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PhD Candidate Gregory Coates Named 2016 John Wesley Fellow by A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE)

March 31, 2016
Gregory Coates, PhD Student at Garrett-Evangelical

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary PhD candidate Gregory Coates has been awarded the John Wesley Fellowship from A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE). Coates was one of three doctoral students to receive the fellowship in 2016.

The John Wesley Fellows program is designed to promote the renewal of theological education by supporting promising United Methodist scholars who are committed to classical Christianity and academic excellence. Scholarships are awarded to United Methodist doctoral students for up to four years. Recipients also participate in the Fellowship, which includes an annual Christmas Conference where fellows engage in scholarly conversation in service to the Church.

"I am extremely grateful for the investment that A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE) has entrusted to me for the remainder of my research and writing here at Garrett-Evangelical,” said Coates. “Not only will this fellowship provide me and my family with much needed financial support, but as a John Wesley Fellow I will also benefit greatly from the network of United Methodist scholars that I will be introduced to during each annual Christmas Conference. The scholarship will enable me to devote more time to my research into the counter-cultural character of early American Methodism in the late eighteenth century.”

“The John Wesley Fellows program has contributed significantly over the past 37 years to scholarly leadership in theological education and in the church, especially the United Methodist Church,” said L. Gregory Jones, executive director of AFTE. “We are excited that outstanding people like Greg will be supported during their doctoral studies both through scholarship funding and relationships among the Fellows.”

Coates is a 2003 graduate of Greenville College with a BA degree in history and political science, a 2008 graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary with an MDiv degree, and a 2012 graduate of Duke Divinity School with a ThM degree in Wesleyan Studies. He is pursuing his studies in historical theology with an interest in Wesley and Methodist studies through the PhD program at Garrett-Evangelical.

“I hope that I will prove to be a worthy steward of the investment that the church has placed in my future and that my work will edify both the church and academy,” said Coates. “The fact that a United Methodist organization would offer this to me, an elder in the Free Methodist Church, makes me all the more thankful and I'm hopeful that this will open the door to important cross-denominational conversations within our shared Wesleyan heritage.”

Coates resides in Evanston, Illinois with his wife and two children. He is a member of the Wabash Conference of the Free Methodist Church.