Jan LoveJan Love, dean of Candler School of Theology, was elected to the University Senate of The United Methodist Church at the denomination’s 2012 General Conference. She will serve a four-year term.

The University Senate comprises 25 voting members who at the time of election are actively engaged in the work of education at an educational institution. Love was elected alongside the Rev. Kasap Owan, the Rev. William J. Abraham and the Rev. Bill T. Arnold.

Love has been dean and professor of Christianity and world politics at Candler since 2007. Prior to leading Candler, Love was Deputy General Secretary of the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries. A lay member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, she has traveled to more than 50 countries and is an internationally recognized leader in church and ecumenical arenas. Having taught for 22 years at the University of South Carolina, she is known for facilitating positive and productive institutional change as well as constructive relationships among people and groups with deeply held differences.

The University Senate, established in 1882, is one of the oldest accrediting bodies in the United States. Its founding mission was to ensure that schools, colleges and universities related to the church were worthy of carrying the denomination’s name. Although regional bodies now carry out the academic accreditation of institutions, the senate remains charged with establishing criteria that schools, colleges, universities and theological schools must meet in order to retain listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.  In addition, the senate establishes annual reporting procedures and an effective review process to ensure that affiliated institutions have institutional integrity, well-structured programs, sound management and clearly defined relationships with The United Methodist Church.

The senate also has responsibility for supporting the development of institutions whose aims address significant educational, cultural, societal and human issues in a manner reflecting the values held in common by the institutions and The United Methodist Church.

Nominations to the University Senate come from the National Association of Schools and Colleges and Universities of the denomination, the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, General Conference, the Council of Bishops and the University Senate itself.