Belmont University has begun a national search for the next dean of the university’s School of Religion. The current dean, Dr. Steven H. Simpler, professor of religion, previously announced he will step down at the close of the 2003-2004 academic year, though he will continue to teach full time in the School of Religion. He has served as the Dean of the School of Religion since 1990.
“At Belmont we provide a premier, student centered education, which challenges students to engage and transform the world through disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage, and faith,” says Belmont University Provost Dan McAlexander. “The School of Religion is a vital component of this experience. We are seeking a visionary leader who will support an outstanding religion faculty as it works to sustain the quality of existing academic and outreach programs, and to develop a strategic vision for new and innovative programs in the field.”
The new dean will lead efforts to enhance and strengthen the curriculum, create innovative and competitive degree programs, cultivate relationships and broaden the school’s interaction with and its impact upon the campus and the local and global communities.
The Belmont School of Religion has eight full-time and numerous adjunct faculty members who serve approximately 100 religion majors and minors in its undergraduate program and more than 1,000 students annually in its general education courses. Graduates from the school’s dual track programs of congregational ministry and theological studies are regularly accepted into the nation’s top seminaries and graduate schools and many go on to careers in ministry, community service or other Christian vocations.
The School of Religion also houses the Moench Center for Church Leadership, founded in 1996, which provides continuing education in church leadership for pastors and lay leaders throughout the country. The Center is the professional development arm of the School of Religion and helps train church leaders via seminars, developing leadership education partnerships, and providing consultation to churches and denominational organizations in 27 states from New Hampshire to Arizona. The Moench Center’s six-course SkillTrack