Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

Jo Anne LyonInterim Vice President for Wesley Seminary

After previously serving as the General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church since 2008, Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon started as the Interim Vice President of Wesley Seminary at IWU in July 2016.

Ministerial and Professional Background

Dr. Lyon has served over 30 years in Pastoral Ministry, which included church planting, multi-ethnic ministry and community development. She taught as an Adjunct Professor of Church and Society at both Indiana Wesleyan University and Asbury Theological Seminary. In 1996 Dr. Lyon founded World Hope International, a relief and development agency, and continued as CEO to direct the faith-based relief and development organization into over 30 countries. In 2008, Dr. Lyon was elected as General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. During this time, she led the church worldwide through major restructuring to serve the church in this present age, with membership, baptisms, giving and attendance all increasing significantly. She has traveled to over 60 countries preaching, lecturing, as well as, grassroots community development.

She has participated in many interfaith dialogues including The Evangelical/Catholic Dialogue: “Finding the Common Ground for the Common Good” hosted by Georgetown University, The Christian-Muslim Committee on Human Need and most recently was invited to participate in a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland sponsored by Catholic University, the Peace Research Institute in Oslo and the Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The conference entitled “Abrahamic Dialogue: Cooperating in Good Works– Abrahamic Perspectives” provided an opportunity for Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders to work together in solving the worldwide refugee crisis. She was asked to deliver a paper on the Christian response - “Protection of the Displaced”.

Dr. Lyon serves on the board of directors of many organizations as representative of The Wesleyan Church including the National Association of Evangelicals Executive Committee, Council on Faith of the World Economic Forum, Council on Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Asbury Theological Seminary Board. She was a founding member of Evangelicals for Social Action and Christians for Biblical Equality.

She has been a guest at the White House on numerous occasions where she has been a consultant to Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama on a confluence of social issues including human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, Immigration Reform and others. She was a co-founder of the FAAST Alliance on Anti-Human Trafficking and represented the signatories of the Evangelical Climate Initiative to the US Congress.

Personal Information

Dr. Lyon and her husband, Rev. Wayne Lyon, live in the Indianapolis area. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.


The Wesleyan Church, 1996, Tri-State District


B.S., Education, University of Cincinnati
M.A., Counseling, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Graduate Studies, Historical Theology, St. Louis University
Honorary Doctor of Divinity, United Wesleyan Church
Honorary Doctor of Divinity, Northeastern Seminary
Honorary Doctor of Divinity, Asbury Theological Seminary
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Indiana Wesleyan University
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Southern Wesleyan University


She has been a contributor in many publications including:

  • The Hunger of Your Heart
  • The Selfless Leader
  • Baker Dictionary of Theology
  • Voices from Within
  • Passion, Power and Purpose
  • Of Noble Character
  • Light from the Word
  • “Essay on Evil” for the NIV Reflecting God Study Bible

Her autobiographical book The Ultimate Blessing was released in 2004.

Last updated: 10/24/2016