by Web on August 17, 2016
Paige Swaim-Presley, an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a 2010 graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University, is the new executive director of the Center for Ministry.
A shared ministry between Millsaps College and the Mississippi Annual Conference, the center focuses on developing Christian leaders through lifelong learning. The operation of the center was recently restructured under the Institute for Civic and Professional Engagement to integrate it more fully in to the life of the College.
“I look forward to building on the beautiful legacy of those who have gone before me as we move into this new season of the center's life,” said Swaim-Presley, who has served as a pastor, executive director of the Seashore Mission, and as a member of numerous planning teams and committees in the Mississippi Annual Conference. She is a 2015 graduate of Journey Partners, a two-year Center for Ministry training program in the Christian tradition of spiritual direction.
Swaim-Presley replaces Becky Youngblood, a 1973 graduate of Millsaps who recently retired after serving as executive director since 2005. Youngblood will remain on the staff of Journey Partners through at least 2017.
As director, Swaim-Presley will oversee the center’s learning opportunities, which embody the College’s dedication to “academic excellence, open inquiry and free expression, the exploration of faith to inform vocation, and the innovative shaping of the social, economic, and cultural progress of our region.” She will also work with spiritual formation programs and formation in the practices of ministry and empowerment toward community engagement that bears witness to the gifts of diversity.
Swaim-Presley hopes to strengthen the relationship that already exists between Millsaps College and the United Methodist Church and to share the best of Millsaps College with religious communities, especially the United Methodist Church in Mississippi, in ways that facilitate partnerships and influence the College’s “across the street and around the globe” focus. She also hopes to expand and diversify the center’s learning opportunities for clergy, laity and others.
“I am passionate about creating opportunities for all people, particularly clergy and laity within the United Methodist tradition that is so uniquely a part of Millsaps College’s identity,” she said.
The center’s current programs include: