DAYTON, Ohio - The Board of Trustees of United Methodist-related United Theological Seminary elected Dr. Wendy J. Deichmann Edwards as its president, effective Feb. 25. She has been serving as acting president since November following the resignation of former President G. Edwin Zeiders.

Edwards was formerly academic dean and vice-president of the school, a member of the faculty, and previously served as director of the UTS at Buffalo (N.Y.) program.

"The Board was unanimous in its support for Edwards' presidency," said Marge Putman, chairwoman of the UTS Board of Trustees. "We are confident in her ability to provide UTS with excellent leadership." Edwards is the first woman to serve in the UTS presidency.

Edwards describes United as an exciting place because of the activity of the Holy Spirit leading the school forward to meet the needs of today's Church. "This is a seminary where knowledge, faith and practice are sharpened together for the vital, life-giving mission of Jesus Christ in the world," she said.

Edwards began her own education at The State University of New York at Geneseo, where she graduated cum laude in education. She received her Master of Divinity with distinction at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, with an emphasis in Christian Theology and the History of Christianity. She received her Ph.D. from Drew University in theological and religious studies with an emphasis in American Religious History. She also has taught at Colgate Rochester Divinity School and Ashland Theological Seminary.

She is an ordained elder in the Western New York Conference of The United Methodist Church and has served several congregations in pastoral ministry. She is the co-editor of Gender and the Social Gospel and the author of numerous articles on the social gospel and the history of Christian missions.

Founded in 1871, UTS is one of 13 graduate theological schools of The United Methodist Church.