Dr. Yamil Acevedo has been named Wesley Seminary’s new interim executive vice president. Previously serving the seminary as the director of Theological Programs in Spanish, he moved into this new role on July 1, 2023. As a part of his interim position, Dr. Acevedo will serve as a member of Indiana Wesleyan University’s executive cabinet.
Earning a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies at Trinity International University, Dr. Acevedo is a scholar with over 15 years of pastoral experience, including five years as a lead pastor. Additionally, he has had over 13 years in the financial industry as a risk manager. Dr. Acevedo has been described as a gifted administrator who is passionate about contributing to God’s mission in the academy, church and communities worldwide.
Some of his other leadership roles have encompassed intercultural advisor and Latino ministry director at Groundswell Movement as well as a conflict coach and mediator at Alliance Peacemaking Ministries. Currently, Dr. Acevedo is serving on the local Board of Administration for Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
From Puerto Rico, Dr. Acevedo has been married to Yaremi Alicea for 23 years. Together they have two children: Daniel, age 15 and Rebecca, age 14. They moved to Indiana in 2015. He has been a part of the Wesley Seminary family for over four years.
Wesley Seminary, founded by a collaboration of The Wesleyan Church and Indiana Wesleyan University, has had over 1,300 graduates since its inception in 2009. At this time, there are over 600 students enrolled at Wesley Seminary in its graduate and undergraduate programs combined. With a goal of both maintaining high academic standards as well as being practical and accessible, Wesley Seminary has experienced great success in over a decade of training students for ministry.
As its leader, Dr. Acevedo expressed a goal of solidifying Wesley Seminary’s identity and distinctives among the Wesleyan family and beyond. He has shared how God used previous circumstances to develop his skills and life experiences that prepared him for serving in this current capacity.
Indiana Wesleyan University President Dr. Jon Kulaga made this statement regarding Dr. Acevedo’s recent appointment, “I am excited to announce that Dr. Yamil Acevedo has agreed to lead Wesley Seminary as the interim executive vice president as we continue to search for a new leader of the seminary. I want to thank Yamil for agreeing to this new challenge of serving all Wesley Seminary students, faculty and staff. I look forward to working with him as we continue to grow enrollment while preparing graduates to positively impact and influence The Wesleyan Church and the world.”
Historically, leadership of the seminary has proven to be instrumental in its growth and development over the years. Dr. Wayne Schmidt served as vice president of Indiana Wesleyan University providing leadership to Wesley Seminary until 2016, at which time Dr. Jo Anne Lyon served for a year as interim. In 2017, Dr. Colleen Derr was appointed as president of Wesley Seminary, serving until July when Dr. Acevedo took on the interim role. As of June 2023, Dr. Derr transitioned out of the seminary and into the role of president at Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, Massachusetts.
Dr. Acevedo joins a lineage of kingdom-focused leaders at the seminary’s helm who are on mission to develop students for worldwide impact. The seminary’s influence continues to expand and includes classes in Spanish. There are six degrees currently offered through Wesley Seminary including doctor of ministry, master of divinity, master of Theological Studies, master of arts, bachelor in Biblical Studies, associate in Christian Ministries as well as a certificate in Christian Ministry Formation.
A recent statement put out by Indiana Wesleyan University confirmed their “unwavering process” and commitment to continue to seek out and hire a new president for Wesley Seminary. However, in the meantime, Dr. Acevedo has graciously stepped into the role to fill in the gap and assist in the transition while also providing insights from his own leadership and background.
Spending time with family is important for Dr. Acevedo. He also enjoys running and hiking, spending time in nature, reading broadly and traveling … with an emphasis on meeting new people and learning about cultures. He shared that coffee is a favorite beverage and whenever he gets to enjoy international cuisines, he is grateful.
Dr. Acevedo stated, “I am honored, humbled and excited to take on the interim executive vice president role at Wesley Seminary. I can see how God has prepared me to lead the amazing group of administrators, faculty and staff. I want to thank Dr. Kulaga for placing his trust in me ‘for such a time as this’.”
Rev. Sarah Cochran is a Wesleyan pastor serving in Interchurch Service for Destiny Rescue, an agency rescuing kids from sex trafficking worldwide, and a graduate of Wesley Seminary, Marion, Indiana.