Asbury Theological Seminary announces the hiring of the Reverend J. Matthew Barnes, PhD, as the Seminary’s new Vice President of Formation.

The national search for this very important position brought in a diverse pool of candidates, each with unique strengths. Dr. Barnes emerged as the top candidate after the second round of interviews.

Dr. Barnes had arrived on campus in early September as the Director of Community Formation. He came to that position with experience as a pastor, missionary, and academic in a variety of contexts.

“I am delighted to have Matt move into this new position as Vice President of Formation,” said President Timothy Tennent. “The wide variety of gifts, talents, and expertise that he brings to our community will continue to have a remarkable impact on our students – whether they are studying online or in person – as he implements his vision for the future.”

Prior to coming to Asbury Seminary, Dr. Barnes had served the Church for more than two decades in a variety of posts. Most recently, he served as senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Alhambra, Calif. Dr. Barnes holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hardin-Simmons University, an MDiv from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, and a PhD in New Testament from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Dr. Barnes and his wife, Alida, have been married for twenty years and are the proud parents of three boys: Myron, Smith, and Tobias. He is passionate about preaching, leading, training volunteers, engaging in staff and leader development, and providing pastoral care and counseling.