Former dean L. Gregory Jones has been appointed executive director of A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE ), which sponsors the John Wesley Fellows Program. He will begin this new role Jan. 3, 2013, but will remain at Duke University, where he will continue serving as professor of theology at Duke Divinity School and senior strategist at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity .
“Greg is a significant leader in theological education who has a heart for classical Christianity and the Church’s vital witness,” said Edmund W. Robb III, chairman of the AFTE board of directors. “He is ideally suited to lead AFTE into its next phase, strengthening focus on leadership as well as scholarship in the United Methodist Church.”
The foundation 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.
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, which he co-authored.
“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,” said Jones. “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. 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,” said Paul Ervin, the outgoing AFTE executive director, who is retiring after five years in the role. “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.”