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Commencement Speaker

Photo of The Rev. Jeff Carter

The Rev. Jeff Carter, D.Min.
President, Bethany Theological Seminary

The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey W. Carter became the tenth president of Bethany Theological Seminary on July 1, 2013. Previously, he was senior pastor and head of staff at the Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren. A native of Westminster, Md., Dr. Carter graduated in 1992 from Bridgewater College with a bachelor’s degree in international studies. While a student at Bridgewater, he co-founded the soccer club, which received NCAA Division III endorsement two years later. After graduation he joined Brethren Volunteer Service and worked on Capitol Hill for the Church of the Brethren Washington Office as a legislative aide, focusing on issues involving international trade and Central America.

Dr. Carter earned a master of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in 1998 and was ordained in the Church of the Brethren. In 2006 he received a doctor of ministry degree with a focus in hermeneutics from Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Carter entered the ministry in 1993 as associate pastor at the Florin (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. In 1995 he joined the Manassas Church of the Brethren as associate pastor, then served as team pastor until being named senior pastor in 2003.

As part of his calling to ministry, Dr. Carter has valued service to the community and the Church of the Brethren as well as the opportunity to teach, including preaching, church history, ecumenism, and theology. The denomination previously called him to membership on the Standing Committee of Annual Conference and to chair the Annual Conference Study Committee on Denomination Name. He also represented the Church of the Brethren to the World Council of Churches from 2003-2010. Dr. Carter has been a featured speaker at many events, such as the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and National Youth and Jr. High Conferences, and he is scheduled to speak at the 2014 National Youth Conference.

While in Manassas, Dr. Carter served Prince William County as president of the Ministerial Association and lead chaplain for the Department of Fire and Rescue. He was also nominated by Senator James Webb of Virginia to serve as guest chaplain for the United States Senate, the first member of the Church of the Brethren to do so.

Dr. Carter has contributed to the Feasting on the Word commentary by John Knox Press and to the book Worship Today by World Council of Churches Publications, Geneva. He contributes to Messenger, the denominational magazine, and an upcoming issue of Brethren Life & Thought will feature his article on Elder John Kline.

In 1995 Dr. Carter married the former Kimberly Flora, a 1994 graduate of Bridgewater College. They have three daughters and reside in Richmond, Ind.