0 Dr. Wayne Schmidt, commencement speaker for Houghton University.

Dr. Wayne Schmidt to be 2024 Commencement Speaker

December 1, 2023

Houghton University is pleased to announce that Dr. Wayne Schmidt has been selected as the commencement speaker for the class of 2024.

“Houghton University is honored to have Dr. Schmidt as the commencement speaker for the Class of 2024,” said Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., President of Houghton University.

His extensive education, background and experience in pastoral ministry and higher education leadership identified him as the best choice to inspire and challenge the class of 2024 as they continue their pursuit of excellence for God’s glory as Houghton graduates. In addition, his continued prayerful support of Houghton and Houghton students, and his current role as General Superintendent of our founding and sponsoring denomination, make him an ideal selection. I am honored that he accepted our invitation.

Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., President of Houghton University


Houghton graduates and their families will benefit from Schmidt’s extensive experience of faithful service to spread the Gospel. Elected as the General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church in 2016 and re-elected in 2022, Schmidt has led a variety of influential ministries. Prior to his current position, Schmidt served as the chief administrative officer of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. He previously served as the co-founding pastor and later the senior pastor of Kentwood Community Church (KCC) in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Under his guidance, KCC flourished into a multiethnic and multiplying church, with 10 daughter churches being planted during his tenure. Schmidt currently serves on Houghton’s board of trustees.

A graduate of Marion College (now Indiana Wesleyan University), Schmidt holds a master’s degree from Calvin Seminary. Additionally, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Dr. Schmidt has also authored several books, including “Accountability: Becoming People of Integrity” and “Surrender.”

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Schmidt is a devoted family man. He and his wife, Jan, recently celebrated their 45th anniversary in August. They are blessed with three children and their spouses, as well as eight grandchildren.