Dr. Woods is currently serving as General Secretary for American Baptist Churches USA. Previous roles include serving as Interim General Secretary, Associate General Secretary for Regional Ministries, and Executive Minister for ABC of Ohio. He also served four pastorates within the ABC Region of Indiana-Kentucky including nine years as Senior Pastor of the FBC of Rushville.
Dr. Woods earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1987 majoring in both higher education administration and educational inquiry methodology. He also holds a M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.S. from Purdue University in Management and Statistics. Scholarships and fellowships allowed his entire education to be tuition free. His leadership development includes training from the Heifitz group on Adaptive Change, the Leadership Circle, and the Tavistock Institute in Leicester, UK. He is trained as a Master Facilitator and is a certified nonprofit consultant from Board Source, Inc.
Also an author, his formal publications include seven books and over forty articles and evaluation reports in various religious, academic, and business journals. Some of his books include, Designing Religious Studies, published in 2015 by Wipf and Stock, On the Move, published by Chalice Press in 2009, Better Than Success, Eight Principles of Faithful Leadership, published by Judson Press, and three additional books by the Alban Institute.
As a speaker, consultant, and resource person to congregations, regions, judicatories, and nonprofits, he has worked with groups in nearly every state and province in North America as well as internationally, teaching the first research class for Doctor of Ministry students at the Myanmar Institute of Theology. He has received numerous research and application grants and worked on a variety of boards, study groups, and think tanks, including his service on the Lilly Foundation sponsored Pulpit and Pew Project and the White House Community Corps.
He and his wife, Kandy, have been married for 41 years and reside in Newark, Ohio. They have two adult children, Brandon and Kelsey, and four grandchildren.