Baylor University’s Truett Seminary Appoints Dr. Jason Vickers as The William J. Abraham Chair of Wesleyan Studies
Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary Dean Todd D. Still, Ph.D., announced today the appointment of Jason Vickers, Ph.D., as professor of Christian Theology and as the inaugural holder of The William J. Abraham Chair of Wesleyan Studies.
As a professor at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, Vickers will teach courses and conduct research in Wesleyan thought and practice and will enhance Truett’s newly formed and rapidly growing Wesley House of Studies as it continues to recruit, train, and place students in Wesleyan churches and serve, support, and network with ministers who are already engaged in gospel service in Wesleyan life.
“After an extensive, protracted international search, we strongly believe that we have found in Jason Vickers the ideal individual to serve as the inaugural Abraham Chair in Wesleyan Studies at Baylor’s Truett Seminary,” said Still, The Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran Delancey Dean and The William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank both the Search Committee, comprised of Angela Reed (chair), Brian Brewer, Scott Gibson, and David Wilhite as well as the Search Consultants, namely, Leah Hidde-Gregory, Adam Knight, Pamela Rivera, and Molly Simpson, for spearheading this significant and strategic search. I am truly delighted with the outcome of this process, and I am confident that the Chair’s namesake would have been as well.”
Vickers holds a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University, where he studied under and worked with William J. Abraham, the founding director of Truett’s Wesley House of Studies who died suddenly last fall. Vickers is an eminent senior scholar and is widely regarded as a thought-leader both within and beyond Wesleyan life.
A popular teacher, prolific author, and ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Vickers currently serves as Professor of Theology at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He also has taught at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina, and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Regarding his appointment, Vickers stated, “I am honored to be the inaugural holder of The William J. Abraham Chair in Wesleyan Studies. The faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider intellectual and spiritual resources of Baylor University and the Wesley House of Studies at Truett Seminary, are among the best in the world. I look forward to working together to equip clergy and laity for ministry and to explore and promote the theological riches of the Wesleyan tradition for the glory of God and the life of the world.”
The news of Jason Vickers being named as The Abraham Chair at Baylor’s Truett Seminary has been enthusiastically received and heartily endorsed in both scholarly and ecclesial circles far and wide. The following voices are representative of a swelling chorus.
Additional Endorsements from Representative Christian Leaders Regarding the Appointment of Jason Vickers as The William J. Abraham Chair of Wesleyan Studies
“The Wesley House of Studies at Truett Seminary is one of the most exciting ministries of the Next Methodism. The Spirit’s anointing on the work has been clear from the beginning, drawing in students, scholarship support, and the best and brightest in Wesleyan academia. The selection of Dr. Jason Vickers as The William J. Abraham Chair of Wesleyan Studies is yet another example of God’s divine blessing. Jason will be a tremendous asset in equipping and preparing the next generation of Methodist church pastors.” – Rev. Ryan Barnett, Lead Pastor, First Methodist Waco, Chair of Truett Seminary’s Wesley House Board
“Jason Vickers is a leading voice in bringing past and future together for contemporary Wesleyan theology, and I’m delighted to see him taking on this role, in which I know he’ll bless those he works with and be able to continue to write for the good of us all.” – Dr. Beth Felker Jones, Professor of Theology, Northern Seminary
“We are thrilled that the Chair of the Wesleyan Catechism Task Force for the newly formed Global Methodist Church will be spearheading educational efforts among Methodists (and other Wesleyans) at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary. Dr. Jason Vickers is a winsome teacher and respected thought-leader. As The William J. Abraham Chair of Wesleyan Studies, Dr. Vickers will give shape to the academic life of the next generation of Methodists studying in the Wesley House of Studies at Truett Seminary. Of Jason, the late founding director of the House, Billy Abraham, once said: ‘Vickers represents the work of a new generation who are coming on board to carry the torch of renewal into the future.’ Global Methodist Church leadership looks forward to working with Dr. Vickers in the years ahead as we prepare pastors for the local church!” – Rev. Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory, President of the Mid-Texas Annual Conference, Global Methodist Church
“The appointment of Dr. Jason Vickers as the inaugural holder of The William J. Abraham Chair in Wesley Studies at Truett Seminary is very fitting! As a former student of Dr. Abraham, Vickers imbibed and shares Abraham’s concern to engage the breadth of the Wesleyan family of churches—bringing them into conversation around their roots in John and Charles Wesley, and thereby, in the broad Christian tradition. Vickers’s existing body of scholarly works places him among the most prominent senior scholars in his field, and I am confident he will honor this appointment by continuing to explore and resource both his fellow Wesleyan communities and the church catholic.” – Randy L. Maddox, William Kellon Quick Professor Emeritus of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies, Duke Divinity School
“The selection of Dr. Jason Vickers as a tenured professor at Baylor’s Truett Seminary and as the inaugural holder of The William J. Abraham Endowed Chair in Wesleyan Studies causes my heart to be strangely warmed. He is more than a brilliant Wesleyan scholar; he’s deeply grounded in an authentic appreciation of our Methodist heritage while being a passionate visionary of church renewal. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Vickers has rich relationships throughout the Wesleyan communion of churches, reaching from Appalachian charismatics to historically Black Methodists. These relationships enable him to connect and resource people for vital ministry and scholarship today. Congratulations to Dr. Jason Vickers and to Baylor!” – Bishop W. Darin Moore, The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Presiding Prelate of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District
“Jason Vickers was just completing his graduate work with Billy Abraham when I came to SMU in 2001. Since then, Jason has established himself as one of the most accomplished American theologians of his generation. He has always remained true to his roots in the Wesleyan tradition and to what he learned from Billy about how to be a Wesleyan theologian. He brings to the work of theology not only much learning and experience, but the passion for the gospel and its faithful proclamation that was such a hallmark of Billy Abraham as a theologian and as a human being. I know of no one better prepared in mind and heart to be the first holder of The William J. Abraham Chair in Wesleyan Studies at Baylor’s Truett Seminary than Jason Vickers.” – Bruce D. Marshall, Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
“Having known both Billy Abraham and Jason Vickers for nearly 20 years and having worked with both of them, I can think of no one more fitting to be the inaugural holder of The William J. Abraham Chair of Wesleyan Studies at Baylor's Truett Seminary than Jason Vickers. He embodies the careful, thoughtful, Methodist-centered, yet ecumenically minded, theological vision that Dr. Abraham personified.” – David Whitford, Professor of Reformation Studies, Baylor University, Department of Religion
For additional information concerning this announcement or to make a financial contribution to support the ongoing work of the Wesley House of Studies at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, please contact Dean Still at Todd_Still@baylor.edu.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private, Christian University as well as a R1 research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for some 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to both teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.
ABOUT GEORGE W. TRUETT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary is an orthodox, evangelical school in the historic Baptist tradition that equips God-called people for gospel ministry in and alongside Christ’s Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, Truett Seminary provides theological education leading to the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Arts in Contextual Witness and Innovation, Master of Arts in Theology, Ecology and Food Justice, Master of Arts in Theology and Sports Studies (online), Master of Theological Studies, Doctor of Ministry, and Ph.D. in Preaching. Truett Seminary also offers joint degrees through Baylor University school/college partnerships in social work, business, law, music and education. In addition to the flagship Baugh-Reynolds Campus in Waco, the Seminary also has locations in Houston and San Antonio. Visit baylor.edu/truett to learn more.