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.

ATLANTA, GA – Beginning with the Fall 2019 semester The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) will offer a Master of Arts in Liturgical Arts and Culture Degree Program (MALC).

The MALC Degree Program focuses on the intersections of worship, arts and culture in an ever-evolving world. This degree program prepares students to serve as worship and or artistic leaders in a vareity of professional contexts across a broad spectrum of liturgical arts, including instrumental, vocal, and choral music, liturgical and West African dance, hip hop studies, and visual media and design.

The name change and broadened curricular emphasis come as a result of ITC identifying the need for interdisciplinary professional degrees that focus on areas outside of pastoral ministry.

The MALC Degree Program is different from other offerings at ITC because it focuses on liturgical arts in relation to culture and broadens the already existing emphases on church music. The degree draws expertise from faculty and the artist-in-residence, Gilbert Young, to provide a teaching-learning experience that equips students for engagement in liturgics in the church, academy, and the community at-large.

“I am extremely excited about our revised degree program, particularly because we’ve broadened it to include all liturgical arts and expanded its emphasis to include the impact and influence of culture on liturgy,” said Dr. Lisa M. Allen-McLaurin, Degree Coordinator and Helmar Nielsen Associate Professor of Church Music and Worship. “This will draw students who are not only artists and practitioners, but those whose focus is research on the effects of culture on liturgical history and development.”

Students applying to the MALC Degree Program are expected to exhibit artistic abilities and skills at an advanced level of proficiency in a liturgical art or academic research concentration. Admission to the MALC Degree Program will require either an audition in a liturgical arts concentration (i.e. musical instrument, choral conducting, composition, liturgical dance, dramatic arts, visual arts or liturgical design) or writing samples that exhibit a student’s scholarly writing and research abilities.

ITC currently offers four degrees, including a dual degree program, where students can learn alongside students from other denominations and share doctrines and perspectives on a daily basis. Their goal is to prepare leaders and visionaries who are in the community helping to create a better world… the “beloved community.”

For more information about the MALC Degree Program, contact ITC Director of Admissions, Natasha Jordan at njordan@itc.edu or (404) 527-7793.

###

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.

(PHOTO: From left to right,  James Woodall, Yolande Petty, Keith Brown, Candyce White, and Tarzene Livingston II )

ATLANTA, GA – Interdenominational Theological Center students recently accepted scholarships from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) funded by the Estate of Herbert Horner Jr., in memory of Johnnie L. Horner. The Horner family is committed to supporting the financial need of students who have chosen to pursue their education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The scholarship recipients will use funds to cover educational expenses while attending ITC.

According to a press release by the University, the recipients, some of whom pay for tuition out of pocket, were very grateful to receive the scholarship. “This UNCF scholarship has made a difference,” say Candyce White constituent of the Morehouse School of Religion. She considers the scholarship a “tremendous blessing” because it helps to supplement tuition and cost of living out of state. “I am so thankful and appreciative and I will never forget the lifeline that this scholarship has given me.”

The United Negro College Fund is on a mission to support black colleges and institutions. Since its establishment in 1944, UNCF has provided millions of dollars in aid to students who attend these historic institutions of higher learning. Students receive need and merit-based funding for tuition, housing, books, and other resources needed to alleviate the costs of undergraduate and graduate studies. In order to continue the mission of educating the next generation of leaders like students at the ITC, UNCF depends on the charitable contributions of individuals and families like the Horner family who are committed to giving back.

To learn more about the United Negro College Fund, visit www.uncf.org.

###