Christian Theological Seminary has named Matthew Myer Boulton its sixth president, replacing the retiring Edward L. Wheeler.
Wheeler led the Indianapolis institution for 15 years–the longest presidential tenure in CTS' five decades. He becomes president emeritus July 1, helping to ensure a smooth transition.
The CTS board of trustees hired Boulton following a nearly year-long, national search. An ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, Boulton earned a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago in 2003 and a master's from Harvard Divinity School in 1998.
Boulton is relocating to Indianapolis from Cambridge, Mass., where he has served as associate professor of ministry studies at Harvard Divinity School since 2007.
He has taught a broad range of courses on Christian theology, preaching, and history, including courses that put social justice work in theological perspective. His teaching and research have explored the ways in which Christian life is shaped through worship and music.
CTS Chairman Mark Mutz said Boulton’s varied background in history, the arts and theology provides him with a broad, insightful vantage point from which to guide the seminary's vision.
“As an ecumenical seminary, it is important that we approach theological education with both knowledge and respect for various denominations, faiths and ethnicities,” Mutz said in a prepared statement.
An accomplished musician and songwriter, Boulton co-founded the bluegrass gospel band Butterflyfish. He notes that the arts can provide effective means for conveying theological concepts.
“Just as scholarly writing can explain and explore the big ideas of Christian faith, a song or work of art can bring clarity and insight to those very ideas, making them easier to engage and understand,” Boulton said in the statement.
Boulton is no stranger to the Midwest. The son of a religion professor, he grew up in southwest Michigan and earned a degree in film and history from Northwestern University before an interest in anthropology, ritual studies and theology prompted him to enroll in Harvard Divinity School.
Prior to teaching at Harvard, Boulton served as assistant professor of worship and preaching at Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts. He is the author of "God Against Religion: Rethinking Christian Theology through Worship" and the forthcoming "Life in God: John Calvin, Practical Formation, and the Future of Protestant Theology," due out this fall.
Christian Theological Seminary is an accredited ecumenical seminary affiliated with the Disciples of Christ Church. It offers eight graduate-level degree programs.