Following retirement from Central Texas Conference, the bishop will become the first bishop-in-residence at the Dayton, OH seminary.
DAYTON, OH, JAN. 30, 2020 — Bishop J. Michael Lowry, resident bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, will join the United Theological Seminary community in the fall of 2020 as the school’s Bishop-in-Residence. Bishop Lowry, the longest-tenured leader of the Fort Worth episcopal area, will be the first to hold this position at the Dayton, OH seminary. He will retire from his role as bishop in September 2020 after serving the Central Texas Conference from 2008 to 2020.
“Bishop Lowry is an example of a faithful, fruitful leader. He has been a highly effective member of United’s Board of Trustees for three years,” says Dr. Kent Millard, President of United. “We are delighted that he is joining United as our Bishop-in-Residence and know he will bring his wisdom, faith and passion to our students, faculty and staff.
Bishop Lowry’s deep passion is advancing the work of Christ through evangelistic outreach and missional involvement in love, justice and mercy. He travels throughout the United States teaching on evangelism and church growth, and models effective practices in the Central Texas Conference, currently one of two conferences in the U.S. experiencing growth.
In recognition of Bishop Lowry’s outstanding leadership in The United Methodist Church, United Theological Seminary awarded him the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree during its 2019 spring commencement ceremony — a ceremony in which he also delivered the commencement address.
“Developing the next generation of clergy and lay leaders in the church is a must if we are to be successful in our mission of making disciples in this post-Christendom time,” states Bishop Lowry. “I happen to love being a part of the front lines of a local church. People come to the United Theological Seminary because they want to serve the local church. United is a place where dreams take flight and I’m excited about the opportunity this represents to combine ‘knowledge and vital piety’ and help to shape the next generation of local church pastors.”
As bishop-in-residence, Bishop Lowry will teach courses, preach and preside in chapel services and serve as a co-mentor for one of United’s doctoral focus groups. He will also provide a pastoral presence for students seeking counsel as they prepare for ministry.
“The practical knowledge Bishop Lowry brings from his on-the-ground work of ministry will be invaluable for our students,” says Dr. David Watson, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at United. “He has extensive pastoral experience, and, of course, experience leading the church at its highest level. Additionally, he has an excellent academic mind, with a special interest in theology and the Methodist and Pietist movements, that lends itself well to the scholarly leadership of this role. I’m grateful that he has accepted the offer to join our community of faith and learning in this capacity.”
A 1972 graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, Bishop Lowry earned his Master of Theology from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and his Doctor of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was ordained a Deacon in The United Methodist Church in 1974, an Elder in 1978 and was elected to the episcopacy in 2008.
United Theological Seminary is a graduate professional school of The United Methodist Church offering masters and doctoral theological degrees and continuing education with programs offered on campus and online. United’s goal is to prepare faithful, fruitful leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.united.edu.