New AG Secretary of Division of Higher Education


From The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) today announced the selection of John W. Wells, Ph.D., as associate general secretary of the Division of Higher Education. Wells will begin his employment with GBHEM on July 1, 2016.

Wells currently serves as the executive vice-president and chief academic officer at Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, North Carolina, a position he has held since 2009. In that role, Wells oversees the divisions of enrollment, academics, student development, and student success, and also manages the divisions’ combined budget of roughly $30 million.

“We conducted a prayerful and thorough search to fill this key position, and Dr. Wells stood out during each phase,” said Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary at GBHEM. “His wide experience, including teaching, advising, writing and administration in a wide range of leadership roles will be a valuable addition to our leadership team. He is well suited for the role.”

Prior to Mars Hill, Wells served as provost and interim president at Young Harris College. Wells served as an assistant professor, associate professor, honors director, and dean of social sciences while at Carson-Newman College from 1993 to 2005. He has written or co-written nine publications, along with delivering more than 20 presentations to prestigious educational and political councils, conferences, societies, and associations.

Dr. Wells earned both his doctorate and master’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Carson-Newman University. Wells has served several churches in the UMC, beginning as a student local pastor, and most recently serving congregations in the Johnson City District of the Holston Annual Conference.

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to prepare global leaders for a global church and the world. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.