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Alumni Profile: Dr. Roger A. Ireson

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.

Each year, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary(GETS) presents Distinguished Alum Awards at commencement to alumni who have rendered extraordinary service. One of the 2022 recipients is Reverend Dr. Roger A. Ireson.

Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary is one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries supported by the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment of the United Methodist Church.

The Reverend Dr. Roger A. Ireson is a retired—yet still very active— United Methodist elder who has served as pastor, administrator, and professor in a variety of settings around the world. Ireson holds a bachelor of arts from DePauw University and a master of divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary. Ireson was ordained a deacon in 1963 and an elder in 1966 with membership in the Detroit Annual Conference (now Great Plains AC).

Ireson earned his doctor of philosophy from Manchester University in England. Ireson served as a pastor from 1970-1988 in both the suburbs and city of Detroit, Michigan. In 1988, Ireson was elected general secretary of The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of The United Methodist Church, a position he held until his retirement in 2001.

As general secretary, Ireson was responsible for church programs, policies, and general oversight related to 123 schools, colleges, universities, and theological seminaries; the ministries of ordained deacons and elders, local pastors, and diaconal ministers; and campus ministries, chaplains, and pastoral counselors. During Ireson’s leadership and at the urging of United Methodists in Africa, GBHEM established and developed Africa University in Zimbabwe, which now has 1500 students from 26 African countries. Ireson was also instrumental in establishing the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU), having served as its founding president in 1991.

As a consultant, Ireson has aided in the development of Methodist universities in Rosario, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Colegio Ward in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the Methodist Church in Malaysia. Ireson has served as a trustee at six institutions, including American University, Africa University, and the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Ireson has received eight honorary doctorates from universities on three continents.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary website, Evanston, IL

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Ministerial Education Fund is at the heart of preparing people for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 13 United Methodist seminaries help students to discover their calling through the challenging curriculum. The fund enables the church to increase financial support for recruiting and educating ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment at 100 percent.