Dr. Jo Anne Lyon to Serve as Interim VP of Wesley Seminary

Wesley Seminary will transition leadership from its founding leader, Dr. Wayne Schmidt.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that former General Superintendent, Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, has agreed to serve as Interim Vice President for Wesley Seminary for the next year as a part of her new Ambassador role (for the Wesleyan Church) to help Wesley Seminary through this year of transition while we search for the next leader of Wesley Seminary.  

The Seminary is blessed with a strong Dean in Dr. David Smith, and a dedicated and talented faculty and staff who will carry on the day to day operations of the Seminary.  We will launch a national search for the next leader of Wesley Seminary.  

Dr. Lyon brings unique qualifications to this interim role. As the founder and CEO of World Hope International, Alexandria, VA, she directed the faith-based relief and development organizations into over 30 countries to alleviate suffering and injustice. Dr. Lyon holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling, continued graduate studies in Historical Theology and has been granted five honorary doctorates. She has written several articles and publications including the book, The Ultimate Blessing, and has served over 30 years in Pastoral Ministry. Dr. Lyon and her husband, Rev. Wayne Lyon, live in the Indianapolis area. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.

As General Superintendent she has passionately embraced the rich historical mission of the Church and is committed to transforming lives, churches, and communities with the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ. She possesses a keen knowledge and understanding of the needs of the Church and the importance of pastoral education and leadership. JoAnne has developed an international network of colleagues and partnerships through her service on numerous boards and strategic leadership opportunities. Please join me in praying for Dr. Lyon and our Wesley Seminary team as we continue to serve the church and the Kingdom. 

Under Dr. Schmidt’s leadership, Wesley Seminary has more than fulfilled the dreams and aspirations of those who have worked hard and invested time, talent and expertise to bring it to life and watch it grow in vitality and influence. Founded in 2009, the Seminary has developed quality programs and faculty that serve over 500 students in 34 states and 11 different countries.

Dr. Wayne Schmidt, IWU Alum and Founding Senior Pastor of Kentwood Community Church, agreed to serve as the founding Vice President for Wesley Seminary. I speak for all of the Board, faculty, staff, and students of Wesley Seminary when I say that Wayne and Jan have become trusted colleagues, dear friends, and admired leaders.

Dr. Schmidt has accepted the position of General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church. He leaves the Seminary with a legacy that provides both a strong foundation and a vision for the future.


David Wright, PhD

Indiana Wesleyan University
4201 S. Washington St.
Marion, IN 46953