A message from President Wente and Provost Gillespie

Dear members of the Wake Forest community:

We write to share the news that on January 1, 2023, Dean Jonathan Lee Walton will assume the presidency of Princeton Theological Seminary. Dean Walton, a social ethicist whose scholarship focuses on evangelical Christianity and its relationship to mass media and political culture, earned his MDiv and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Following a sabbatical in the fall semester of 2019, Dean Walton took up his full service as Dean of the Wake Forest School of Divinity and Dean of Wait Chapel with distinction and passion on January 1, 2020. Arriving just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dean Walton’s impact in our community was felt immediately. He provided an inspirational voice of hope, healing, and unity during an extraordinarily challenging time. 

While at Wake Forest, Dean Walton provided leadership to multiple University initiatives including:

  • Successfully navigating the Divinity School community through the pandemic and contributing to the overall response of the University to the needs of our students and faculty 
  • Attracting numerous philanthropic gifts and competitive foundation grants totaling more than $15 million to support the mission of the Divinity School
  • Collaborating with the School of Professional Studies to develop new certificate and degree programs including the Graduate Certificate in Faith and Health Equity  
  • Enhancing university-wide collaborations to further integrate the Divinity School community within the broader university, including Worship in Wait, Wake the Arts, and the Department of Athletics.  

We are immensely grateful for Dean Walton’s service to Wake Forest and our broader community, and deeply appreciate his friendship and leadership. We look forward to sharing plans for the transition of leadership of the School of Divinity in the near future.


Susan R. Wente

Michele Gillespie

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