McCormick Appoints Two New Members to Its Administrative Leadership Team


The Administrative Cabinet welcomes the Rev. David W. Watkins, III and Dr. Jennifer M. McBride.

Assistant Dean of Student Academics and Support, Rev. David W. Watkins, III, and Associate Dean Doctor of Ministry Programs and Continuing Education, Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics, Dr. Jennifer M. McBride have been named members of McCormick Theological Seminary’s Administrative Cabinet, the institution’s senior leadership team. The announcement was made today by Interim President David Crawford.

“We are delighted that both Rev. Watkins and Dr. McBride accepted the invitation of the Administrative Cabinet to join our senior leadership team. Each brings unique gifts to our work together, and we are grateful for their willingness to take on this important work with us,” Crawford noted. “McCormick is growing, and one of the primary aims of inviting Rev. Watkins and Dr. McBride to join the senior leadership team is our commitment to bring new energy, focus, and commitment to the student experience, I cannot imagine two better qualified individuals to help us in that effort,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dean of Faculty, Ted Hiebert.

Before Rev. Watkins was appointed to this new role, he was the seminary's associate director of Experiential Education and Field Studies. Working with Rev. Dr. Joanne Lindstrom, the Jean and Frank Mohr Director of Experiential Education and Field Studies, he helped to place and support McCormick students in their field education experiences. He also served as an adjunct professor for the master's in divinity course, Reflection in Ministry. Along with his service to McCormick, Rev. Watkins is the senior pastor of Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago and the associate regional minister for the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago. He holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Illinois and a master's in divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. McBride received her doctorate and master’s degrees in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, with a focus on theology, ethics, and culture, and her bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Before coming to McCormick in July 2016, she served as the Board of Regents Endowed Chair in Ethics, Assistant Professor of Religion, and Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Wartburg College, an ELCA church-related school in Iowa. She also was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology at Emory University. At Emory’s Candler School of Theology, she served as Program Director for the Atlanta Theological Association’s Certificate in Theological Studies at Metro State Prison for Women. This past November, Dr. McBride became the first woman president of of the International Bonhoeffer Society—English Language Section.

She has authored or edited three books on Bonhoeffer and a number of essays. Her books include Radical Discipleship: A Liturgical Politics of the Gospel, The Church for the World: A Theology of Public Witness, and the co-edited volume, Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought.