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The Rev. Dr. Gerald Lord retires from the Division of Higher Education

June 24, 2015

The Rev. Dr. Gerald D. Lord will retire as associate general secretary in the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry effective July 1, 2015.

At GBHEM, Lord championed reform in the denomination’s University Senate and created new partnerships for the agency with global Methodist education leaders in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, southern Africa and Latin America. Much of his time in the Division of Higher Education was dedicated to improving the quality of education at Methodist-related schools, colleges and universities through the work of the University Senate and National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church (NASCUMC) in the U.S., and globally through the International Association of Methodist-related Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU).

Lord was active in founding regional associations of Methodist higher education institutions around the world to complement the work of IAMSCU and the Methodist International Student Exchange Network (MISEN). Five such associations now exist in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.

“The Rev. Dr. Gerald Lord has made a great impact on higher education in The United Methodist Church over last five years as associate general secretary of GBHEM. He has brought new vigor and focus to the University Senate, IAMSCU and Africa University. We are deeply grateful for his competence, commitment, and creativity. After a distinguished career at the Candler School of Theology and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Dr. Lord rebuilt the Division of Higher Education here at GBHEM,” said the Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary of GBHEM.

Lord also oversaw the creation of Imagine What’s NEXT, a biannual vocational discernment event that challenges college students to “dream, go, do,” and other annual collegiate ministry training events, often hosted in partnership with the United Methodist Campus Ministry Association.

“Dr. Lord received the Cheek Scholarship at Millsaps College, a scholarship intended to benefit students of high potential,” continued Cape. “That scholarship was the foundation of his deep and abiding love of Methodist higher education. He has spent his career giving back to the church that invested in him. Well done, good and faithful servant!” 

Prior to his tenure at GBHEM, he served for 19 years as vice president at the Commission on Colleges, the unit of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools responsible for the accreditation of approximately 800 postsecondary degree-granting institutions in an 11-state southern region. Before his time at the Commission on Colleges, he held faculty and administrative appointments at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He was on the faculty at The University of Tennessee before serving at Candler.

Lord earned his M.Div. and a Ph.D. in religion at Emory University, an M.A. in political science at the University of Tennessee, and a B.A. in political science and music at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He is an ordained elder and member in full connection in the Mississippi Annual Conference and an affiliate member of the North Georgia Annual Conference. Active in church and civic affairs, he has served on numerous boards throughout his career.

Lord and his wife, Joan, enjoy two adult daughters, their spouses, and two grandchildren.