Wesley Seminary Announces New President

Colleen Derr

Indiana Wesleyan University announced that Colleen Derr, Ed., D., has been named the new president of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Derr, who has been part of Wesley Seminary since 2011, will begin her new role on July 1. Since joining Wesley Seminary, Derr has served as assistant dean and is an associate professor.

“I know that God is going to use me in a powerful way to continue to help Wesley Seminary grow,” she said. “The team that envisioned Wesley Seminary gave birth to this beautiful place. Dr. Schmidt’s leadership propelled us from zero to 500. And I’m excited about playing a part in the future of the Seminary. I feel passionate about our role in kingdom building.”

Derr succeeds Jo Anne Lyon, who has served as the interim president since the departure of Wayne Schmidt, D. Min., the first president of Wesley Seminary, which opened in 2009. Schmidt left after being elected General Superintendent of the North American General Conference of The Wesleyan Church in 2016.

“Dr. Derr has earned a reputation as an advocate and resource for an array of church ministries, an effective administrator and a wise and dynamic leader,” said David Wright, Ph. D., president of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in announcing Derr’s appointment to the IWU community. “We are grateful that God has prepared Dr. Derr for this work and look forward to her leadership.”

In addition to chairing the Seminary faculty, she has served as a member of the University Faculty Senate and has been active on numerous university committees. She is currently part of the team developing a Doctor of Ministry in Formation, which is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2018, and she was an integral part of developing the Master of Arts in Children, Youth and Family Ministry.

Wesley Seminary serves more than 500 students in 34 states and 11 countries. The Seminary, which offers programs in Spanish, has a diverse student body that is almost 40 percent ethnic minority.

“Wesley Seminary is a special place that has developed quality programs and faculty since it opened in 2009 on Indiana Wesleyan University’s Marion campus,” Wright said. “It is being used by God to engage and equip pastors to lead their churches and reach individuals for Christ.”

Derr has a Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Doctor of Education in Christian Education Leadership from Regent University.

She is married to Wayne Derr, and they have four adult children, Jerica, Zachary, Tyler and Anna.

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