Wess has been a full-time Quaker minister, educator, researcher and public theologian, and has been working toward cultivating renewal among all branches of the Religious Society of Friends. For five and a half years, until mid-2015, he served as “released minister” at Camas (Wash.) Friends church, a programmed meeting in the Northwest Yearly Meeting.
As a doctoral student at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, his area of research was renewal of the Quaker tradition within contemporary context. He created a model of renewal for use by Quakers and all faith traditions and, in July 2014, earned his Ph.D. from Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies. Upon graduation he received the School’s Dean’s Award for academic excellence. His dissertation focused on contextual theology, participatory culture and the renewal of the Quaker tradition within Western culture.
Wess has diverse teaching experience, including graduate-level classes for three years at George Fox Evangelical Seminary (Oregon) and Earlham School of Religion. He is the author of five books, including A Convergent Model of Renewal: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture, which was published in 2015.