Titus Presler has been appointed Executive Director of the Global Episcopal Mission Network, announced GEMN President Ayda Patricia Martin at the organization’s annual meeting on May 13.
Martin, who represents the Diocese of the Dominican Republic to GEMN, said that GEMN had been preparing to launch a leadership search. With Presler nearing the end of his two-term limit on the GEMN board, the board asked him to consider becoming the part-time executive director, and he agreed.
“I am very grateful that Titus agreed to continue offering his invaluable service, now as Executive Director of GEMN,” Martin commented. “His expertise and vast experience are essential in achieving the purposes and goals of the global mission of the Episcopal Church. Personally, it is an honor and a blessing to work directly with Titus: leader, teacher, pastor, and friend.”
Titus is an Episcopal missiologist with extended mission experience in Africa and Asia. He grew up in India as the child of theological educators. He and his wife Jane served as Episcopal missionaries in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe during the decade after that country’s Liberation War. More recently he served four years as principal of Edwardes College, a church institution, in Peshawar, Pakistan. He was president of GEMN from 2018 to 2022, represents the Diocese of Vermont to GEMN, and is a board member of Bridges to Pakistan, a GEMN member organization based in Texas.
“I look forward to linking mission groups with one another, nourishing mission companionship, and catalyzing greater global engagement the around the church,” Titus said. His immediate predecessors in staffing GEMN are Molly O’Brien, who served as interim coordinator in 2021, and Karen Hotte, who was executive director from 2014 through 2020.
Titus served 11 years as rector of St. Peter’s Church in Cambridge, Mass., which became a mission-activist parish, and he co-chaired the Wider Mission Commission of the Diocese of Massachusetts. He co-chaired the Volunteers in Mission Committee, which supported 76 persons in mission abroad from 1991 to 2002. He was a researcher for the Global Anglicanism Project, in which he focused on the Church of North India, and was a consultant for the Anglican Indaba Project, coordinating the theological consultations held in Delhi, Barbados and Virginia.
Titus holds a B.A. from Harvard, M.Div. from General Seminary, and Th.D. in missiology from Boston University. He is a former president of the Seminary of the Southwest and academic dean of General Seminary. He taught at Episcopal Divinity School, Gaul Theological College in Harare, Harvard Divinity School and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and has been a visiting researcher at Boston University School of Theology. A member of the American Society of Missiology and the International Association for Mission Studies, he specializes in mission theology and gospel-culture interactions.
Vicar of St. Matthew’s Church, Enosburg Falls, Vermont, Titus convenes Green Mountain Witness, the Diocese of Vermont’s evangelism initiative, and chairs the diocese’s Commission on Ministry.
In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, Titus is the author of Transfigured Night: Mission and Culture in Zimbabwe’s Vigil Movement; Horizons of Mission in the New Church’s Teaching Series; and Going Global with God: Reconciling Mission in a World of Difference; and is co-author of the 2020 GEMN study book, Questing: The Way of Love in Global Mission. A recent article, “The Poverty Captivity of Mission in the Churches – and Strategies to Liberate It,” appeared in the January 2022 issue of the International Bulletin of Mission Research.
Titus is an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow, holds honorary degrees from General and from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, and is an honorary canon theologian of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. In 2014 he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Boston University School of Theology.
Titus blogs at TitusOnMission.wordpress.com. He and his wife Canon Jane Butterfield have four children and eight grandchildren.