Charles M. Wood Retires Effective June 2011
Following 35 years of distinguished service at Perkins School of Theology, Dr. Charles M. Wood, Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine, announced his retirement effective June 2011.
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, Wood served pastoral appointments in Colorado and Wyoming before joining the Perkins faculty in 1976. In addition to his faculty appointment, he served as associate dean for Academic Affairs at Perkins from 1990 to 1993 and director of SMU’s Graduate Program in Religious Studies from 2005 to 2010.
Under Wood’s leadership, the GPRS completed a significant reorganization of the graduate faculty and curriculum. He was also instrumental in securing two grants from the Wabash Center to strengthen the program’s efforts to prepare its students for their work as teachers.
Wood has been an influential leader, scholar and writer over the course of his career. In 2011 he was elected vice-president and president-elect of the American Theological Society. His research has included work on theological hermeneutics, the Christian understanding of God, and the character of theological study itself. Wood recollects that completing The Question of Providence (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008) proved to be especially challenging. His work on the character of theological study found expression not only in publications such as Vision and Discernment: An Orientation in Theological Study (Scholars Press, 1985), but also in contributions to a major redevelopment of the accreditation standards of the Association of Theological Schools. Wood subsequently chaired the self-study process leading up to the 2000 decennial accreditation review of Perkins. Other publications by Wood include 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 the university, Wood has been involved in a variety of collaborative projects for the advancement of theological study and theological education, under the auspices of the Association of Theological Schools, the American Academy of Religion, the Lilly Endowment, and other organizations. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Systematic Theology and 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.
Charles has been married for 44 years to Jean. They have one daughter, Leslie Rogers, who resides with her husband – whose name is also Leslie Rogers – in Japan. Following retirement, Charles looks forward to writing and research without the distractions of administrative responsibilities. Still, he admits, he will miss his favorite part of Perkins School of Theology, “the company of teachers and learners.