Wess is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College where he has worked since July 2015. His work there includes teaching the Quaker Studies classes in the Religious Studies Department, overseeing the Quaker Studies minor, directing the Friends Center, which is responsible for Multifaith work on campus, as well as developing a strong Quaker ethos on campus, and supports the work of developing young adult Quaker leaders in the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program.
Prior to his work at Guilford, Wess was the released minister at Camas Friends Church (May 2009-June 2015) where he enjoyed the work of pastoral care, preaching, and developing spiritual leadership within his Quaker meeting and the broader Quaker world.
Wess has a BA from Malone College in Bible and Theology, a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. His key advisors for his doctorate were Dr. Ryan Bolger, Dr. Wilbert Shenk, Dr. Nancey Murphy, and Dr. Pink Dandelion. Upon the completion of his Ph.D., he received that year’s “School of Intercultural Studies Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.”
Wess is a public Friend, an author, and a pastor-theologian. He enjoys leading workshops and retreats, speaking on issues related to convergent Friends, church renewal in contemporary context, Quaker practice and theology, and anti-poverty work. The two main ways he approaches faith and action is through the Quaker tradition and liberation theology. He is motivated by God’s heart and care for the disenfranchised in our society and is committed to the way of radical love and justice for all people.
Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA) Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies (December 2013) Dissertation Title: A Convergent Model of Hope: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture.
M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA) Master of Arts in Theology (June 2005)
B.A. in Bible and Theology from Malone University (Canton, OH) Bible and Theology (June 2002)
Camas Friends Church - Released Minister, May 2009 to June 2015
Barberton Evangelical Friends Church - Youth Pastor, 2000–2003
Guilford College – REL 105 Roots of the Quaker Social Testimonies, GST 110 Quakerism, REL 405 Faith and Practice, REL 340 “Contextual Thea/ologies,”Quaker Studies and Methodologies (Spring 2020). (2015-present)
George Fox Seminary - MLDR540 Culture and Systems Change. (Winters 2012, 2013, 2014)
Earlham School of Religion - Poverty, Empire and the Bible. (August 2014)
The Quaker World. Co-edited with Rhiannon Grant. Routledge Press. (Forthcoming)
Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation. Barclay Press. Newberg, Oregon. (2019)
with Editors-in-Chief Stephen W. Angell and Pink Dandelion. (2017-)
—— “The Rise of Quaker Sociology” in Quaker Studies: An Overview - The Current State of the Field with eds. Robyn Rogers Healey and Jon Kershner. Brill, Netherlands. (2018)
A Convergent Model of Renewal: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture. Pickwick Publication. Oregon. (2015)
Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices. Edited by Conti, Angelina; Curtis, Cara, Daniels, C. Wess; et. al Friends General Conference (2010)
Chapters and Pamphlets
Two Chapters in We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign edited by Liz Theoharis. (2021)
“Remixing Faith: For the Love of the Quaker Tradition” Pamphlet from Southeastern Yearly Meeting’s Michener Lecture. (2019)
“Convergent Friends: Renewal, Hybridity and Dialogue in 21st Century Quakerism” cp-authored with Greg Woodsin Cambridge Companion to Quakerism, eds. Ben Pink Dandelion and Stephen Angell. (2018)
“The Publishers of (un)Truth And Learning How to Remix.” In Befriending Truth: Quaker Perspectives, 196-205. Vol. 2. Edited by Jeffery Dudiak. Longmeadow, MA: Friends Association for Higher Education. (2015)
“The Dark Side of the Moon, Absence, and the Suicide of a Father” in Father Factor: American Christian Men on Fatherhood and Faith. Edited by Anderson Campell. White Cloud Press. (2014)
“Holding the Tension in Quaker Leadership.” In An Inner Strength: Quakers and Leadership. Editor Kathy Hyzy. Western Friend. (2013)
“The Boundaries of Convergent Friends” in Writing Cheerfully on the Web: A Quaker Blog Reader edited by Elizabeth A. Oppenheimer. (2009)
“Revolutionary Faithfulness: Quaker Pastoral Practice and Theology in an Age of Empire,” in Quaker Religious Thought. Volume 136. (March 2021)
“Convergent Friends: The Emergence of Postmodern Quakerism” in Quaker Studies Research Association Volume 14, Issue 2 (March 2010)
“Convergent Friends” entry in Historical Dictionary of the Friends (Quakers), By Margery Post- Abbot, Mary Ellen Chijioke, Ben Pink-Dandelion, John William Oliver Jr. (2012)
“Freedom Friends” entry in Historical Dictionary of the Friends (Quakers), By Margery Post-Abbot, Mary Ellen Chijioke, Ben Pink-Dandelion, John William Oliver Jr. (2012)
Review of Liberal Quaker Reconciliation Theology: a constructive approach (Leiden: Brill, 2020), pp. 102. ISSN 25424971 by Christy Randazzo in Quaker Studies Research Association Vol. 26, Issue 1 (2021).
Review of “Matrimony in the True Church: The Seventeenth-Century Quaker Marriage Approbation Discipline” by Kristianna Polder in Quaker Studies Research Association. Vol. 21, Issue 1 (2016).
“Response Concerning A Convergent Model of Renewal” inQuaker Religious Thought #126 (June 2016)
Book Review: Fit For Freedom Not For Friendship and Black Fire for Quaker Religious Thought (2011)
Book Review: Collected Essays of Maurice Creasey, 1912–2004: The Social Thought of a Quaker Thinker for Quaker Studies Research Association (2011)
Fellowships and Awards
2014School of Intercultural Studies Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence