Rev. Dr. Constance Simon
Director, Doctor of Ministry Program and Assistant Professor of Christian Education
Rev. Dr. Constance Simon has served in ministry most of her life. Rev. Dr. Simon holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed in Supervision and Curriculum from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, respectively. At the age of thirty, she earned her Doctorate in Administration and Supervision from Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia in 1987. In June 2011, Dr. Coni, as she is affectionately called, earned her Master of Divinity from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Presently, she is a Jeremiah A. Wright Scholar at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. With over thirty years of experience in public, private, Higher Education and Christian Education teaching and administration she stresses the importance of education as a liberating force for all people. Presently, Rev. Simon serves as the minister of Christian Education at Fellowship Chapel, UCC, Detroit, MI.
Professionally, she is the first African American female principal in a State of Michigan Correctional Facility. She was also the youngest African-American female Division Chair over the School of Education at Tougaloo College, in Mississippi. With research as one of her specialties, she has taught quantitative and qualitative analysis on the graduate level at Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi and at Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Coni has been active in church all of her life. She got her start as Sunday School secretary at Second Baptist Church, Middletown, Ohio. She has also taught children and adults in Sunday School, Bible Study, developed workshops, training sessions, coordinated VBS programs, organized conferences and prayer breakfasts for Christian educators willing to work for God. She opened the 2016/17 year in prayer for the Alpha Rho chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc., was the women’s day preacher for Carter Memorial CME, Keynote preacher for Fellowship Chapel’s Women’s Prayer Breakfast, and keynote for the Detroit Metropolitan Associations Women’s Conference, UCC.
While in Atlanta she was on the board of the Jonathan Greer Bible Academy, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School teacher, and the Council of Christian Educators. Presently at Fellowship Chapel Dr. Coni is a Worship Leader, Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, developed and Instructs Fellowship Chapel’s Bible Institute Teacher’s class, and a member of the Official Board. In 2006 she stepped up to fill the position of interim Minister of Christian Education after the retirement of the late Rev. Opal M. Simmons. On the state level, Rev. Simon serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ, a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Association’s Church and Ministry Committee and a ministerial coach for the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Fellowship Chapel’s Christian Education Department has ten vibrant ministries, of which they have eleven Bible studies every week. Christian Education consists of Tot’s Assembly (infant care), Children’s Church, Sunday School for all ages, 11 Bible Study classes, Vacation Bible School, the Scholarship Committee, Girl Scouts, Senior High Youth Group, the Youth Coordinating Council and the Fellowship Chapel book club.
In 2010 she was the recipient of the Rev. Wendell Anthony Pastoral Scholarship and in 2009 she was awarded a scholarship from the Korean Churches of Detroit. Dr. Simon has been an active participant in the Lily Foundation’s Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Program at the St. Francis Retreat Center, Dewitt, MI. In 2010/11 she was part of the Emotional Intelligence training under Dr. Jackie Bahr-Hinkle and Dr. Roy Oswald.
Dr. Coni is the widow of Mr. William G. Simon, her best friend. Her surrogate daughter is Tremaine Radcliff who is also a member of Fellowship Chapel. The Simons also have two rambunctious dogs, Homes and Muckett. She enjoys cooking, writing, reading, classic cars and boating in her spare time. She lives by the mantras of her parents. From her father: “if I can help somebody along life’s way, then my living shall not be in vain” and from her mother: “when the Great Scorer comes and writes beside your name, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you played the game.”