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.
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 my time at ITC,” Wheeler said. My prayer is that new leadership will help ITC realize its 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 have been implemented.
- Policies and procedures designed to increase institutional effectiveness have been put in place and;
- admissions 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 ITC Provost, Dr. Maisha Handy. “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 an essential part of life,” stated Wheeler. The world is changing, the church is changing, and theological education must 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 Edward L. Wheeler
Edward L.Wheeler, an ordained Baptist minister, assumed the presidency of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia on April 6, 2015. He previously served as President of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana retiring on July 1, 2012 after fourteen years and a one-year sabbatical.
Wheeler has served in numerous church and educational related positions, including Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Religion and Society at Tuskegee University and Senior Pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati. While at Zion he taught at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. From 1982-1985, he served as Dean of Morehouse School of Religion.
He is the author of numerous articles, book reviews and the books Uplifting the Race: Black Ministerial Leadership in the New South, 1865-1902 and Black Pearls: Lessons from a Beautiful Black Mother.
Dr. Wheeler has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada (ATS) and on the joint Commission authorized by ATS and the Association of Hispanic Theological Education to strengthen Hispanic Bible Institutes.
He earned his B.A. from Morehouse College (’69), his M. Div. (Magna Cum Laude) from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Emory University. Wheeler and his wife of almost 50 years, Mary Susan, are blessed with three daughters, three grandchildren and one great grandchild.
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.