"Jonathan L. Walton" Archive

A Period of Prayer & Meditation in Solidarity with the Mount Tabor Community

This is a message from University Chaplain Timothy L. Auman and Dean of the School of Divinity & Wait Chapel Jonathan Lee Walton.

A child was murdered in Winston-Salem. A senseless and cruel act unleashed terror in a building designed to be a sanctuary of learning and development, Mount Tabor High School. We pray for the family and friends of William Chavis Raynard Miller, Jr.

The days and weeks ahead will be difficult for so many. Teachers must resume instruction in classrooms where children hid under tables and in closets. Parents must relive those frantic moments of vulnerability associated with sirens whisking through the streets of Winston-Salem. And students at Mt. Tabor must attempt to learn in a space where the life of their classmate was stolen.

This tragedy also reveals the interconnected nature of our communities. Violence is never an isolated act. One deadly gunshot impacted the lives of thousands of children, families and educators. This turn of events affected many within the Wake Forest family. Thus, we seek to sit in prayer and solidarity as an initial act of comfort and support.

We invite all to join us today for a period of prayer, meditation and reflection in solidarity with the Mount Tabor community. We will hold space in Davis Chapel from 12 noon – 1 p.m. for silent prayer.

In solidarity.

Timothy L. Auman, University Chaplain

One Luv,
Jonathan Lee Walton, Dean of the School of Divinity & Wait Chapel

Categories: Inside WFU

Shonda Jones to lead academic programs at the School of Professional Studies

After 10 years with the School of Divinity, Dr. Shonda Jones has accepted a new role as executive director of academic programs at the School of Professional Studies. Dr. Jones will develop and oversee a compelling portfolio of flexible, affordable and relevant academic programs for the new school. Her work will produce a collection of high-demand degree and non-degree offerings to meet the evolving needs of working professionals in the Charlotte community and beyond. Headshot of Shonda Jones, executive director of academic programs at the WFU School of Professional Studies

“This is an exciting time for the University and a pivotal time in higher education. We must be able to respond not only to the current marketplace but anticipate what innovations and untapped opportunities exist before us,” Jones said.

“Dr. Jones’s strategic leadership and innate ability to decipher what students, as well as her colleagues, need to foster strong relational ties and successful academic experiences will greatly benefit the School of Professional Studies,” said Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Read more

$5 million grant brings Gilead COMPASS Faith Coordinating Center to WFU School of Divinity to combat HIV/AIDS in the South

With a $5 million grant from Gilead Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Divinity will establish a new center to fight HIV/AIDS throughout the South.

The COMPASS Initiative® Faith Coordinating Center will focus on preparing ministry and nonprofit leaders to address the needs of vulnerable populations such as rural communities in Appalachia, African Americans and LGBTQ individuals. These groups, particularly in the South, often experience a higher number of cases of HIV/AIDS with access to fewer support and prevention resources.

Wake Forest University School of Divinity is uniquely positioned to unite and strengthen faith communities to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A focus on social justice and equity will guide the mission and vision of the center.

“At Wake Forest University School of Divinity, we shape agents of justice, reconciliation and compassion,” said Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of the School. “Our origins are rooted in preparing a place for those often marginalized and left out of not only conversations, but congregations. This new center will help us put that mission into needed action in communities across our region.”

The Faith Coordination Center is part of Gilead’s 10-year, $100 million COMPASS Initiative®. In its fourth year, the initiative includes coordinating centers at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the Southern AIDS Coalition.

“Expanding the Gilead COMPASS Initiative to include faith-based communities will help advance our collective efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States,” said Brett Pletcher, executive vice president, corporate affairs and general counsel. “We are convinced that the leaders at Wake Forest School of Divinity have the academic rigor, implementation expertise and passion required to advance this important work.”

The center will use a social justice framework, interfaith engagement and advocacy for LGBTQ communities as tools to equip faith communities to respond to the needs of those impacted by HIV/AIDS. The center intends to cultivate change in and through faith communities with strategic implementation of collaborative learning, grant-making and training. One planned program is a cohort-based educational path for clergy and faith leaders that intends to build collaborative knowledge, capacity and expertise related to faith and HIV/AIDS.

WFU School of Divinity was selected through a national, competitive grant application process. Read more

School of Divinity appoints Jill Crainshaw as vice dean

Jill Crainshaw

The Wake Forest School of Divinity announced this week that Jill Y. Crainshaw has been appointed vice dean for faculty development and academic initiatives.  She will begin her new position July 1.

She has led the school, previously, as acting dean and interim dean.

As vice dean, she will continue to provide leadership during the fall of 2019.  Jonathan L. Walton, named dean earlier this year, will be on sabbatical completing research and writing projects. He will begin formally as dean on Jan. 1.

A member of the school’s faculty for 20 years, she has served in a variety of roles there.

For more information, read the school’s announcement here.