Theologian Wells to address students, congregations

Posted on: February 15, 2011

Wells, an ordained Anglican priest, dean of the Duke University Chapel and a research professor of Christian Ethics at Duke Divinity School, will deliver the keynote address during TWC's annual Heritage Day on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m.

Renowned minister and theologian Dr. Samuel Wells will address both college students and local congregations next week at Tennessee Wesleyan College.

Wells, an ordained Anglican priest, dean of the Duke University Chapel and a research professor of Christian Ethics at Duke Divinity School, will deliver the keynote address during TWC's annual Heritage Day on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. Wells will also speak Monday evening at Trinity UMC and hold workshops Tuesday following the Heritage Day program with workshops for local Episcopal, Lutheran and United Methodist clergy and parishioners during an "ELM" gathering on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Holding a master's degree in modern history from Merton College, Oxford, a bachelor's of divinity in systematic theology from Edinburgh University and a doctorate in Christian ethics from Durham University, Wells served four parishes as a Church of England priest from 1991 to 2005. Most of this time was spent in the post-industrial North East portion of England and in a socially disadvantaged neighborhood in East Anglia. He also served suburban and urban village communities in Cambridge. From 1998 to 2003, he was closely involved in establishing a community-led development trust, the first such organization in the East of England. During this time, he also launched a non-profit organization offering disadvantaged children opportunities to discover wonder and joy through creative play.

Wells took the position of dean of Duke University Chapel in 2005. He has published 13 books, including "Transforming Fate into Destiny" (1998), "Faithfulness and Fortitude" (2000), "The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics" (with Stanley Hauerwas, 2004), "Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics" (2004), "Speaking the Truth: Preaching in a Pluralistic Culture" (2008) and "Living Out Loud" (with Stanley Hauerwas; 2010).

Wells is married to Jo Bailey Wells, a former dean of Clare College, Cambridge, and currently director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School.

Wells will speak during TWC's Heritage Day program on Monday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Trinity United Methodist Church and again on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 11 a.m. in Townsend Hall on the TWC campus.

Area Episcopalians, Lutherans and United Methodists are invited to an "ELM" gathering, celebrating that these three denominations are each in some stage of full communion with one another, on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at TWC. The day's activities will begin with a morning "get acquainted" session from 9 to 10:30 a.m., followed by Wells' address at 11 a.m. The "ELM" group will reassemble for lunch and a second presentation by Wells, with the afternoon session concluding by 3 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public. Lunch can be purchased in the college cafeteria for $7.

To register for the "ELM" event, or for further information, contact Dr. William McDonald, TWC chaplain and associate professor of religion, at mcdonald@twcnet.edu or 746-5283.