Meet the Team
Rev. Donna Covington — Vice President of Formation
Rev. Donna Covington serves as the Vice President of Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary. She is a highly accomplished senior leader with experience in both corporate and higher education with a heart for ministry. Corporately, she has extensive proficiency and expertise in organizational development, strategic planning and change management. She has a proven track record for problem solving and bringing organizations and groups together. Rev. Covington has led global organizations and traveled extensively to more than 30 countries in her various roles at IBM and Lexmark International, Inc. She brings a global perspective along with knowledge and understanding of diversity and cultural complexities to her work.
Rev. Covington’s experience also extends into executive church leadership and higher education where she has been a change agent and innovator. She served as executive director for several churches, interim Dean of the College of Business and Computer Science at Kentucky State University and most recently, Dean of the College of Business at Delaware State University (DSU), where she was able to establish partnerships with business and economic leaders, community organizations and students to increase student retention, mentorship and career placement.
Rev. Covington has held a number of board positions and has been recognized both locally and nationally with several leadership awards, most recently a 2018 prestigious award from Girls, Inc. of Delaware. She has also conducted numerous workshops and conferences locally and internationally. She was Ordained an Elder at First Pilgrim Baptist Church. She possesses a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Centre College, M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from Miami University, and an M.A. in Christian Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Rev. Covington is the mother of three children and grandmother to three beautiful girls.
Rev. Nicole Sims — Director of Community Formation
Nicole Sims joins the leadership of the Community Formation Team with a diverse cross-cultural and ministry background, having served as a missionary in Germany, the United Kingdom, Ghana, and the Philippines, as well as, pastoring in the United States.
Nicole grew up on a farm in Iowa and is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary, where she met and married her remarkable husband, Kirk. Nicole and Kirk have two sons, Aidan and Eli. She particularly enjoys the Wilmore sunsets, a good belly laugh, and anything with chocolate. Nicole is glad to be serving the Asbury Theological Seminary team as we together, fix our eyes on Jesus!
Jessica LaGrone — Dean of Chapel - Kentucky
Jessica LaGrone became the Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky in 2014. She is an acclaimed pastor, teacher, speaker and writer whose engaging communication style endears her to groups throughout the United States. A native of Texas, Jessica is an ordained pastor in the Texas Annual Conference in the United Methodist Church and previously served for nine years at The Woodlands United Methodist Church near Houston, Texas.
Jessica’s books and studies include Namesake: When God Rewrites Your Story; Under Wraps; Broken and Blessed: How God Used One Imperfect Family to Change the World; Set Apart: Holy Habits of Prophets and Kings; and The Miracles of Jesus. These books have been used in personal and group studies around the world. Jessica is a contributor to an all-church Advent study called Under Wraps and is the New Testament video presenter for the Disciple Fast Track series.
Jessica and her husband, Jim, have two young children, Drew and Kate.
Dr. Jeffrey W. Frymire — Dean of Chapel - Florida
After more than 30 years in pastoral ministry in the Church of God (Anderson) in Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana and California, Dr. Frymire was accepted at Fuller Theological Seminary in 2006. He obtained a Ph.D. in Practical Theology with an emphasis in Homiletics in 2010. His dissertation focused on “Creating Interesting Sermons: The Use of Imagination, Creativity, and Novelty in Preaching.” Following graduation, Dr. Frymire spent two years as a Post Doctoral Teaching Fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary where he taught in the areas of Homiletics and Speech Communication.
In addition to being in pastoral ministry, Dr. Frymire served on the Ministries Council of the Church of God, the national leadership board for the church. He served as Secretary, a member of the Executive Committee, Secretary for the General Director Search Committee, and Chair of the Reconciliation Committee. He has been a featured speaker for numerous events including the North American Convention of the Church of God, Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Family Fest in the Smokies, and was the 2012 Baccalaureate speaker for Princeton Theological Seminary’s graduation exercises.
Dr. Frymire authored his first book in 2006 entitled, Preaching the Story: How to Communicate God’s Word Through Narrative Sermons published by Warner Press. He continues to teach these principles in the classroom, through preaching clinics (such as the Joe Engle Preaching Conference at Princeton and the annual North American Preaching Clinic hosted by the Anderson School of Theology), and at ministerial gatherings.
In 2012, upon his appointment to Asbury Seminary as Associate Professor of Preaching, Dr. Frymire was asked to be the Dean of Chapel on the Florida Dunnam Campus. Following two years of directing the weekly chapel experiences, Dr. Frymire was appointed to the position of Dean of the Chapel, a position he currently holds in addition to teaching various preaching, worship and vocation courses.
He and his wife, Joan (an ordained minister in the Church of God and an Asbury Theological Seminary student) have three sons (Doug, Jonathan and Joel), all of whom are active ministers serving Church of God churches in Ohio, Florida and Illinois. They have seven grandchildren, four boys and three girls.
Christina Embree — Manager of Formation
Christina Embree serves the Asbury Seminary Formation department as the Manager of Formation, primarily working with administrative and project management tasks in coordination with the various Formation departments. Christina holds a B.S. in Education, an M.A in Ministry, and is currently completing a D.Min. in Spiritual Formation. She and her husband, along with their three children, are actively ministering as church planters in Lexington and she is a writer, speaker, and blogger in the areas of family, faith, formation, and generational discipleship.
Dr. Cynthia Talley — Pastoral Care: Non-Residential Students
Dr. Talley is an ordained Pastor in the United Methodist Church in the Tennessee Conference. She brings over 12 years of pastoral experience to this role. In addition, she has experience in worship planning along with congregational care, preaching and teaching. Dr. Talley received her Master of Divinity from Asbury Seminary along with her Doctor of Ministry degree in Preaching and Leadership. She is a current student working on her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Intercultural Studies. In her role with the Formation team, Dr. Talley provides pastoral care services to our non-residential students through prayer and support, D.N.A. Group coaching and training, and ongoing formation development at our non-residential sites.