Ecumenical Leader Chosen as Bexley Hall’s New Dean
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ferguson will begin work in July
COLUMBUS, OHIO, May 3, 2011—The Board of Trustees of Bexley Hall Seminary today announced the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Ferguson as the seminary's dean.
"We are thrilled to welcome Tom Ferguson to our seminary," said Bishop Catherine Waynick of Indianapolis, a member of Bexley’s board who chaired the search committee that selected Ferguson. "His background in theological education and extensive ecumenical work make him the ideal person to continue our robust MDiv program, strengthen our ecumenical partnerships and lead our growing commitment to lifelong learning for clergy and laity."
Ferguson will succeed the Rev. William Doubleday, who was appointed Bexley’s interim dean in 2009 and has served as Bexley Hall's associate dean and professor of pastoral theology since 2006.
Upon his appointment, Ferguson said, “I am honored to serve as the next dean of Bexley Hall. This is an exciting time in the life of Bexley, as the seminary lives into its partnership with Trinity Lutheran Seminary back in its historic roots in Ohio, reclaiming its place on the frontier with its emphasis on ecumenical partnerships and innovative formation for ministry grounded in community.”
Ferguson currently serves as ecumenical and interreligious relations officer for the Episcopal Church working to foster ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and cooperation with other Christian communions and world religions. He also serves as a part-time chaplain at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
From 2001 until 2010, Ferguson was the interim and associate deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations for The Episcopal Church. During that time, he was the theological consultant for the bilateral theological dialogues with the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Orthodox Church, and Roman Catholic Church.
Robert Reber, Bexley’s interim president and former dean of Auburn Seminary, said, “Dr. Ferguson brings a rich background in theological studies and engagement in ecumenical and interfaith relations that will enrich Bexley Hall’s ongoing partnerships with Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Seabury Western Seminary. He is passionate about theological education and eager to address the challenges of educating clergy and laity for leadership in the church of the 21st century.”
Ferguson has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, Union Theological Seminary, and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2009 and has served as the interim chaplain at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at posts at Emmanuel Church, Boston; Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island; and St. Thomas Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
He holds a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and is a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Yale Divinity School and Wesleyan University. He and his wife, the Rev. Shannon Kelly, who is currently the bishop’s assistant for formation in the Diocese of Milwaukee, live with their son in Madison.
Ferguson will serve as chief academic officer and administrator of Bexley Hall and will be responsible for the seminary’s day-to-day operations, student learning, work of the faculty, and stewardship of financial resources. He will report to Robert Bottoms, currently interim dean and president of Seabury Western Theological Seminary, who on July 1 will become interim joint president of both Bexley and Seabury.
Bottoms, who also served on the search committee that selected Ferguson, said, “I am delighted at the prospect of working with Tom. Bexley excels at forming students’ distinctive identities as Episcopalians in an ecumenical environment, and Tom’s skills and experience will only enhance that strength.”
Bexley Hall Seminary offers the Master of Divinity Degree in partnership with Trinity Lutheran Seminary, rooted in Anglican thought and life and respectful of diverse traditions. Together, Bexley and Seabury Western Theological Seminary provide a theological and educational center in the Midwest, offering Anglican Studies courses and certificates; a three-year residential MDiv; and DMin degrees in congregational development and preaching. Learn more at www.bexley.edu.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Rebecca Wilson • 330-524-2067