AUSTIN, Texas (NOV. 15, 2013)— David F. White was inaugurated on November 5, 2013, as full professor in The C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Chair of Christian Education at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Dr. White joined the faculty of Austin Seminary in 2005. Prior to his appointment, he was visiting assistant professor of youth and education and associate director of research for the Youth Theological Initiative at Candler School of Theology, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1997-2002 he was executive director of the Youth Discipleship Project at Claremont School of Theology, a research project exploring alternative approaches to work with youth and with congregational discernment. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Bethany Theological Seminary, the Claremont School of Theology, and Columbia Theological Seminary. Ordained in The United Methodist Church, White served the church in several positions, including minister of youth, Upland United Methodist Church, Upland, California; co-pastor, Anchor Park United Methodist Church, Anchorage, Alaska; conference coordinator of youth ministries, Alaska Missionary Conference of the United Methodist Church; and associate pastor of Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church, Jackson, Mississippi, and First United Methodist Church, Pascagoula, Mississippi.
“Dr. White is an accomplished and much-appreciated Christian educator, churchman, and lover of beauty,” said Austin Seminary President Theodore J. Wardlaw. “It is a complete joy for us to celebrate this promotion with him, and to know and love him in this community.”
Dr. White earned his undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University and his Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary. He received both a doctorate and Master of Arts degree in Religious Education from the Claremont School of Theology in 1996; his dissertation was titled Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice of Youth: A Liberative Pedagogy for Youth.
“As a fine teacher and scholar, Professor White routinely encourages students, colleagues, the academy, and the church to consider Christian formation and education in deeper and more comprehensive ways,” said Austin Seminary Academic Dean Allan H. Cole Jr. “In doing so, he inspires us to act in more faithful and life-giving ways. He will bring these capacities and many more to his leadership as a senior faculty member. I’m grateful for his significant contributions to our shared life and work.”
Dr. White has garnered multiple grants for his research on youth and spiritual discernment, including a $1.2 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. for exploring Christian education with youth. In 2009 he received a $20,000 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion to fund a diversity project at Austin Seminary.
His books include Dreamcare: A Theology of Youth, Spirit, and Vocation (Cascade, 2013), Awakening Youth Discipleship in a Consumer Culture (Cascade, 2007, coauthored with Brian Mahan and Michael Warren), and Practicing Discernment with Youth (Pilgrim Press, 2005). He is also author of a number of journal articles.
Founded in 1902, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is an institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) whose mission is to educate and equip individuals for the ordained Christian ministry and other forms of Christian service and leadership. For more information and ways to support Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, visit www.austinseminary.edu.