Adapted from a Bexley Seabury announcement
Wondra, research professor of theology and ethics at Bexley Seabury, joins other commissioners in searching for ways that churches can “call one another to visible unity” while responding to impediments to “Christian unity, justice and peace in today’s world.”
Elected by the WCC Central Committee in 2014, Wondra is serving a seven-year term through the 2021 WCC Assembly. The commission serves as a global think tank of ecumenical theologians representing 33 countries, five continents, and many Christian traditions.
Wondra comes to the commission informed by her service on the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations, 2001-06, and on the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the U.S.A. (ARCUSA), 1992-2010; her experience as co-coordinator of ARCUSA’s project on authority, 1996-2008; and by decades of ecumenical dialogue and scholarship on the theology and practice of clerical and lay authority.
“Ellen Wondra’s election to the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order is testimony to her leadership, her excellent scholarship, and her faithful service to the church,” said the Rev. Roger. A. Ferlo, president of Bexley Seabury. “It is entirely fitting that Ellen’s voice and views be made part of the global conversation on Christian unity.”
“It is difficult to overstate the importance of the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order and its contribution to the unity and mission of the Christian Church,” said the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, a 1972 alumnus of Seabury-Western and former Bexley Seabury board member who served with her on ARCUSA. “Ellen Wondra will represent the Episcopal Church, and indeed Western Christianity, well, given her academic credentials and practical involvement in ecumenical dialogue over the last quarter of a century of amazing breakthroughs and promise for the future.”
Wondra, a Chicago resident, holds an MDiv from Church Divinity School of the Pacific and a PhD in Christian theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She became professor at Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary in 1989; was named professor of theology and ethics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 2004; and served as Seabury-Western’s academic dean from 2008 to 2014.
After she served eight years as editor in chief of The Anglican Theological Review, she became editor emerita in 2013. She is ATR’s interim editor while the journal seeks a new editor in chief.