Dean Search

  • Nashotah House names Dr. Lauren Whitnah as dean

    April 26, 2024 – Concluding a competitive national search, Nashotah House Theological Seminary has named Lauren Whitnah, PhD, as its next dean.

    Whitnah joins Nashotah House from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she has held academic and administrative roles.

    A medieval historian, Whitnah has served on the teaching faculty of the University of Tennessee since 2014 and more recently as research manager and associate director of the university’s Global Computing Lab. In the latter role, she oversees communication with collaborators in academia, industry, and national nuclear laboratories, securing and managing grants totaling more than $30 million from the National Science Foundation and other entities.

    Whitnah holds a PhD in Medieval Studies and Master of Medieval Studies, both from the University of Notre Dame; a Master of Studies in History from the University of Oxford; and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Gordon College.

    "What distinguished Dr. Whitnah among a strong pool of candidates was not only her stellar academic credentials, but also her administrative competence and background in development,” said the Rev. Canon Ed Monk, Chairman of the Nashotah House Board of Directors. “We're confident in her capacity to lead Nashotah House into a bright future.”

    Whitnah assumes her role effective August 1, 2024.

    As dean, Whitnah’s priorities will include continuing Nashotah House’s recent progress in student enrollment and fundraising, management of operations, and maintaining trust with all seminary constituencies.

    “I’m honored and delighted to step into this role at Nashotah House,” said Whitnah. “As an educator, I’m eager to join a seminary that is serious about cultivating students’ love of God and neighbor through a Benedictine ethos of prayer, worship, and community. As an administrator, I feel deeply privileged to lead an institution with as rich a tradition as Nashotah House and to inherit it during this season of growth. The House has been built on a strong foundation, and I am confident that it is well situated to form the next generation of leaders for lives of knowledge, love, and service.”

    A cradle Episcopalian, Whitnah has been nourished in the Anglican tradition her entire life and hails from a family of vocational commitments to the church. Whitnah’s father and brother are both priests in the Episcopal Church, and her mother holds a Doctor of Ministry in spiritual formation.

    “My dad’s first day at Virginia Theological Seminary was my first day of kindergarten,” Whitnah said. “So, most of my life has been spent in close proximity to those discerning, preparing for, and living out their call to ministry. To get to join in Nashotah House’s mission of raising up more ministers for the church feels like a full-circle moment.”

    Whitnah’s academic focus centers on devotion to saints and understandings of sacred place in the High Middle Ages, particularly in northern England and southern Scotland. She has published and presented on topics including liturgical developments in veneration in the twelfth century, Aelred of Rievaulx and the saints of Hexham, and women at the shrine of St Cuthbert in Durham. She has taught at Episcopal and Anglican churches on a wide range of topics, including Benedictine monasticism, the life and work of Hildegard of Bingen, and medieval devotional art. Her academic interests trace back to when she studied abroad at Oxford under Sister Benedicta Ward, an Anglican nun and theologian, as an undergraduate.

    As senior lecturer at UT, she taught more than 400 students annually in interdisciplinary classes exploring the history, politics, culture, art, religion, economics, and literature of Western Europe from ca. 300 to ca.1500. During the decade she taught Medieval and Renaissance studies at the university, the number of students pursuing majors and minors in that discipline tripled. Whitnah also served on the university’s Faculty Senate and as co-chair of the Faculty Senate Teaching and Learning Committee.

    Whitnah has received numerous awards as an educator, including the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at UT and the Award for Teaching Excellence from the Southeastern Medieval Association.

    Leveraging her background as a researcher and technical writer, Whitnah transitioned in recent years to research management in high-performance computing. In 2023, she was named associate director of UT’s Global Computing Lab, where she oversees grant writing and management, education, and outreach for the research lab.

    “The throughline of my career is a passion for teaching and distilling complex concepts for a wide array of people,” she said. “I’m thrilled to apply that skillset as I share Nashotah House’s critical mission with new audiences.”

    The Nashotah House Board of Directors worked with Dr. Andrew Westmoreland of the Dallas-based executive search firm FaithSearch Partners during the dean search process. After a five-month nationwide search and prayerful consideration, the board approved Whitnah’s appointment as dean on April 25.

    She will succeed Dr. Garwood Anderson, who has served as dean since 2017 and announced in fall 2023 his intention to retire from the deanship at the end of this academic year. Anderson’s term concludes May 31, 2024. He plans to return to the classroom in the fall of 2024, serving as the Donald J. Parsons Distinguished Professor of Biblical Interpretation.

  • Nashotah House board to conduct interviews with dean candidates

    March 27, 2024 — The Nashotah House Board of Directors will conduct a multi-phase interview process with candidates for the seminary’s dean position throughout the month of April.

    Working with national search firm FaithSearch Partners, the board received strong interest in response to a nomination and referrals process. Candidates have been selected from an exceptional pool of prospects, and they will now participate in a series of interviews in the coming weeks.

    The board continues to work toward a smooth leadership transition following the conclusion of Dr. Garwood Anderson’s tenure as dean at the end of the academic year.

    The board bids the prayers of Nashotah House alumni and supporters for the dean search process and the discernment of the search committee.

  • Nashotah House launches search for new Dean

    February 12, 2024 —Nashotah House Theological Seminary, a 182-year-old institution located on the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is seeking a new dean to shape the future of its ministry within the breadth of the Anglo-Catholic tradition. The dean will follow the successful tenure of Dr. Garwood Anderson, who is resigning from the deanship to return to teaching.

    The Nashotah House Board of Directors selected FaithSearch Partners, a nationally recognized executive search firm with a primary focus on recruiting leaders for faith-based institutions, to provide management support for this search. Representatives from FaithSearch Partners conducted almost three dozen personal interviews with Nashotah House constituents in late December and throughout the month of January, including on-campus discussions with students, faculty, and staff. With the information gathered, the search consultants presented a report to the Nashotah House Board, including a profile of the ideal candidate for the position.

    The board approved the document and the recommended process. Board Chairman, Canon Ed Monk, said, “The Nashotah House board is fully committed to this process and grateful for the support of individuals who understand the unique ministry and mission of the House. If plans develop as we anticipate, we hope to have a new Dean in place within a few months, ensuring a smooth leadership transition. In the meantime, we thank Dr. Anderson for his continued guidance at the helm of the institution and all he’s done to place it on such sure footing for the next person to take on this important role.”

    Ongoing priorities in the dean’s portfolio include continued growth in student enrollment and fundraising; effective management of operations; building and maintaining strong relationships across all constituencies of Nashotah House—students, staff, faculty, alumni, sending bishops and dioceses, and members of the Board of Directors.

    Nominations and referrals of suitable candidates may be directed to Andrew Westmoreland,, or Doug Duffield,

  • Nashotah House Board selects firm to lead Dean search

    November 30, 2023 - The Nashotah House Board of Directors announces it has selected FaithSearch Partners, a national executive search firm for faith-based organizations, to provide support throughout the search process for the seminary’s next dean.

    FaithSearch Partners, based in Dallas, Texas, has previously supported institutions such as Fuller Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Semi-nary, and Biola University in their executive leadership searches.

    “The Board selected FaithSearch Partners to assist us in our search based on their wide experience in higher education, including theological education, their commitment to prayer with and for Nashotah House during this search, and their specific insights into our needs as an institution,” said the Rev. Canon Edward Monk, Chair of the Nashotah House Board of Directors.

    Andrew Westmoreland, senior vice president with FSP, will assist Nashotah House with its dean search. With a career in higher education spanning more than four decades, Westmoreland previously served as president of Samford University and as chair of the board of trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    The Nashotah House Board of Directors will solicit input from constituents in the Nashotah House community throughout its search and discernment process.

    Dr. Garwood Anderson announced in September his intention to retire from his role as dean of Nashotah House, effective June 1, 2024, to return to the classroom and biblical scholarship.