William J. Ireland, Jr.
At the age of 15, I responded to God’s call to preach and was ordained as a minister 40 years ago. To prepare myself vocationally, I attended Mississippi College where I earned a B.A. in Religion. From there, I went to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where I earned my M.Div and my Ph.D in New Testament Language and Literature.
Over the course of my vocational career, I have primarily served as the pastor of churches of various sizes–from the small, family country church to the large, multi-staffed corporate church. As a result, I have accumulated a wide range of experience in preaching and worship planning, staff management, building, stewardship, pastoral care, and conflict. I know the ins and outs of being a pastor firsthand and wish to use my experience to help others as they seek to fulfill their calling as congregational ministers.
My strength as a minister is as a communicator, both as a preacher and writer. I have written extensively for publication in the areas of preaching and biblical studies. In 2012, I wrote Daniel: Keeping Faith When the Heat Is On, a volume in Smyth & Helwys Annual Bible Study Series. In 2018, my latest work, Preaching the Word: Philippians and Philemon was published by Smyth & Helwys.
In addition to my formal education and practical experience, I have sought to add to my skill set by partaking of additional training. I completed “The Pastor as Spiritual Guide” course offered by The Center for Congregational Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As well, I have completed one unit of intentional interim training through the Center. In November 2018, I successfully completed the Georgetown University’s Transformational Leadership and Executive Coaching program, my first step toward obtaining certification as a professional coach.
My wife is Virginia Bridges Ireland. A graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, she has served as the campus minister at Samford University, the Director of Admissions and Student Services at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and as the director of a local non-profit agency in Dalton, Georgia. She is currently engaged as a Hospice Chaplain for Covenant Home Health and Hospice in Knoxville, Tennessee. She and I are the proud parents of a daughter, Mary Virginia.