St Mellitus College is delighted to announce that Dr Sara Schumacher has been appointed as the new Academic Dean of St Mellitus College.
The role of Academic Dean is a senior leadership position responsible for establishing SMC at the forefront of theological education and innovative training for the next decade. The primary purpose of the Academic Dean is to support the Dean in providing leadership with a particular focus on, and love for, the academic life of the College. The Academic Dean has national oversight equipping women and men to be confident disciples with a love for theology, to impact a generation, forming leaders and equipping theologians. Sara’s responsibilities include developing a flourishing academic staff team, ensuring excellence in academic teaching and development across the college, developing and sustaining a vibrant research culture, execution of the college’s Learning & Teaching Strategy, and modelling a healthy relationship between Church, academy and wider society.
Dr Sara Schumacher writes:
“I am grateful and humbled to have been invited to serve as Academic Dean. St Mellitus has an incredibly gifted academic faculty who have the potential to make a significant contribution to the Church and the academy. I am excited about the opportunity to draw on St Mellitus’ rich heritage of innovation to lead others in building and shaping the future of the Academy and the Church, and influencing the wider landscape of the higher education sector to take hold of opportunities we cannot yet imagine.”
Revd Russell Winfield (Dean of St Mellitus College) writes:
“Sara is bringing extensive strategic, operational and visionary gifts to the role, alongside her strong academic record, which will serve the college brilliantly as we develop an engaging academic vision for the next decade. Sara is a skilled scholar, teacher and administrator with a vibrant faith, and I am so pleased she has accepted the opportunity to be our new Academic Dean. I am thrilled to work with her in this new capacity.”
Sara started at St Mellitus in 2014 as Tutor and Lecturer in Theology & the Arts and, in 2016, joined the Leadership Team as Director of Education. Sara studied at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (University of St Andrews), where she completed a doctorate on contemporary church patronage of the visual arts under the supervision of Professor David Brown. While at St Andrews, Sara co-founded and served as editor-in-chief of Transpositions, and she continues to contribute to the wider theology and the arts conversation through publication, public lectures, conference participation, and advisory roles. In 2020, Sara was awarded a 3-year Pedagogy Fellowship with the Yale Centre for Faith and Culture’s Christ and Being Human project, further equipping her as a scholar and educator. Prior to her academic life, Sara trained and worked as a graphic designer in a variety of professional settings and continues to enjoy all things art-related.
Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin (St Mellitus College Board Chair), writes:
“Sara has a proven record and a growing reputation as an academic in her work in theology and the Arts. She is a strategic leader and brings a wide range of experience to this role of leadership of the academic life of the College. She is deeply committed to the vision and values of St Mellitus and has a passion for its academic life in loving God, in bearing witness to Christ and equipping confident disciples of Christ in contemporary culture. Sara will offer vision and strategic wisdom to support the Dean and a gifted academic team, and help lead the College into the next phase of its life.