Wesley announces the Rev. Dr. Robert Martin will conclude his service as Dean at the end of this academic year. Dean Robert Martin has been a pivotal leader in the history of Wesley, accomplishing remarkable achievements in a critical time for the seminary. He has helped us become more innovative and prepared us to lead in theological education for the next generation.
During his tenure, Dr. Martin led the faculty through substantial changes in the core Master of Divinity program, reducing the hours from 90 to 81, and opening the program design to give students greater flexibility to tailor their education for future ministry. He also developed a non-weekday curricular path making Wesley even more accessible to a rich diversity of students. Exciting new certificate programs in Faith and Public Life, African-American Church Studies, and Health Ministries were created under his leadership. As well, Wesley designed new tracks in the Doctor of Ministry program, including several tracks at Cambridge University, England, and established the Center for Public Theology.
While working to open these new pathways, Dr. Martin strengthened the seminary’s degree program assessments and the faculty’s own governance process, working with the Associate Dean to strengthen the process of student formation. A number of exciting new faculty members were brought to Wesley during Martin’s deanship, adding a new generation of first-rate scholars committed to the church.
We celebrate the remarkable achievements accomplished during his tenure, and thank him for the lasting change and advancement he brought to Wesley. Dr. Martin will be on sabbatical for the 2017-18 academic year. At the same time, we welcome back Dr. Bruce Birch, Wesley’s Dean for 12 years and Professor of Hebrew Bible for 38 years, who will again serve as Dean.