Karen Meridith appointed as director of Sewanee's Education for Ministry program

November 10, 2009

The School of Theology of Sewanee: the University of the South has announced the appointment of Karen M. Meridith as director of the Education for Ministry program. Meridith, who has extensive experience in Christian education, most recently has been director of operations for the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. Her appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2010.

The Education for Ministry (EfM) program is an extension program of lay theological education that has enrolled more than 75,000 participants since 1975 and has been called the deepest and most transformative program of extension Christian education in the Episcopal Church.

Meridith is an EfM graduate and mentor and has a broad and diverse experience in administration and educational leadership, having served as lay assistant to the rector and director of Christian formation at Old Donation Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach, and as director of university publications at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She also has experience in teaching.

"I am delighted that Karen is joining the EfM program office," said the Very Rev. William S. Stafford, dean of the School of Theology. "She is devoted to the Episcopal Church's faith and life, with a wide ecumenical vision of Christ's work in the world. Under her leadership, I believe the EfM program will continue to thrive, and to find new avenues for serving the church. I must also express my deep thanks to Sissie Wile, whose service as interim director of EfM has been extraordinary."

Meridith gives a special reason for her move. "Four years of study in EfM gave me the theological tools and vocabulary to discern and articulate my own call to ministry in theological education, while the support of my EfM communities (as student and as mentor) encouraged me to step out in faith to believe in and accept that call. I am honored to help further EfM's continuing mission to the Church."

Meridith earned her bachelor's degree at the University of South Carolina, did graduate study in English at Auburn University, earned a master's degree in theological studies at Episcopal Divinity School, and is well advanced in the Ph.D. program in practical theology at Boston University.

Sewanee: The University of the South, familiarly known as Sewanee, comprises a nationally recognized College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a distinguished School of Theology serving the Episcopal Church. Located on 13,000 acres atop Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee enrolls 1,500 undergraduates and approximately 100 seminarians in master's and doctoral programs. Sewanee is owned by 28 Episcopal dioceses, the only university so directly related to the Episcopal Church.