Rev. Dr. David Mcallister-Wilson
President, Wesley Theological Seminary
The Reverend Dr. David McAllister-Wilson assumed the office of President at Wesley Theological Seminary on July 1, 2002. This makes him one of the longest-serving presidents within the Association of Theological Schools. He has served the institution for nearly 40 years, beginning in Wesley's Development Office as a fundraiser, and later as Executive Vice President. During that period, he was part of a team that made Wesley one of the nation’s largest and leading theological schools, preparing approximately 1,300 men and women for ministry a year.
McAllister-Wilson received a Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University, Northridge, in 1983. He earned his Master of Divinity (1988) and Doctor of Ministry (2001) degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary. He has focused his preaching and speaking to help revitalize the Mainline Protestant Church, encouraging men and women to consider God’s call to ministry and preparing them for leadership. With a strong interest and focus on leadership development, particularly in local congregations, he helped to establish the G. Douglass Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley. He regularly teaches Leadership in the Doctor of Ministry program in its specialized tracks of Global Asian and Military Chaplains.
David has always had a passion for the training and development of effective leadership. He consults regularly within the world of churches and seminaries. He has contributed a number of articles in various publications, including a chapter in the widely read book, Christian Reflections on the Leadership Challenge. His recent book (2018), A New Church and A New Seminary is being used in a number of theological schools.
General J.E. Cartwright, (Ret), a member of the Wesley Board of Governors, describes President McAllister-Wilson: “He is the quiet blend of educator and thought leader for Wesley Theological Seminary, located in the Nation's town square, Washington, D.C. Identify our society's most intractable issues - David dives in as the soft-touch scrum master. Whether in the public light or quiet conversation, David is sought to provide principled guidance to our youth and national leaders.”
He is originally from Thousand Oaks, California. As a layman in his hometown church, he exercised strong leadership in the community, establishing the Community Conscience Foundation, a foundation that supported local human services agencies. He has remained actively involved as a consultant and board member with community-based human service agencies ever since. Most recently, he served as president of the Board of Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic, an association of colleges and universities engaged in service learning and civic engagement. Under his leadership, CCMA expanded to become one of the largest regional associations. David is also on the board of directors for Raising A Village Foundation, which provides high-quality intervention programs and community resources to children, youth, and families in the areas of education, health and wellness, and the arts. A member of the Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, McAllister-Wilson was ordained Deacon in 1988 and Elder in 1993.