Former Bethany Seminary President Wayne L. Miller Passes Away

Wayne L. Miller

Wayne Lowell Miller, 91, who was for many years a leader in the Church of the Brethren, passed away on June 24 at the Courtyards, Brethren Village, in Lancaster, Pa. Throughout a lengthy career of service to the church he held academic and leadership positions at four Church of the Brethren-related colleges and universities–Manchester, McPherson, Elizabethtown, and La Verne–and was president of Bethany Theological Seminary, the Church of the Brethren’s graduate school of theology.

He was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and his career included pastoring four Church of the Brethren congregations as well as a Methodist congregation.

He held a bachelor’s degree from Manchester College, now Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind.; a master’s degree from Purdue University; a bachelor of divinity degree from Bethany Seminary; and a doctorate in oral communication from the University of Southern California.

As a college administrator, he served as campus minister of McPherson (Kan.) College from 1964-67; dean of faculty and executive vice president of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College from 1967-75; and dean of the college and vice president of the University of La Verne, Calif., from 1975-80. In addition, from 1980-89 he was president of Woodbury University in southern California, which is not a Church of the Brethren-related school.

Miller postponed his retirement to serve at Bethany Seminary. He was president of Bethany from 1989-92 during a time when the seminary campus was located in Lombard, Ill. It is now located in Richmond, Ind.

Miller was born in Wabash County, Ind., the son of Russell Lowell Miller and Elvah Ogden Miller. He was the husband of Gwendolyn Studebaker Miller, to whom he was married for almost 69 years.

He is survived by his wife; children Kevin Lowell Miller of York County, Pa.; Christopher Wayne Miller of Lancaster, Pa.; Teresa Anne (Miller) Craighead of Ithaca, N.Y.; and Sara Lee (Miller) Miller of Modesto, Calif.; grandsons; and a great granddaughter.

A memorial service will be held at Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren at 11 a.m. on July 18, with a luncheon to follow. Interment will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in North Manchester, Ind., at a time of the family’s choosing. Memorial gifts are received to Bethany Theological Seminary for the Wayne and Gwen Miller Scholarship Fund, and to the Good Samaritan Fund of Brethren Village.


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