Recruiting & Equipping Faculty

“The sense of community overflows into the faculty at Asbury University. When I was a student here, a professor made a major change in my life by having coffee with me a few times. That doesn’t happen on a lot of campuses... It made an unbelievable difference on the rest of my life. That’s community.”

— Mr. Larry Green ’71
Ignited Campaign Steering Committee

Key Outcomes

  • Attract & Retain the Best Faculty
  • Foster Intellectual and Spiritual Enthusiasm
  • Increase Enrollment
$1,000,000 Goal

“It’s a calling, not a career” is how faculty characterize the decision to devote their professional lives to teach at Asbury. A small student-to-professor ratio allows them to personally invest in their students not only as teachers, but also as mentors, friends and counselors. Time and again, alumni report that the relationship with their faculty was the most impactful aspect of their time at Asbury.

While this dedication makes our faculty among the best in the nation, continuing to attract and retain the best teacher-scholars whose passion is to impact the world for Christ is an ongoing challenge we must confront. Changing this dynamic requires competitive compensation packages and increased support of faculty research and development.

Investing in named, endowed positions – the highest honor a university can bestow on a professor – will help to retain veteran talent and recruit world-class faculty. Gifts made to fund professional development opportunities allow faculty to deepen their knowledge in their subject area, present research findings and pursue innovative scholarship – ultimately for the benefit of our students. With a vision to expand our faculty members ability to be entrepreneurs in education, you can invest in creative thinking and revenue-generating endeavors that will expand our missional influence and breadth of our world reach.

Classes are taught by experienced scholars, 85 percent of whom hold terminal degrees in their field of study.

Dr. Bruce Branan has taught at Asbury University since 2000. He earned his B.A. in Chemistry from UNC-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry with Professor Leo Paquette at The Ohio State University in 1994. He and his wife, Laura, live in Wilmore, where they enjoy raising (and homeschooling) their eight daughters and two sons.

Dr. Michele Wells Professor of Social Work, completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Indiana State University, her MSW from the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned her Ph.D. from Regent University (Va.) in Organizational Leadership. Wells is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and was Department Coordinator for Social Work at Taylor University, Fort Wayne.

Dr. David Swartz began teaching history at Asbury in 2010 following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Notre Dame. His first two books have earned positive reviews from the “New York Times,” “Journal of American History,” “Christian Century” and others. Areas of expertise include American religious history, 20th-century American politics, global religion, and issues of war and peace.

Dr. Doug Walker is Professor of Media Communication at Asbury University. In recent years he has done audio and video interviews about Alaska’s history, challenges of immigrant adaptation and drug addiction. He has worked for radio stations in Alaska and Haiti, and on the broadcast crew for six Olympics. He holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communications.

Dr. Erin Penner joined the English Department in 2013 after a research fellowship at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford and doctoral work at Cornell University. Her primary training is in British and American modernism, though other areas of interest include African-American literature, literature of mourning and the Victorian novel. She is currently finishing a book manuscript titled “Woolf, Faulkner, and the Character of Mourning.”

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