November 1, 2021
Rev. Joshua Sweeden, Ph.D., came to NTS in 2016 as Associate Professor of Church and Society and transitioned to the academic dean role in 2017, following Dr. Roger Hahn’s return to full-time teaching. President Jeren Rowell received Dr. Sweeden’s intent to resign as Dean of the Faculty effective at the end of the current academic year (June 30, 2022).
In his notice, Dr. Sweeden wrote: “I am grateful for the opportunity to provide academic leadership at a vital juncture in NTS’s story and to join with others to help better position NTS to flourish, now and into the future. It is exciting to see NTS move from surviving to thriving; God has been faithful.”
During Dr. Sweeden’s tenure, several major initiatives were brought to fruition that helped NTS to grow into its current position of health and vitality. These initiatives include a creative redesign of the Doctor of Ministry program that now enrolls ninety doctoral students, the launching of a new Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership degree, the successful completion of the institution’s ten-year accrediting self-study from which NTS was granted a ten-year renewal of accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), and several strategic initiatives in academic administrative staff and processes which enabled NTS to achieve financial sustainability and enrollment growth.
President Rowell said, “The NTS community is profoundly grateful to Dr. Sweeden for the generative leadership he provided toward the academic and institutional development of the Seminary. Josh is not only a theological scholar and able administrator, but he has also proven to be an exemplary ethical leader. The opportunity for me to begin my role as president alongside Dr. Sweeden as dean has been a great gift not only professionally, but also personally as Josh has become a friend for whom I have great love and respect.”
Dr. Sweeden will continue as full-time Professor of Church and Society at Nazarene Theological Seminary. The search for a new dean is underway with an anticipated announcement in the spring semester.