Ecumenical Theological Seminary Names New Academic Dean

Today, the Ecumenical Theological Seminary announced a new Academic Dean, Dr. Samuel V. White, III. No stranger to the seminary, Dr. White previously served as Adjunct Professor instructing seminarians on practical theology courses. In collaboration with seminary leadership, Dr. White will be responsible for overall management of the seminary, including faculty leadership, student enrollment and program development.

“We are blessed to have Dr. White serve as academic dean,” said Monique D. Marks, board chair and president and CEO of Detroit-based non-profit Franklin Wright. “He has a rich background of theological studies, ministerial leadership, service to God and his community. We are confident that he will use his vast expertise to guide the seminary through these uncertain times.”

Baptized and called into ministry at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. White was later ordained by Dr. Samuel Bullock of Bethany Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan. He graduated with honors from Brockport State College and received his Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School and Master of Divinity degree from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University.

For sixteen years, Dr. White was employed as a Hospice Chaplain for Henry Ford Health System. He rendered spiritual care to the terminally ill and grief support to caregivers and their family. From 1984 to 1995, he pastored United Methodist Churches. In 1996, Dr. White became the senior pastor of the historic Friendship Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan.

He served as the president of the Michigan Progressive Baptist Convention and became the recipient of several civic and religious awards, including the Rev. Charles Hill Award, Preacher of the Year, and the President’s Leadership Award from the National Progressive Baptist Convention.

A prolific author, Dr. White has written many books and articles, including:

  • No More Tears: Comfort for the Dying

  • Dying in Peace: Preparing for Eternity

  • It is Well with My Soul: Spiritual Care for the Dying

  • Caring For Your Soul: Improving Your Life

  • Healing Your Soul: Christian Self-Care,

  • Hope For the Soul: Words of Encouragement

  • Sex and the Soul: Overcoming Temptation,

  • The Forgiving Soul: How to Forgive Yourself, Others and Life,

  • Healing During the Holidays: God Heals the Bereaved

  • Aging Gracefully: Spiritual Care for Aging Adults,

  • The Capitalist Christian Contradiction: God Against Greed

  • My Brother’s Keeper: Church Ministry for Young African American Males, and

  • Loving the Soul: How to Love.

Dr. White has been married to the former Sandra Wilson since 1995. They reside in Detroit with their two children Alexandria, Samuel IV.

“I thank God, President Ken Harris and the Board of Directors for allowing me the privilege to serve God, the seminary, and the community in this capacity. I am truly humbled by this calling and solicit the wisdom, prayers and support of the faculty, administrative staff and student body of the seminary.”



The Ecumenical Theological Seminary is the only accredited protestant seminary in southeastern Michigan. Located in the heart of Detroit, ETS is committed to its calling at one of the most difficult and promising epicenters of American identity and during one of the most difficult times. In bringing together members of various religious communities in an ecumenical learning environment, ETS simultaneously addresses questions of spiritual nurture and social justice, traditional confession and cross-cultural innovation.

For more information about the Ecumenical Theological Seminary, call 313-831-5200.












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Ecumenical Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools​ in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved: MDiv, MA, MA in Pastoral Ministry, DMin.

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