ATLANTA, GA – The Board of Trustees of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) has appointed Matthew Wesley Williams as President. Williams has served as Interim President since July 2019. His appointment will make him ITC’s 11th President, and at 43, Williams is the youngest person to led the institution, which was formed in 1958. In May 2020, the ITC seated a newly composed Board of Trustees. The board subsequently appointed President to the permanent role in June.

“The ITC Board is pleased to have Rev. Matthew Wesley Williams as its new President. His work as Interim President during the past ten months has been stellar. His extensive experience in organizational leadership in theological education brings the skill set needed for the institution and its future vision. We are excited about things to come under his leadership,” said Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, Chair of the Board Trustees.

Before his appointment to the ITC, Williams was the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), a national leadership incubator that cultivates wise, faithful and courageous leaders who make a difference in the world through the church and academy. He served as a member of the FTE’s senior leadership team and was responsible for managing and overseeing a $7 million annual portfolio of strategic organizational initiatives. During his 15 years with FTE, he helped to transform and guide FTE’s initiatives in recruitment and leadership development for emerging leaders and rising scholars of color who were exploring and pursuing the vocations of pastoral ministry, scholarship, and other forms of leadership.

Prior to FTE, Williams served at the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer at Morehouse School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA). He coordinated the research, advocacy and educational initiatives of sixteen community cancer coalitions in ten states in the American South.

Williams stated, “I am grateful to the ITC Board of Trustees for the affirmation and support signified by this appointment. We have made great strides during the first ten months of my time at the ITC. However, the ITC village has much more work to do in pursuit of our calling to cultivate a new generation of prophetic problem solvers. I’m pleased to say that ITC 2.0 is underway!”

ITC is a member institution of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A native of Chicago, IL, Williams earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center. He also holds two bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Philosophy/Religion from Florida A&M University. He is an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

About the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC)

Founded in 1958, the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) is an ecumenical historically black theological consortium located in the heart of Atlanta, GA. The ITC cultivates faith-rooted leadership for five Christian denominations: Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal, Christian Methodist Episcopal, United Methodist, and Church of God in Christ as well as one at-large constituency, the Selma T. and Harry V. Richardson Ecumenical fellowship. The collective Black membership of these five denominations equals roughly 25 million, over half of the African American population in the U.S. The ITC is the only theological center that prepares leaders for congregations and communities that represent such a wide and diverse swath of Black American. For more information, visit www.itc.edu.

Matthew Wesley Williams

ATLANTA, GA – Matthew Wesley Williams has been appointed by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) to serve as Interim President of the Center, upon the retirement of current President, Dr. Edward L. Wheeler on July 31, 2019. This action will be ratified by the full Board of Trustees later this summer. Williams will begin his transition into the role on July 10, 2019.

“I am pleased that the Executive Committee of the ITC Board of Trustees has selected Rev. Matthew Wesley Williams to serve as the Interim President of the School,” stated Edward L. Wheeler, current ITC President. “Matt is uniquely gifted to effectively lead ITC during this period of transition. He is a strategic thinker and has exceptional organizational expertise. He knows theological education and the challenges the enterprise faces. However, he is also acutely aware and appreciative of ITC’s history and the potential the school has to make a positive contribution to the needed transformation of the academy, the church, and local/global communities.”

Williams, an ITC alumnus, and community leader currently serves as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Forum of Theological Exploration (FTE). In Matthew’s role at FTE, he has been instrumental in helping to restructure FTE’s operation’s to better achieve it missions amidst a changing religious landscape. While in this position, FTE’s ministry and doctoral initiatives have grown and expanded. In addition, after studying various challenges theological executives face in their institutions, Williams established FTE’s Institutional Doctoral Network to teach and train theological executive leaders how to address systemic barriers to desirable change in their respective institutional context.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to return to my beloved alma mater to help facilitate the beginning of the next chapter of the Interdenominational Theological Center’s life and legacy,” said Matthew Wesley Williams. “I am clear that our call is not to merely “save the ITC” as we know it. This is the beginning of an effort to co-create the ITC our communities need. This is village work. I look forward to joining with ITC’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and allies to co-author this next chapter.”

Williams received a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center and bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and philosophy and religion from Florida A&M University. He is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

“The Board of Trustees will be naming a Search Committee to direct the process of hiring a president for ITC,” stated Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Chair ITC Board of Trustees. “The search will commence during the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year.”

###

About the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC)

Established in 1958, The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) is a Christian Africentric ecumenical consortium of seminaries and a fellowship that educates students who commit to practicing justice and peace through a liberating and transforming spirituality to become leaders in the church, local and global communities. Its seminaries include the Morehouse School of Religion (Baptist); Gammon Theological Seminary (United Methodist); Turner Theological Seminary (African Methodist Episcopal); Phillips School of Theology (Christian Methodist Episcopal); and the Charles Harrison Mason Theological Seminary (Church of God and Christ). The Selma T. and Harry V. Richardson Ecumenical Fellowship provide theological training to students from various other faith traditions. Fore more information, www.itc.edu.

Rev. Dr. Edward L. Wheeler

ATLANTA, GA – The Interdenominational Theological Center’s President Rev. Dr. Edward L. Wheeler announced on April 26 that he is retiring from the role he’s held for the past four years. Wheeler made the announcement during a board of trustees’ executive meeting, on campus.

According to a press release from the University, Wheeler is the 10th person to serve in ITC’s top leadership role since its founding in 1958. Wheeler stated in his remarks to the board that he will be concluding his presidential position effective June 30, 2019, a position he has held since 2015.

The ITC board of trustees’ accepted the retirement letter with an expression of gratitude for Wheeler’s services.

“I have been blessed by mt time at ITC,” said Wheeler. My prayer is that new leadership will help ITC realize the unlimited potential. ITC’s liberating Africentric focus is needed now more than ever.”

Under Wheeler’s leadership, the institution has achieved several goals which include:

  • Probation with SACSCOC was removed, and its accreditation reaffirmed.
  • ITC received a $250,000 sustainability grant from the Lilly Endowment.
  • Enrollment has increased.
  • Curriculum revisions has been implemented.
  • Policies and procedures designed to increase institutional effectiveness have been put in place and;
  • admission standards have been raised.

“The tenure of Dr. Edward L. Wheeler at the ITC made a remarkable impact on the life of our community,” said Dr. Maisha Handy, ITC Provost. “He is a great mentor to many and a model of excellent leadership in theological education. He will be greatly missed even as we pray God’s blessing on his season of retirement.”

In addition to his tenure as President, Wheeler was an Adjunct Professor at ITC from 1977-1982 and was Dean of Morehouse School of Religion from 1982-1985.

“Transitions are essential part of life,” stated Wheeler. The world is changing, the church is changing, and theological education must be change to be relevant to the changes taking place all around us. I am confident the next generation of leadership for ITC will move the mission forward so that ITC will continue to prepare transformative leaders for an ever-changing world.”

ITC’s Board will spend the next two months identifying what the next President’s work will be. An interim will be appointed to assume the duties of the presidential office, and a search will be launched later this year.

###

About the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC)

Established in 1958, The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) is a Christian Africentric ecumenical consortium of seminaries and a fellowship that educates students who commit to practicing justice and peace through a liberating and transforming spirituality to become leaders in the church, local and global communities. Its seminaries include the Morehouse School of Religion (Baptist); Gammon Theological Seminary (United Methodist); Turner Theological Seminary (African Methodist Episcopal); Phillips School of Theology (Christian Methodist Episcopal); and the Charles Harrison Mason Theological Seminary (Church of God and Christ). The Selma T. and Harry V. Richardson Ecumenical Fellowship provide theological training to students from various other faith traditions. Visit www.itc.edu for more information.

ATLANTA, GA – The Morris Brown College Board of Trustees announced today it has appointed Dr. Kevin James as Interim President, effective March 1, 2019.

“I am honored to have been selected by the board to serve at the helm of Georgia’s oldest HBCU founded by black people,” said James. “I look forward to working with the board of trustees, alumni, staff, and other shareholders to resurrect this historic black college to prominence. My first order of business is working to obtain accreditation, ensure financial stability, build a strong relationship with alumni, and enrollment growth.”

In his nearly 20-year career as a higher education administrator, executive business leader, and motivational speaker, James is committed to improving his community through education and empowerment. He has served in various senior-level roles with colleges across the Carolinas and Georgia and civic organizations, most recently serving as Interim CEO of the 100 Black Men of American, Inc. In this, he oversaw the day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and external relations for the non-profit organization of 10,000+ members who volunteer through a host of mentorship and community service initiatives across the country and internationally.

Bishop Reginald Jackson, Chairman of Morris Brown College Board of Trustees, welcomed James’s appointment. “We need a leader who holds not only outstanding values and a passion for helping sustain HBCUs, but one who has vast experience in higher education, the accreditation process and fundraising to take Morris Brown College to the next level,” said Jackson. “After an exhaustive search, we found these qualities in Dr. Kevin James. he has served in various leadership capacities with enthusiasm, and I am confident that he will play the key role to resurrect Morris Brown College.”

A native of Columbia, S.C., James attended South Carolina State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Social Sciences from Winthrop University; a master’s degree in Business Management, Leadership, and Organizational Effectiveness from Troy State University; and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He is a graduate of the Higher Education Institute of Harvard University

ATLANTA, GA – The Board of Trustees of Clark Atlanta University (CAU) today accepted the resignation of President Ronald A. Johnson, effective December 7, 2018. A national search for the fifth president of CAU will begin immediately, according to a press release by the university.

Lucille H. MaugĂ© has been appointed chief operating officer. MaugĂ© will serve as acting president after Dr. Johnson’s departure until a new president is elected by the board.

“We are deeply grateful to President Johnson for his service to our university. He made many contributions to the university during his tenure, the most recent being the improvement in the academic quality of admitted students and development of a new strategic plan,” said Gregory Morrison, Chair of CAU’s Board of Trustees. “Dr. Johnson departs with an appreciation of the board, faculty, staff, student body and alumni.”

“It has been a great honor to serve as president of CAU,” said President Johnson. “Through determined focus and perseverance, we were able to make significant progress on our journey together to strengthen the long-term health and sustainability CAU; raise the visibility and overall awareness of our great institution, and clarify the vision of the future. I thank our exceptional faculty, staff, and alumni for their creativity, hard work and dedication to the success of our students and support of our great university. Most of all I would like to thank our students. You are the heart, and soul of CAU and I am humbled to have the opportunity to work with so many determined, energetic and innovative young people of promise.”

Dr. Johnson was named CAU President in July 2015. Prior to joining Clark Atlanta University President Johnson was the dean of the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University. He also served as dean of the College of Business at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. He previously taught and developed innovative curriculum at Florida A&M University, Northeastern University, and Howard University. He is an accomplished researcher and has developed expertise in the design of learning-focused business curriculums.

[Photo creds: Demetrius Johnson, Jr., – HBCU Campaign Fund]
ATLANTA, GA – Clark Atlanta University (CAU) received a $20,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, which drives global corporate citizenship and philanthropic programs for UPS.

According to a press release by the university, for the fifth consecutive year CAU has been selected as a university partner for this vital program. The fellowship empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and local community engagement.

CAU hosted 25 students from 18 African countries. Their activities included a hands-on learning day at the UPS headquarters in Atlanta. Additionally, they experienced site visits to other Atlanta anchor companies, including IBM, The Coca-Cola Company and Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. They also exercised their philanthropic muscles with community service opportunities with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Trees Atlanta and MedShare International.

“We are honored to receive this vital donation from The UPS Foundation,” Mesfin Bezuneh, program director of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for CAU “Funding is a critical component for us to be able to continue this important initiative. We are immensely grateful for UPS’s generosity.”

“The UPS Foundation is honored to support the Young African Leaders Initiative’s efforts to engage rising African leaders,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”

ABOUT THE UPS FOUNDATION

Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety and the environment. In 2017, UPS and its employees, active UPS.com/foundation. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

ABOUT THE MANDELA WASHINGTON FELLOWSHIP FOR YOUNG AFRICAN LEADERS

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State a conversation at #YALl2018. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at CAU, please contact Mesfin Bezuneh at mbezuneh@cau.edu or 404-880-6274.

 

ATLANTA, GA – Clark Atlanta University (CAU) hosts the first HBCU Regional Institute on Digital Learning on July 15-18. This major regional convening of chief academic officers, faculty, and career pathway initiative directors from more than 30 HBCUs focuses on using digital and adaptive learning solutions and platforms to improve student learning and success.

According to a press release from the university, the goal of the HBCU Regional Institute on Digital Learning is to accelerate student learning, retention, and degree completion at the selected HBCUs through the redesign of courses and learning experiences. With support from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO), Clark Atlanta University, as the lead institution, has arranged for national thought leaders and digital learning experts to provide a series of dynamic sessions over the three days of the convening.

Participating HBCU leaders and faculty will also engage in planning sessions that will enable them to apply the new knowledge and understanding of digital and adaptive learning within a structured learning environment in ways that will further advance their students’ success. Adaptive learning is an education technology that can respond to a students’ interactions in real-time by automatically providing the student with individual support.

For more information about the HBCU Regional Institute on Digital Learning, visit www.cau.edu.