Methodist Church in Annandale, Virginia. Previously, she served as a missionary and worked for The United Methodist Church’s Southeastern Jurisdiction and Virginia Annual Conference.

 “When I was in college I put an index card on my mirror with the word ‘yes,’ which represented my stance in life toward God.” This openness, she said, freed her to be available for how God will use her.

We invite our graduates and friends to hold Denise in prayer as she enters this new ministry. For people and communities in crisis, UMCOR is a visible presence of Christ’s love. 

** Used with permission, this article by Melissa Hinnen, director of content and public information for the United...
By Lyndon Orinion on Monday, July 8, 2013 7:51 AM
Almost a year ago to the day, the Wesley Board of Governors, students and friends broke ground on a new residence hall. Next month, 76 students will move in and make it their new home.

We added a number of details in the building design to foster fellowship and strengthen the community ties among students. The four floors of living space each include a shared lounge and a kitchen. The building also features a chapel, space for individual and small-group study, and meeting rooms. We’ve also constructed an open-air courtyard.

Beyond the community-sustaining features of the new dorm, Wesley has ensured the building is environmentally sustaining. All of the building’s power comes from wind-generated electricity. All of the cleaning supplies are green products, and separate containers for trash and recycles are provided on each floor.

Our older residence halls remain useful and occupied. Birch Hall at Mt. Vernon Square remains a place for lasting connection and learning as our downtown intentional...
By Lyndon Orinion on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:16 AM
R. Kendall Soulen, who teaches theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., has focused much of his work on Judaism and Jewish-Christian relations. His book The God of Israel and Christian Theology attempts to restate basic Christian convictions in a way that is not supersessionist or triumphalist in relation to Jews. His other books include Abraham’s Promise (coedited with Michael Wyschogrod) and, most recently, The Divine Name(s) and the Holy Trinity.

Over the past few decades, many theologians and church leaders in mainline Protestant churches have sought to overturn Christian supersessionism—overturn, that is, the tradition of believing that God’s covenant with the Jews has been superseded by the work of Christ, thereby rendering the faith of Jews either irrelevant or pernicious. How do you judge the importance of that movement for Christian theology?

It’s important because it’s about what we think redemption in Christ looks like. Does redemption mean that Christ gives us the favored place at God’s table while kicking some other poor wretch out into the street? Or does Christ’s table have room for old-timers and newcomers alike? The truth is Christians have mostly operated out of the first picture in our relationship with Jews. That’s done damage to Jews, of course, but it’s also distorted who we are as the church. Supersessionism is like a submerged resentment toward our nearest kin that infects all our social relationships. That’s why I think the work of overcoming supersessionism is so important. And by the way, it’s not only mainstream Protestants who have been doing it. It’s Catholics and evangelicals, too.

By Lyndon Orinion on Monday, June 24, 2013 12:37 PM
WASHINGTON, DC — In 2009, the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary launched the Lewis Pastoral Leadership Inventory™ (LPLI), a 360-degree leadership assessment instrument created especially for pastoral leaders in congregational ministry. Over the past four years, the LPLI has become a premier instrument for helping pastors receive the feedback they need to grow and improve as leaders. Approximately 2,000 pastors serving many different denominations have participated in the program. In naming 75 specific criteria of effectiveness in ministry, the LPLI has provided a language and framework for understanding and communicating about fruitfulness in ministry in objective and meaningful ways.

When leaders in the Central Territory of The Salvation Army sought a feedback tool to help their officers grow in ministry, they turned to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. They brought a particular challenge because, in addition to performing...
By Lyndon Orinion on Friday, June 14, 2013 8:31 AM

Wesley Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of two new faculty members who will begin their tenure at Wesley during the 2013-14 academic year. Paul Kang-Kul Cho will serve as Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible, and Reverend Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr. will serve as the James C. Logan Professor of Evangelism and Urban Ministry at Wesley, funded in part by the Foundation for Evangelism as an E. Stanley Jones professorship in evangelism.

By Lyndon Orinion on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 9:18 PM
Rev. Tom Berlin, chair of Wesley Seminary’s Board of Governors and pastor of Floris UMC in Herndon, VA is currently in Bo, Sierra Leone, Africa leading a Volunteer in Mission trip composed of college students from four United Methodist Churches.  Since 2000, Floris UMC has supported a children's home, the Child Rescue Centre, that cares for children rescued from child labor.  Mercy Hospital and an adjacent research lab are on the same compound.  His team is enjoying time with the children, working on repair and maintenance projects each day and participating in maternal health clinics held by Mercy in the outlying villages near Bo.  Follow Rev. Berlin’s adventures through his blog at

Today Rev. Berlin and Floris UMC are part of a 14 church partnership that works in cooperation with Bishop John Yambasu and the Sierra Leone Annual Conference.  You can find more information about this work at


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