Christian Theological Seminary Welcomes Dr. David M. Mellott as Seventh President

David M. Mellott (Photo: Business Wire)

INDIANAPOLIS--()--Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) announced today that Dr. David M. Mellott has been named the Seminary’s seventh president. Dr. Mellott will assume his new position effective July 1, 2019. The announcement follows an extensive national search.

Dr. Mellott joins CTS from Lancaster Theological Seminary, where he most recently served as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Seminary and Professor of Theological Formation. His pedagogy is informed by a breadth of theological, academic, and social influences. An ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, Dr. Mellott brings an especially unique perspective to the ecumenical Indianapolis campus; he grew up with roots in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and was previously ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1982.

According to CTS Board of Trustees Chair Liz Klimes, Dr. Mellott’s life and career demonstrate a clear calling to contribute to the formation of leaders and healers serving the church and the community. “David’s legacy and ongoing commitment to placing people first is aligned with CTS’ mission to equip and empower gifted leaders who help shape the lives of students, church leaders and the community at large,” said Ms. Klimes. Remarking on CTS’ commitment to moving forward with momentum, Klimes added, “A leadership transition always presents an opportunity for renewed focus, refreshed energy, and a more crystalline and distilled vision for the future. The CTS Board of Trustees is excited about the possibilities that await us as we welcome David Mellott to CTS and the greater Indianapolis community.”

While he relocates to the Midwest from a community renowned for its agrarian and rural communities, a global perspective informs Dr. Mellott’s writing and teaching. He led retreats both in Europe and the U.S. and completed specialized training at Goethe Institute in Munich, Germany, and Sorbonne University, in Paris, France. As a dean and professor at Lancaster Seminary, Dr. Mellott taught courses in master’s and doctoral studies, including programs focused on pastoral ministry, queer theology, sacramentology, worship, Roman Catholicism, philosophy and spiritual formation.

His research has centered on specialties including ethnography as a theological practice, liturgical theology and Christian and ministerial formation. A prolific writer, Dr. Mellott has authored multiple publications addressing topics ranging from ethnicity and religion to liberation for gay clergy. Ultimately, his work explores the theological, homiletical, historical, humanitarian and social justice issues critical to spiritual formation and growth.

Dr. Bill Kincaid, Interim President and Herald B. Monroe Associate Professor of Leadership and Ministry Studies, noted that Dr. Mellott brings significant leadership experience in theological education and “a personal temperament for the opportunities and challenges before us. His teaching interests, advocacy efforts and passion for social justice initiatives reflect the historic impulses and stated values of Christian Theological Seminary. I very much look forward to working with him when I return to the faculty,” said Kincaid.

“Dr. Mellott joins CTS at a vibrant and promising moment in an institutional history spanning more than 160 years,” said Klimes. “The Seminary’s innovative programs including a first-of-its-kind PhD, distinctive models of advancing pastoral care, counseling and theological leadership, and a forward-thinking partnership with Butler University. We’re excited to see how Dr. Mellott’s leadership will help CTS serve as a flagship North American Seminary,” noted Klimes.

Remarking on his new role, Dr. Mellott said he is compelled by the Seminary’s legacy of integrating a rich theological education with a vision to serve the common good. “Christian Theological Seminary has long been a regional and national leader in delivering ecumenical theological education that serves the world,” he stated.

He added the Seminary’s culture and legacy of inclusiveness is particularly relevant today. “Christian Theological Seminary’s commitment to racial and gender justice is now, as much as ever, essential to being faithful, authentic and engaged,” said Dr. Mellott. “I am honored to serve as president of such a distinguished school with a substantial mission to serve the world.”

Upon embarking on his new role as president at CTS, Dr. Mellott will reside in Indianapolis with his husband, the Rev. Lance Mullins.

Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is a fully-accredited independent ecumenical graduate school associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) that offers graduate-level degree programs to prepare ministers, counselors, and lay people to serve as leaders of the church and the world.


Rev. Nathan Day Wilson

Release Summary

Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) announced today that Dr. David M. Mellott has been named the Seminary’s seventh president.


Rev. Nathan Day Wilson