Christian Higher Education Since 1892

Ministry Major

0

Meet the Faculty

Christina Smerick

Dr. Christina Smerick

Chair, Philosophy and Religion Department; Shapiro Chair of Jewish-Christian Studies; Associate Professor of Philosophy
christina.smerick@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

My favorite thing about working at Greenville College is the camaraderie that exists between faculty, staff, and students. The community is close-knit-I worship with those I teach; my children go to school with my colleagues' children. There's a strong sense that we're all in this together, and we work hard to maintain a feeling of consensus and love, even when we disagree.

What attracted you to the Philosophy Department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

What attracted me to philosophy was simply that I could not master it-it sounds stuck-up, I know! Philosophy kept me up at night with questions that wouldn't stop coming; philosophy keeps me humble by constantly reminding me how little I know or can know. It encourages me to think critically and historically about situations, rather than just taking them at face value. Whether it's a social problem like poverty, or a political issue, or my daughter's behavior, my discipline points me in the direction of asking questions rather than assuming I have all the answers.

Show
Kent Dunnington

Dr. Kent Dunnington

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion
kent.dunnington@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

My favorite thing about teaching at Greenville is the student-professor relationships that are common here.  A lot of places advertise such things, but there is something about Greenville College that breeds strong, informal connections between students and their professors.  I love being at a place where students just expect that my office is open to them---and it is!

What attracted you to the Philosophy department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

I was attracted to philosophy in the first place because I found that all of my questions ended up being philosophical questions.  I couldn't have known this at the time, but when I was in college and took my first philosophy class I discovered that other people had thought long and hard about what seemed to me to be the most important questions anyone could ask.

Show

Lori Gaffner

Director of Spiritual Formation; Assistant Professor of Religion; Dean of the Chapel
lori.gaffner@greenville.edu
Brian Hartley

Dr. Brian Hartley

Dean of the School of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Professor of Religion
brian.hartley@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

My favorite thing about working at GC is the chance it gives me to be a part of a working Christian academic community. While we oftentimes joke about the word, "community," it really does represent who we are and what we aim to be. Within the scope of this community, we seek to bring along students into the rigors of asking the most important and lifelong questions and we have the audacity to believe that this is crucial to the task of reconciling the entire creation back to God through Christ.

What attracted you to the Religion Department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

I function not only as a professor but as an ordained minister-and I find these two roles to be compatible though they require me to make adjustments in each. I was attracted to teaching partly because of my own experience as both an undergraduate and graduate student, but more so because it allows me to continue to research and think through what I consider to be the most important questions one may ask-questions about God, the world, and the very meaning of life. As an historical theologian, I oftentimes remark that most of my best friends are dead (that is, I have textual companions that stretch back thousands of years). And, I make it my goal to introduce my students to many of these friends as lifelong traveling companions on the Christian journey of faith. I also attempt to model in my own life and ministry a sense of balance and order that embraces the everyday, ordinary, and mundane as essential elements of God's good creation.

Show
Ruth Huston

Ruth Huston

Adjunct in Philosophy and Religion
ruth.huston@greenville.edu

Dr. Nathan Kerr

Adjunct Instructor of Religion and Philosophy
nathan.r.kerr@gmail.com
Rick McPeak

Dr. Rick McPeak

Associate Professor of Philosophy & Religion
rick.mcpeak@greenville.edu
Ben Wayman

Dr. Ben Wayman

Assistant Professor of Religion
ben.wayman@greenville.edu
Mathias Zahniser

Dr. Mathias Zahniser

Scholar in Residence
matt.zahniser@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

The friendship I have formed here among the faculty, staff, administration and students.

What attracted you to the Religion Department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

I was attracted to the study of religion by my mentor and professor at Greenville College, Dr. James A. Reinhard. He led me to believe I had what it took to be a theologian. I started my career as a missionary and finished it as a professor of world religions, particularly Islam. Professor Reinhard reinforced my interest in Islam as well.

 

 

 

Show

Career Opportunities

  • Pastor
  • Pastoral Counselor
  • International Pastor
  • International Missionary
  • Non-Profit Organization Leader
  • Para-church Minister
  • Worship Leader