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 and one handsome boy.

Rev. J. Matthew Barnes, Ph.D. — Director of Community Formation

Matt Barnes is honored and privileged to serve on the Community Formation team at Asbury Theological Seminary, beginning in the Fall of 2022. Matt grew up in West Texas, among the oil and football fields.  He earned a BA in Psychology from Hardin-Simmons University and an MDiv from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University.  Moving to Southern California, Matt completed his PhD in New Testament at Fuller Seminary and served the Church in very diverse settings as a lay leader, church staff member, academic, commissioned missionary, interim pastor, and senior pastor.  He was ordained in a Texas Baptist church in 2004, which was subsequently recognized by Transformation Ministries in Southern California in 2018.

Matt loves Jesus, his wife (Alida), his three boys (Myron, Smith, and Toby), prayer, calling people to the grand adventure of following Jesus, community development, the academic study of the Bible, theology, pastoral counseling, writing, preaching, playing guitar, hiking, camping, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Chicago Cubs.  Seeing the Church change the world by making disciples and not merely converts is Matt’s deepest desire and fulfilling Jesus’ prayer in John 17 for unity among those who believe in the Apostles’ message is a close second.

Rev. 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.

Tracey Farrell — Director of Asbury Global Formation

Tracey Farrell graduated with her M.Div. from Asbury Seminary in 1997 and with her Masters in Counseling in 1998. Tracey has served alongside her husband in the local church for twenty five years. Together they have served four churches. Over the years, Tracey has served as minister to adults, small group coordinator, hospitality coordinator, co-planter of a young family worshiping community, founder of Hillside Counseling Center in Woodstock, Ga., designer and manager of The Table outreach venue (a ministry of LifeSong Church in Orlando, FL). Tracey has also spent many years working in the field of counseling and currently works with HeartPeace Counseling Center with her husband Tim as they minister to married couples.

Tracey and Tim have two children. Their son will be attending Asbury Seminary on the Kentucky campus in the Fall. Their daughter will begin college this Fall in Florida. Their family adventures through ministry will serve as meaningful experiences Tracey will draw on as she walks with the global Asbury Seminary students as the Director of Global Formation.

Jeremy Fulda — Director of Career and Calling

Jeremy is excited to serve as the Director of Career and Calling at Asbury Theological Seminary. Jeremy grew up in Oklahoma and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Oklahoma State University. He graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and MA in Mental Health Counseling. Following seminary, Jeremy worked as an ATS Admissions Counselor and served as a licensed local pastor at Mt. Gilead UMC in Georgetown, KY. 

Jeremy and his wife Meredith then moved to Taiwan for five years with One Mission Society to work alongside a Taiwanese non-profit that helped marginalized children and youth. Upon returning to the United States, Jeremy was at First United Methodist Church-Tulsa, first as Director of Global Outreach and then as Executive Pastor.

Jeremy and his wife Meredith have three daughters, Maddox, Emery, and Jovie.

Mrs. Abigail Sipe — Executive Assistant to the VP of Formation

Abi grew up in Central Pennsylvania, where she enjoyed working on the family horse farm. She received her MA in Mental Health Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary. Abi is married to Lydon, and they have two children, Tobi and William. Abi is passionate about seeing people transformed into who God has created them to be.