Soren M. Hessler joined the Divinity School as Director of Recruitment and Admissions in August 2022. He is an ordained elder in full connection in the West Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and holds a PhD in practical theology with a concentration in leadership and administration from Boston University School of Theology.
Soren’s scholarship emerges at the intersections of theological education administration, interreligious studies, and Wesleyan studies. He is currently revising his dissertation for publication; “Adjudicating Orthopraxy: A History of Accreditation Practices in Theological Education in the United States, 1918 – 1968,” explores the relationships of individuals and Methodist institutions with the Association of Theological Schools in its early history and suggests growing edges for the future of the Association as the demographics of its membership continue to shift. Soren serves as a peer reviewer for the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools and is an active advisory board member for the Journal of Interreligious Studies. In fall 2022, he was elected to a two-year term as treasurer of the Alpha of Tennessee Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Vanderbilt University.
Prior to working at Vanderbilt, he served as Coordinator of Academic and Enrollment Services for the Faculty of Theology at Huron University College in London, Ontario, and as Director of Graduate Academic Services at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Soren spent nine years in university chaplaincy on the ministry staff of Marsh Chapel at Boston University and served as the first Associate Director of the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership at Hebrew College. He continues to serve as Instructor of Christian and Interreligious Studies at Hebrew College, teaching the Rabbinical School’s required course in Christianity.