Daniel Aleshire, ATS president, announces retirement

January 20, 2016

Daniel O. Aleshire, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools, announced that he will retire before June 30, 2017. 

Aleshire has worked with ATS for 26 years, first as associate director for accreditation from 1990 to 1996, then as associate executive director, before becoming executive director in 1997. ATS will mark its centennial in 2018.

“This decision comes at both the right time in my life and a time of considerable strength and capacity in the life of ATS,” Aleshire said. “The association is on sound financial footing, with several grants from generous funding partners that will provide almost all of the financial resources needed through 2019.”

James Hudnut-Beumler, ATS president, has appointed a search committee to assess the issues that the next executive director will need to address, identify the qualities and characteristics that person will most need to possess, and undertake the work of the search for a candidate to be elected by the ATS board of directors. The search committee will be broadly representative of the diverse ATS membership, who will be given opportunities to provide input to the search as it proceeds.

“We are most grateful to Dr. Aleshire,” said Hudnut-Beumler. “He has been unfailing in his insightful leadership of all those in the constellation of theological education who have looked to him for guidance, and his expertise in the field is recognized worldwide.” 

Richard Mouw, president emeritus of Fuller Theological Seminary, where he is professor of faith and public life, met Aleshire in 1988, when Aleshire was a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mouw recalled how, more than a decade ago, leaders active with ATS saw a need for a spokesperson for theological education, for the media, researchers, and others.

“He has really grown into the voice for theological education,” Mouw said of Aleshire.

Aleshire has also been an advocate for the diverse group of schools making up ATS—270 graduate institutions in the U.S. and Canada—Mouw said. He remembered a year in which Aleshire gave well-received commencement addresses at both Meadville Lombard Theological School, which is Unitarian Universalist, and Dallas Theological Seminary, which is evangelical. “That’s the spectrum of theological education in the ATS,” Mouw said. "Dan has not only been able to hold all of that together but he has been respected across the board.” 

This article contains updated content from the print version.