Melanie Dobson

  • Th.D., Th.M., M.Div., Theology, Duke University Divinity School
  • B.A., English/Political Science, Furman University

The Rev. Dr. Melanie Dobson is an associate professor and the Lefler and Wohltmann Chair in Methodist Studies at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) of Lenoir-Rhyne University. She directs the two-year Spiritual Direction Certification program at the seminary, which is a non-degree program open to anyone interested in deepening their spiritual life and learning the practice of spiritual direction. Dobson also directs the Methodist Studies program, and supports connections between students, the SC Annual Conference, and the seminary. She teaches courses in Methodism, Christian Ethics, Spiritual Practices, Leadership and Mission and theology.

Dobson’s scholarly interests include intersections of theology, health and healing, spiritual direction/practices and racial justice. She has taught a Pilgrimage course, which involved an experience in Charleston at the International African American Museum. She also led students to the World Council of Churches Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, and took United Methodist students to experience the General Conference in Charlotte, NC.

Dobson became an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church in 2005 and is a member of the Western NC Annual Conference. She has served as a pastor in rural, suburban and urban contexts and in churches of all sizes from small to medium to mega. She trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and is a certified spiritual director. Dobson also is a registered yoga teacher and incorporates yoga into her ministry and community service.

Dobson’s publication includes: A chapter called “To Heal What Ails Us: Belonging Through Group Spiritual Direction” in the book “Soul Food: Nourishing Essays on Contemplative Living and Leadership” (September 2023). She published a chapter, “A Labor of Love: How We Can Belong to Each Other Again,” in the book “What’s Next: Twenty-Two United Methodist Leaders Discuss the Future of the Church” (May 2022). She has also published a book, “Health as a Virtue: Thomas Aquinas and the Practice of Habits of Health” and has had articles published in the Wesley Theological Journal, the Journal of Religion and Health and Presence: an International Journal of Spiritual Direction, among other publications.