Distinguished Alum Awards

Distinguished Alums 2008

Jeffrey R. Docking

Distinguished Alum 2008 Jeffery R. Docking stands in a garden on Garrett-Evangelical's campus. He is wearing graduation robes.
Jeffery R. Docking

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary presented Distinguished Alum Awards to a college president and a retired United Methodist bishop during its 151st commencement on May 16.

Receiving the seminary’s most prestigious alumni awards were Jeffrey R. Docking, president of Adrian College in Michigan; and to Charles Wesley Jordan, who served as the United Methodist Church bishop in Iowa.

Jeffrey R. Docking became the 17th president of Adrian College, a United Methodist-related school in Adrian, Mich., in July 2005, another milestone in his diverse and distinguished career. His tenure has been extraordinarily successful. His plans for the college and dreams for its future are value-based.

“The measure of success of a leader is the willingness of those around him to follow,” an Adrian faculty member has written in a tribute to him. “By this measure, Jeff Docking is a success. In my 25 years at Adrian College, I have never seen so much enthusiasm and optimism on campus.”

Docking earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 1983 and a master of divinity at Garrett-Evangelical in 1987. While a seminary student, he served as assistant pastor at Wheadon United Methodist Church and worked in the development office at Garrett-Evangelical as the president’s representative.

He went on to pursue a doctorate in social ethics at Boston University, graduating in 1996 and continuing his career in higher education as a teacher and administrator. After serving as associate director of the Office of Housing and Residence Life and adjunct professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he joined Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa. He worked as dean of student affairs and was promoted to vice president and special assistant to the president. His time at Washington & Jefferson College included significant work in Washington with elected officials, fundraising, multicultural affairs, major construction projects, athletics, campus master planning, state and federal lobbying, and distance learning.

He also taught philosophy, ethics and sociology and published widely.

Docking is married to Elizabeth DeRose Docking. They are parents of three sons — Jake, Carter and Taylor — and a daughter, Julianna.

Charles Wesley Jordan

Distinguished Alum 2008 Charles Wesley Jordan stands in a garden on Garrett-Evangelical's campus. He is wearing graduation robes.
Charles Wesley Jordan

Charles Wesley Jordan is the son of a Methodist pastor. Jordan was born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in Chicago. He received a master of divinity from Garrett Biblical Institute in 1960, after completing an undergraduate degree in political science at Roosevelt University in Chicago. The same year he was ordained an elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church.

He began his ministry serving congregations in the Chicago area, including seven years at Woodlawn United Methodist Church on the South Side. From 1966 to 1971 he was the Director of Urban Ministries in Rockford. While in Rockford, he was a commissioner of the Public Housing Authority, a member of the City Human Relations and the Board of the County Community Action Agency.

From 1971 to 1982, he was a member of the Northern Illinois Conference Council on Ministries staff, serving as a consultant to local churches and staffing programs in town and country ministries, church and society, evangelism, global ministries, and religion and race. In 1982 he became superintendent of the Chicago Southern District and served in that post for five years. In 1987 he was appointed senior pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Chicago, and five years later was elected bishop. During his years as a member of the Northern Illinois Conference he was elected to The United Methodist General Conference five times and chaired his delegation twice.

Jordan served as resident bishop of the Iowa Area of The United Methodist Church from 1992 to 2000. Under his care were nearly 900 congregations with 203,000 members. The people of Iowa came to know him as a caring leader and an inspiring preacher.

In Iowa Jordan served on boards of several United Methodist-related institutions, including Simpson, Morningside and Iowa Wesleyan colleges, and the Central Iowa Health System. He was also on the Board of Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, where he served a term as president. He was also president of the Mid-Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Jordan served as the president of The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society from 1996 to 2000 and as a member of the North Central Jurisdiction Commission on Religion and Race.

A sampling of Jordan’s other involvements includes the General Council on Ministries and the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, Project IMAGE, Operation PUSH, Church Federation of Greater Chicago and Project Equality. He is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, NAACP and Black Methodists for Church Renewal. He served on Garrett-Evangelical’s Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1997. He was named a life trustee in 2000.

Among his many honors and awards, Jordan was elected to the Hall of Fame of Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago; received the George Washington Carver Lecture Award from Simpson College; and accepted honorary degrees from Morningside College, Rust College and Simpson College.

He and his wife, Margaret Crawford Jordan, are the parents of two adult daughters, Diana Elizabeth Jordan and Charlie Jordan Brookins. After retiring from active episcopal assignment Aug. 31, 2000, he and his wife moved to California, where he is currently the Bishop-in-Residence at the Claremont School of Theology.