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Melissa Wiginton

Vice President for Education Beyond the Walls 
Faculty Information
Location(s) McCord Building
Department(s) Staff, Theology Department
Title(s) Vice President for Education Beyond the Walls, Research Professor in Methodist Studies
Contact Information
Other Information

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Listen to Professor Wiginton's sermons here


BA, University of Texas at Austin, Magna Cum Laude

JD, University of Texas at Austin

MDiv, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Summa Cum Laude



Prior to joining Austin Seminary as Vice President for Education Beyond the Walls in January 2011, Ms. Wiginton served for 12 years at  Fund for Theological Education, a national, ecumenical organization whose mission is to call exceptional, diverse young leaders for the church and the academy. She was the architect of four FTE Ministry Fellowships for undergraduates and seminary students; instrumental in developing a program in support of young adult volunteer organizations to promote vocational discernment and the connection of faith and work for volunteers, Volunteers Exploring Vocation; and a leader in founding Calling Congregations, a major initiative, which aims to inspire and equip congregations to nurture vocation for young people. She worked with diverse denominations, colleges and universities, seminaries and divinity schools during her tenure; she holds deep commitments to diversity, to the church, to theological education and to the flourishing of young adults.

Ms. Wiginton has participated in several major research initiatives relative to the church and pastoral leadership, including Duke Divinity School’s Pulpit & Pew project and Pathways to Ministry, a current project of the Auburn Center for the Study of Theological Education. She is the co-editor of Awakened to a Calling: Reflections on the Vocation of Ministry, a collection of sermons focused on young people and the vocation of ministry, author of “Truth,” in Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teenagers, and most recently, a contributor to Greenhouses of Hope: Congregations Growing Young Leaders Who Will Change the World. She writes for Call & Response, a blog sponsored by Faith & Leadership.

Austin is home for Ms. Wiginton: she attended college and law school here and practiced law for a dozen years before changing her direction to earn the M.Div. degree. While practicing law, she served as president of the Austin Family Mediation Association and, with Mary Fogel, created Moving Through: A Workshop for Divorcing Families, the first educational program in Austin to help parents in conflictual divorces ease the children’s difficulty. In 1996, the Texas Senate recognized Ms. Wiginton for her work on behalf of Texas families.

She is a practicing Christian and a member of the United Methodist Church.