Following his retirement as the episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference UMC, Bishop Lowry will become the first bishop-in-residence at the Dayton, OH seminary.
Jan. 30, 2020
The Rev. Dr. Mike Lowry, resident bishop
of the Central Texas Conference
of The United Methodist Church, will join the United Theological Seminary
community as the school’s first Bishop-in-Residence beginning in the fall of 2020. Bishop Lowry, the longest-tenured leader of the Fort Worth episcopal area, is set to retire from his role as bishop on Sept. 1 after serving the Central Texas Conference from 2008 to 2020.
“Bishop Lowry is an example of a faithful, fruitful leader. He has been a highly effective member of United’s Board of Trustees for three years,” says Dr. Kent Millard
, President of United. “We are delighted that he is joining United as our Bishop-in-Residence and know he will bring his wisdom, faith and passion to our students, faculty and staff.”
Bishop Lowry’s deep passion is advancing the work of Christ through evangelistic outreach and missional involvement in love, justice and mercy. He is also an unwavering champion of The United Methodist Church’s mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. A long-time advocate of local churches and their active involvement in their communities, Bishop Lowry helped spearhead the Central Texas Conference Wildly Important Goal
initiative that, as of December 2019, has resulted in 22 consecutive months of conference-wide growth in average worship attendance and professions of faith. The Central Texas Conference is one of four conferences in the U.S. experiencing growth.
As bishop-in-residence, Bishop Lowry will teach courses, preach and preside in chapel services and serve as a co-mentor for one of United’s doctoral focus groups. He will also provide a pastoral presence for students seeking counsel as they prepare for ministry.
“Developing the next generation of clergy and lay leaders in the church is a must if we are to be successful in our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ in this post-Christendom time,” states Bishop Lowry. “I happen to love being a part of the front lines of a local church. People come to the United Theological Seminary because they want to serve the local church. United is a place where dreams take flight and I’m excited about the opportunity this represents to combine ‘knowledge and vital piety’ and help to shape the next generation of local church pastors.”
In recognition of Bishop Lowry’s long-standing commitment to supporting vibrant churches and communities through practices such as evangelism, stewardship and service, and for his outstanding leadership in The United Methodist Church, United Theological Seminary awarded him the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree
during its 2019 spring commencement ceremony – a ceremony in which he also delivered the commencement address.
"The practical knowledge Bishop Lowry brings from his on-the-ground work of ministry will be invaluable for our students,” says Dr. David Watson
, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at United
. “He has extensive pastoral experience, and, of course, experience leading the church at its highest level. Additionally, he has an excellent academic mind, with a special interest in theology and the Methodist and Pietist movements that lends itself well to the scholarly leadership of this role. I'm grateful that he has accepted the offer to join our community of faith and learning in this capacity."
A 1972 graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, Bishop Lowry earned his Master of Theology from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and his Doctor of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was ordained a Deacon in The United Methodist Church in 1974, an Elder in 1978 and was elected to the episcopacy in 2008.
Bishop Lowry and his wife Jolynn were married in 1976. They are the parents of son Nathan and daughter-in-law Abigail, who reside in the Boston area and daughter Sarah and son-in-law Steven Meek living in Washington D.C. They are also the quite proud grandparents to four beautiful children. Family time over the years has included trekking in the national parks, an adventure that is still enjoyed as time and schedules permit.