AU Appoints New Dean for School of Theology

 In All Church of God, Colleges & Universities


Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University, recently announced the appointment of Dr. James Lewis to serve as the next dean of the Anderson University School of Theology, beginning July 1, 2014. Lewis will succeed Dr. David Sebastian upon his retirement. Sebastian has served as dean of the School of Theology since 1995.

The retirement of Dr. David Sebastian as dean was announced during the most recent meeting of the Board of Trustees of Anderson University and is effective July 1, 2014. Sebastian is the sixth dean of the School of Theology and has given distinguished leadership in the school and in the church. At his retirement, he will have served as dean for 19 years, the longest serving dean in the School of Theology. Sebastian is expected to continue to serve the university and the church through special assignments in preaching and church leadership support.

Sebastian is both an educator and minister. He served as senior pastor at several large churches in the Church of God, including North Hills Church of God (Phoenix, Ariz.), and Salem Church of God (Dayton, Ohio). He is a sought-after preacher in the church at large. Sebastian teaches courses in leadership, preaching, and evangelism and serves as the convener of the 50 largest congregations of the Church of God (Anderson). Sebastian has also served as thdavid-sebastiane lead elder for the Madison Park Church of God (Anderson, Ind.). He is married to the former Debbie Miller and they have two daughters.

In his new assignment, Lewis will serve with the president’s executive staff and will begin assignments in transition as dean-elect alongside Sebastian for the remainder of the 2013-14 academic year. As a dean of one of the graduate schools of the university, Lewis will report to the provost and have a line of relationship to the president.

Lewis came to Anderson University in 1992 as assistant professor of Christian Theology and Ethics and served in a joint appointment with the undergraduate Department of Religious Studies and the graduate seminary. He was later appointed full-time to the faculty of the School of Theology and was promoted through the ranks to full professor, most recently serving as associate dean.

Lewis has a bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics, and a master of business administration degree in finance from Texas A&M University. He pursued studies toward a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Seminary and earned his doctor of philosophy in religion at Duke University. During his studies at Duke, Lewis served as pastor of the First Church of God in Raleigh, N.C.

At the time of Lewis’ move to Anderson University, he served in a dual teaching role with both the undergraduate Religious Studies Department and the graduate School of Theology. Lewis also serves the seminary as the director of the Doctor of Ministry Studies Program. He is a sought-after preacher and has written for a variety of publications. He is married to Barbara Lewis and they reside in Anderson.

The School of Theology holds special standing within Anderson University with the dean serving on the president’s executive staff. As a part of this special standing, the School of Theology is represented through a major committee within the Board of Trustees. The Church of God also provides direct funding support for programs of the School of Theology in addition to the support offered to the university.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America’s top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.

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