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John Tolley

Affiliated Faculty
B.A. U. of Indianapolis
M.Min. Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis
Ph.D. New York University

Rev. Dr. John Tolley served congregations for 22 years in Indiana, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

The Rev. Dr. John Tolley has been serving Meadville Lombard since he joined the school as Director of the Modified Residency Program and Dean of Students in 1999.  His teaching expertise is in the disciplines of arts, aesthetics and presentation.  He firmly believes that the arts are an invaluable tool to teach and spread the gospel of liberal religious life.  Currently, as an Affiliated Faculty member, he teaches the Arts and Aesthetics in Ministry class.

John served congregations for twenty-two years in Indiana, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Theatre from New York University and has taught in that discipline at NYU, City University of New York, and Goshen College in Indiana. His portfolio includes over 100 dramatic productions and publications on the topics of religious education, religious art and LGBTQ issues. 

My vision and passion for ministerial preparation focuses on the various learning styles of parishioners our students will serve in congregations and institutions around the world. To be prepared for effective ministry, clergy must be able to use visual, kinesthetic and auditory means of communication to speak in depth and scope to all the people they serve. The growing recognition and implementation of the arts in the curricula of Meadville Lombard is placing our students at the front of this cultural evolution.

Rev. Dr. John Tolley