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.”

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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.