Professor of the Practice of Leadership
Professor Pennel holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lambeth University, as well as a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Vanderbilt University Divinity School. After receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1964, Professor Pennel moved to Memphis where he would serve as pastor for several local churches. Upon moving back to Nashville, he completed his Doctor of Ministry at Vanderbilt Divinity School with a major emphasis in Preaching and Worship. From 1977 to 1988, he was pastor at Belmont United Methodist Church. From 1988 to 1996, he was pastor at Brentwood United Methodist Church. He then served as a bishop of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2004. Professor Pennel has been a delegate to the following conferences or councils in the past: the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the UMC (1984, 1988, 1992), the General Conference of the UMC (1996), the National Council of Churches (1996-2000), and the World Methodist Council (1984-2002). He has also written three books: From Anticipation to Transfiguration (1989), The Whisper of Christmas (1984), and A Connectional Community (1982).