Charles M. Wood, Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, has been elected vice-president and president-elect of the American Theological Society. The ATS, which celebrates its centenary in 2012, is the oldest theological society in the United States. Wood will serve as vice-president in 2011-12 and president in 2012-13.
“Professor Wood’s election is a truly prestigious honor,” said Perkins Dean William Lawrence. “The decision by the Society to select him as its President recognizes his career of contributions to systematic theology. He is only the second person in the history of SMU to be chosen for this honor.”
According to Professor Peter Slater, a past president of the ATS, “Membership in the American Theological Society is by election only of no more than one hundred active members … who are recognized by their peers for their contributions to ongoing research into issues of concern to systematic theologians.”
A native of Colorado, Wood received his B.A. degree from the University of Denver, the Th.M. from Boston University School of Theology, and the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. A clergy member of the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, he served pastoral appointments in Colorado and Wyoming before joining the Perkins faculty in 1976. In addition to his faculty appointment at Perkins, Wood served as the school’s associate dean for Academic Affairs from 1990 to 1993 and as director of SMU’s Graduate Program in Religious Studies from 2005 to 2010.
An influential scholar, Wood has written books including The Question of Providence (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), Vision and Discernment: An Orientation in Theological Study (Scholars Press, 1985), Theory and Religious Understanding (Scholars Press, 1975), The Formation of Christian Understanding (Westminster Press, 1981; second edition, Trinity Press International, 1993), An Invitation to Theological Study (Trinity Press International, 1994), Attentive to God: Thinking Theologically in Ministry (co-authored with Ellen Blue, Abingdon Press, 2008), and Love That Rejoices in the Truth: Theological Explorations (Cascade Books, 2009).
Beyond his service to Perkins and SMU, Wood has been involved in a variety of collaborative projects for the advancement of theological study and theological education, under the auspices of the American Academy of Religion and the Lilly Endowment, as well as the Association of Theological Schools and other organizations. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Systematic Theology and on the board of directors of Methodist Review, and has recently been appointed to the Committee on Faith and Order of The United Methodist Church. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa.
Wood plans to continue writing and research following his retirement from Perkins School of Theology in June 2011.