Alumni/ae News and Notes




Our Prayers are with the families of:

Aaron Sheaffer
May 14, 1933 – Sept. 26, 2015
Aaron SheafferRev. Sheaffer, emeritus faculty member and a 1958 alumnus, died Sept. 26, 2015. For 30 years, Rev. Sheaffer directed United Sound, the former seminary choir. He served as Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Music and was the founder of United’s broadcast television ministry program.

Rev. Sheaffer was ordained in the Central Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church. A talented musician, he was organist for several churches, including Shiloh Church UCC, where he served for 29 years.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia, a 1988 United alumna. He also leaves four children, Neil (Ruth Osier), Noel (Joe Farley), Megan (Randy) Kreill, and Brian (Amanda Materne); three grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews.


Kenneth H. Pohly
Nov. 6, 1923 – April 21, 2016
Passage_KenPohlyDr. Kenneth H. Pohly, emeritus faculty member, died April 21, 2016. He joined United’s faculty in 1969 as Professor of Pastoral Care and Director of Supervised Ministry. In 1980 he established the Pohly Center for Supervision and Leadership Formation.  Following Dr. Pohly’s retirement in 1989, he consulted as Director Emeritus of the Pohly Center. In 2001, he published Transforming the Rough Places: The Ministry of Supervision.

Prior to serving on United’s faculty, Dr. Pohly was a pastor in the East Ohio Conference of The UMC and served as Director of Religious Activities at Otterbein College.

He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, daughter Carol Pohly, son Keith (Eva Jo) Pohly, two grandchildren, one great-grandchild, his brother Gerald (Eileen) Pohly, a niece and two nephews.


Terry Thomas
Nov. 13, 1959 – April 23, 2016
Passage_TerryThomasRev. Dr. Terry Thomas, long-time mentor with United’s doctoral program, died April 23, 2016. Rev. Dr. Thomas served as a mentor to Doctor of Ministry students since 2001. At the time of his death, he was leading a focus group on effective preaching. In addition to his work at United, Rev. Dr. Thomas served as pastor at West Durham Baptist Church in Durham, NC, and was the author of several books on Christian living and discipleship.

He is survived by his wife, Valerie Thomas, three brothers, and nine sisters.