What We Do Matters Because What They Do Matters: Diana DeWitt
Author and educator Dr. Reggie McNeal wrote the simple but penetrating statement, “When a leader loses heart a leader loses.” This loss multiplies when the leader’s sphere of influence is Kingdom-centric. When a Kingdom leader loses heart not only does he or she lose but the ministry they lead loses; there are too many stories of ministries suffering because their pastor or leader has quit and left, or worse, quit and stayed. Fortunately, God is raising up servant-leaders who champion this battle for the hearts of leaders.
One such champion is Rev. Dr. Diana DeWitt. In addition to pastoring Greenville United Methodist Church north of Nashville she serves as the Chairperson of Spiritual Formation for the Tennessee Conference of the UMC and leads Aspen Tree Ministries. She leverages these latter roles to see pastors set free from the wounds and unhealthy demands of ministry, empowering them to more effectively live into their calling, which will, in her words, “make an eternal difference in the lives of people in the congregations and communities in which they serve.“
This passion, though not without difficulty, burgeoned in the fertile soil of personal suffering offered to God. Having experienced the stresses and wounds of life and ministry, Diana received her own healing through participating in Pastors of Excellence, at Ashland Theological Seminary. DeWitt offers, “God had strategically positioned me at a critical time in my life to receive His divine touch of healing and grace through Pastors of Excellence. I was worn out with life, having experienced cancer, devastating church conflict, and divorce all within a two year period of time. Pastors of Excellence provided an avenue for me to regain my spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being, and to receive invaluable resources and tools to enter into the next season of my life and ministry healthy and whole.” She now works to comfort other ministers with the comfort she has received so that they too might not lose heart.
Diana is mother to Steven and Heather. She is now also delighted to have a wonderful daughter-in-law, Kelly, and a wonderful son-in-law, Jimmy, and four amazing grandchildren, Camden, Kaia, Layna, and Henry.
Diana exemplifies why Ashland Theological Seminary commits to equipping leaders through a whole continuum of learning in pre-degree, degree, and post-degree offerings. What we do matters because what she does matters.