The Reverend Dr. Donald J. Dawson retired in November 2016 after sixteen years as the Director of the World Mission Initiative (WMI) at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the New Wilmington Mission Conference (NWMC).
For the past 16 years Don led an exciting mission partnership. The New Wilmington Mission Conference has 110 years of history in mission advocacy for all ages. The Presbyterian-related conference held the last week of July at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania is likely the oldest annual mission conference in the United States. The World Mission Initiative came into being at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1996 to mobilize the church for global mission. WMI is a fellowship of Presbyterians dedicated to developing mission vision, nurturing missionary vocations, and cultivating missional congregations. Hundreds of seminary students have been immersed in cross-cultural mission experiences as they prepare for ministry. Don has focused on an unreached people group in South East Asia.
Don was pastor of the Hampton Presbyterian Church in Gibsonia, PA from 1982 until 2000. Previously, he served six years as pastor of the Buffalo United Presbyterian Church in Sarver, PA. Don graduated from Westminster College (PA) in 1972 with a BS in Mathematics and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia in 1976 with a D. Min. In addition to his pastoral experience, Don has been an active presbyter, serving as Moderator of Pittsburgh Presbytery in 1998, chair of the New Church Development Commission, and numerous other leadership positions.