News Details

April 28, 2015

The Rev. Dr. Jerry Wood to Speak at Baccalaureate

The Reverend Dr. Jerry Wood ’73 is set to deliver his sermon to West Virginia Wesleyan College graduates during the Baccalaureate ceremony to be held on Friday, May 8 at 8 p.m. in Wesley Chapel. 


Dr. Wood is an ordained United Methodist Elder in the West Virginia Annual Conference and has served churches of varying sizes, including his most current role as pastor at Bethany UMC of Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, IN.  Prior to his current appointment,he served three churches: Johnson Memorial UMC in Huntington, WV from 1979-1983; Cedar Grove UMC in Parkersburg, WV from 1978-1979; and Bethesda UMC in Ona, WV from 1975-1978.  It was during his appointment in Huntington that Dr. Wood felt a calling for higher education.


“Church-related higher education became my vocational calling, and I pursued the challenge of engaging students in the quest for learning how to live as well as how to make a living,” he commented.


Dr. Wood then became Dean of the Chapel at West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1983-1995, serving for 11 years teaching, overseeing 17 religious campus organizations, providing weekly worship and engaging young adults with the serious inquiry of the big questions that matter.  He then served as Vice President for Student Services at Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, PA from 1995-1999 and as Vice President for College Advancement at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV from 1999-2002. 


In 2002, Dr. wood became president at Defiance College in Defiance, OH until 2008.  During his tenure, the College made a name for itself as an institution educating students to become effective leaders within a democratic society.  He introduced a strategic vision of culture of engagement that melds the civic, academic, and cultural components of engagement into the student learning experience.


Since his tenure at Defiance College, Dr. Wood has served as Vice President for Advancement & Marketing at Doane College in Crete, NE, staff chaplain at Parkview Health Services in Fort Wayne, IN, and senior consultant and affiliate for PerformaHE in Burlington, NC.


Dr. Wood and wife Gayle reside in Fort Wayne, IN close to their parents, son, daughter, and four grandchildren.


For more information on Commencement activities, please visit   


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