On December 31st, 2023, Dr. Peter R. Gathje will step down from his role as Professor of Christian Ethics and Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of Memphis Theological Seminary.

President Jody Hill says, “I want to express how grateful I am for the exceptional leadership Dr. Gathje has given to our school—both as Dean for the past six years and as a professor for the past seventeen years. He has truly been a blessing to our campus community, and we wish him the best on his next steps.” 

On January 1, 2024, Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield will assume the role of Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of MTS. Dr. Crutchfield, the Clara Scott Chair of Church and Ministry at MTS and Professor of Christian Education, Spiritual Formation, and Youth Ministry, has recently served two terms as faculty chair and has served on the President’s Cabinet. As an alum of MTS and a former member of the Board of Trustees, he has a strong understanding of MTS’ institutional history as well as a deep and abiding love for the seminary community.

Dr. Carmichael Crutchfield

President Jody Hill says, “Humility, wisdom, intellect, and deep respect from his colleagues: These are just a few of the attributes that make Dr. Crutchfield uniquely qualified to provide exceptional leadership to the Dean’s Office during this time of transition.”

Dr. Crutchfield added, “I am honored and humbled to accept this most important role of leadership in Academic Affairs at MTS. The work ahead of us is of the utmost importance as the seminary forges forward toward new horizons amidst various challenges.”

Dr. Crutchfield holds a B.S. Degree in Business Administration (Accounting) from the University of Tennessee Martin and a Master of Science Degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. He earned a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). in Christian Education and Congregational Studies from Garrett Evangelical.

Dr. Crutchfield is a fully ordained and a Full Connectional clergyperson in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME). He has served as a full-time pastor and a supply pastor. Presently, he is serving as Pastor of Mother Liberty CME Church in Jackson, Tennessee, the birthplace of the CME Church. Crutchfield is also the General Secretary of the Department of Christian Education and Formation of the CME Church. He currently serves on the Board of Lane College. 

Dr. Crutchfield is the author of two books with Judson Press: The Formation of A People: Christian Education and The African American Church and Pressing Forward: Faith, Culture and African American Youth.