Angela Jackson

Central Seminary is pleased to announce Dr. Angela Barker Jackson’s promotion to director of development. Jackson has served as the seminary’s grant administrator since 2014 and has written and overseen numerous successful foundation gifts, including two from the Lilly Endowment: the $1 million Thriving in Ministry Grant and the $1 million Thriving Congregations Grant. In 2020, she earned a certificate in fundraising management from the Lilly School of Philanthropy. She also took courses, sat for an exam, and is now a Certified Fund-Raising Executive through CFRE International.

Jackson is a two-time graduate of Central, earning her Doctor of Ministry degree in 2018 and her Master of Divinity degree in 2014. “I am thankful for Angie’s willingness to take on a new challenge at Central,” said the seminary’s president, Dr. Pamela R. Durso. “She brings deep connections to the seminary’s community, years of pastoral experience, and great enthusiasm for helping Central build a strong and sustainable development program.”

David May

For Jackson to step into this new position, Central has engaged Dr. David May to serve as director of the Thriving in Ministry Initiative, Formed for Flourishing. This initiative cultivates mentoring relationships in both communal and one-to-one settings and focuses on instilling knowledge and practices for developing and growing individual leaders and building capacity for nurturing relationships and learning from those with more experience.

May will continue in his role as the Landreneau Guillory Chair of Biblical Studies at Central, where he has served as professor of New Testament studies since 1994 and is director of the Master of Arts in Theological Studies program. May earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, "Dr. May brings significant experience from years of congregational service and teaching to this program that is aimed at cultivating peer and mentoring relationships in ministry," said Jackson. "I am excited to see how his combination of experience and knowledge of both students and curricula will shape and develop this initiative for a sustainable future."

Jessica Williams

Rev. Jessica C. Williams, currently Central’s registrar, international student officer and retention coordinator, will begin on February 22 as director of alumni engagement and lifelong learning. In this role, she will build a robust alumni network and continuing education program and oversee Central’s Thriving Congregations Initiative, RESHAPING CHURCH. This initiative supports alumni and network partners who serve as pastoral leaders in local communities of faith. RESHAPING CHURCH’s aim is accompanying leaders as they seek God and discover the activity of the Spirit in the midst of volatile experiences, discern God’s call to be shaped and reshaped as faith communities in rapidly-changing days, and follow God’s voice by serving their  neighbors.

Williams is currently a Doctor of Philosophy student at Kansas State University, studying adult learning and leadership with a certificate in qualitative research methods. She earned a Master of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University, a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and served in pastoral ministry prior to her work at Central. “Jessica has served at Central with excellence since 2016,” said Durso. “Her passion for lifelong learning is contagious, and I look forward with eagerness to her dreaming this new program into being and building it into a significant part of Central’s development program.”

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