Edward L. Wheeler, an ordained Baptist minister, was elected President of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia on January 21, 2015. He assumed his full time duties on April 6, 2015. He previously served as President of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana for fourteen years before being named President Emeritus of CTS on July 1, 2011. He retired on July 1, 2012 after a year of earned sabbatical time.
A highly regarded community leader and theological educator, Wheeler has served in numerous church and educational related positions. He was Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Religion and Society at Tuskegee University before going to CTS. He held the position of Senior Pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati from 1985-1991. While there, he was on the faculty at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio teaching in both the M.Div. and D.Min. programs. He continues to be in demand as a preacher, lecturer and speaker.
Wheeler was Dean of the Morehouse School of Religion (’82-85), was a denominational executive (‘74-82) and served on the faculty at several theological schools. He is the author of numerous articles, book reviews and the books Uplifting the Race: Black Ministerial Leadership in the New South, 1865-1902 and Black Pearls: Lessons from a Beautiful Black Mother.
Over the past two decades, Wheeler has served on several civic and professional boards including the Committee on Leadership Development of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (Office of the Mayor) and 100 Black Men of Indianapolis. Wheeler has also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada (ATS) and as Vice Chair of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Intra Baptist Relations. He was the primary author of the document providing the theological principles and guidelines for Intra Baptist Dialogue that was adopted at the 2014 BWA meeting in Izmir, Turkey. In March 2015 he was appointed to the BWA Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity. He was a member of the joint Commission authorized by ATS and the Association for Hispanic Theological Education to strengthen Hispanic Bible Institutes. In 2014 he served as a consultant to the Commission on Seminaries, Universities, Colleges and Schools in Higher Education of the AME Church and was the principle author of the report assessing the overall condition of AME supported colleges that was presented to and adopted by the General Board of the AME Church in June 2014.
He earned his B.A. from Morehouse College (’69), and his M. Div. (Magna cum Laude) from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School. He holds the Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Emory University. He has been honored with several honorary doctorate degrees from leading colleges in Indiana and from Christian Theological Seminary and Payne Theological Seminary in Ohio. In 2011 Dr. Wheeler was named one of two Distinguished Alumni of the Year by Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
Wheeler and his wife, Mary Susan, have been married since 1969. They are blessed with three daughters and three grandchildren.