Q&A with UM Center for Christian Calling Dean Doug Wilson

Kathy Dean Arts, Christian Studies, Learning

The University of Mobile’s mission as a Christ-centered academic community is to prepare graduates to fulfill their professional calling with a Great Commission mindset. The Center for Christian Calling is key to accomplishing that mission. As dean and director of graduate studies, Dr. Doug Wilson follows his own calling to mentor the next generation of ministry leaders so they will be known for impacting the world for Jesus Christ.

We asked Wilson to tell us more about the Center for Christian Calling.

Q: The Center for Christian Calling has four programs: theology, intercultural studies, Christian ministry and graduate studies. Tell us about the graduate program you direct.

A: I serve as dean over the entire Center for Christian Calling, and our graduates serve as pastors, worship leaders, prison and hospital chaplains, international missionaries, Bible teachers, military personnel, technology specialists, and educational leaders in public and private schools.

In the Graduate Studies program, we offer the Master of Arts in Biblical & Theological Studies, with 18 graduate hours in Bible and another 18 hours in systematic, historical, and practical theology.  This qualifies our alumni to teach on the college level in both Bible and Theology.

We also partner with UM’s Alabama School of the Arts to offer the Master of Arts in Worship Leadership & Theology, with 18 graduate hours in the field of worship and 18 hours in Bible & Theology.

Q: What is your favorite course to teach?

A: In the classroom, I’m passionate about teaching students to build bridges across cultural barriers and to learn the content of the Bible. In particular, I want students to grow to love the Old Testament. Through the years, my favorite classes to teach have been Old Testament, Biblical Hebrew and intercultural courses. The dynamics of the students in the classroom often make the difference.  I see these disciplines as being interconnected (like puzzle pieces), so it’s hard to choose only one.

Q: What do you want your students to learn through your classes?

A: I begin each semester by telling my students that my goals for them are to complete my course with a deeper love for God, a deeper love for His Word, a deeper commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandments. “Study to show yourself approved unto God.” Those are my goals for our students.

Q: You have taught at UM for 20 years and served as dean since 2012. What is your background?

A: I have a Bachelor of Science in Church Music from Toccoa Falls College, Master of Divinity from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and PhD in Old Testament Languages & Literature (doctoral studies in missions & theology). I was married in 1982, licensed to preach in 1983, ordained into ministry in 1984, and I’m the father of six children. I have served in pastoral ministry, theological education and denominational leadership, and am certified as a cultural intelligence consultant & instructor. I’ve taken UM students on 15 international mission trips, taught for two years in Nicaragua, and oversaw UM’s semester abroad program. Currently, I serve as an Old Testament Bible translator for the New Tyndale Version.

 Q: What do you enjoy outside of class?

A: I am a musician and I love to sing; that’s my gifting. Every once in a while, I’ll perform in an Alabama School of the Arts production — Merry Widow, Magic Flute, The Consul.  My favorite role was the Bishop in Les Miserables. If simple acts of compassion in my life could impact others the way Bishop Bienvenu’s did on Jean Valjean, then I would be truly blessed.

Another thing I enjoy is the opportunity to I travel with my wife, Kim, and children when possible.  I walk for health and for stress relief.  I relax by putting jigsaw puzzles together with Kim during vacation breaks.  That hobby is sort of my metaphor for life.  God doesn’t show us everything at once, and we often don’t know where a single piece fits into the grand scheme of His purpose for our lives.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.