President Miller has announced that Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones, a 1980 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College, will serve as VWC’s 2017 Baccalaureate speaker. Baccalaureate is a religious service held at most private, church-related educational institutions prior to commencement. This year’s Baccalaureate service is scheduled for Friday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at Haygood United Methodist Church. Rev. Jones is currently senior fellow of the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor University. She holds a B.A. from Virginia Wesleyan College and a M.Div. from Duke University. An ordained Methodist minister, she is a frequent retreat leader for lay and clergy groups. At Duke she had oversight of the contextual education programs, including Mentoring for Ministry and Student Life, field education, the Hispanic House of Studies, and the Thriving Rural Communities Program. Her teaching responsibilities have included courses on leadership, forgiveness and reconciliation, and the pastor's vocation, team-taught with her husband, L. Gregory Jones, now Baylor’s executive vice president and provost. She and Greg have co-authored several Bible studies and other curricular components for The United Methodist Publishing House. She has also written articles and reflections for a variety of publications, including Faith & Leadership, Christian Century, and The Upper Room.