Dr. Wells grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the environs of Calvin College, supplemented by frequent side trips to the United Kingdom, which fed Anglophilia in the family and an ecumenical disposition. During college, Wells backed his way into theology via Great Books, which led to work in historical theology and systematics at Yale Divinity School. Wells completed his doctoral work at the University of Notre Dame and wrote a dissertation on Thomas Aquinas: “Sacraments of the Incarnate Word: The Christological Form of the Summa theologiae.” His primary areas of research are the history of Christian doctrine, Thomas Aquinas, ecclesiology and ecumenism, sacramental/liturgical theology, and Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism. He has published articles on Aquinas and ecclesiology in several journals, and is completing a book-length study, Wounded Church: The Ecumenical Initiation of Catholic Ecclesiology.
Wells is Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion, where he leads and supports the work of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order – the international body that advises provinces, the Secretary General and the Instruments of Communion on ecumenical relations and doctrine.
From 2009 to 2022, Wells served as executive director and publisher of the Living Church Foundation, overseeing all of TLC’s publishing and teaching initiatives, fundraising, and staff. Since 2011, he has served as theological consultant to the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the U.S. (ARC-USA).
He is a member of Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, and enjoys reading, running, gastronomy, Notre Dame football, and all the arts.
Wounded Church: The Ecumenical Initiation of Catholic Ecclesiology, book manuscript in progress
“The way of Anglican communion: Walking together before God” with John Bauerschmidt, Zachary Guiliano, Ephraim Radner, and George Sumner for the Communion Partners (June 2018)
“The Universal Church of the Covenant: Called and Conscripted” in Pro Communione: Theological Essays on the Anglican Covenant, ed. Benjamin Guyer (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012)
“Word of Love: The Sacramental Itinerary of 1 Corinthians,” Anglican Theological Review, 93/4 (2011), pp. 581-98
“Cross as Curriculum for Catholic Unity,” The Living Church (29 November 2009)
“The Singular Grace of Division’s Wound,” Ecclesiology 5/1 (2009), pp. 7-27
“Problems with the Path of Phillips Brooks: Agreeing and Disagreeing with Gillis Harp,” Journal of Anglican Studies, 6/2 (2008), pp. 213–40
“The Burden and Grace of Roman Catholic Leadership: An Anglican Response to the CDF,” Pro Ecclesia, 17/1 (2008), pp. 7–12
“Wounded in Common Mission, Called to Common Conversion: The Spiritual Basis of Communion,” Anglican Theological Review, 90/1 (2008), pp. 23–46
“The Ecumenical Burden of the Liturgy, or, the End of the Mystical Body of Christ,” The Anglican (of the General Theological Seminary), 33/2 (2004), pp. 13–18
“Aquinas and Jenson on Thinking about the Trinity” (Winner of the Harris Student Essay Competition), Anglican Theological Review, 84/2 (2002), pp. 345–82