Patrick Henry College
The new faculty members are: Dr. Stephen M. King, Chairman of the Department of Government and Associate Professor of Government; Dr. Stephen McRoberts, Assistant Professor of Classics; Dr. Darrell Cox, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies; Dr. Michael Kucks, Assistant Professor of Physics, Dr. Mark Roeder, Assistant Professor of Government, J. Travis Moger (M.Div; ABD Ph.D. candidate from University of California, Santa Barbara), Instructor of History; Dr. Laura McCollum, Dean of Institutional Assessment, who will also teach Pedagogy in the Department of Classical Liberal Arts; and Dr. Stephen McCollum, Associate Professor of Music.
“We have made the matter of searching for new faculty the subject of intense prayer,” noted President Graham Walker. “I am delighted at the caliber of people the Lord has brought to us. Each of these individuals has superb academic credentials, is deeply committed to Jesus and His kingdom, and to the primacy of the Word of God in all of their teaching. It has been a privilege being involved in the selection process, meeting and hiring many of them.”
Dr. Walker expressed thanks to Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Dean of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Marian Sanders, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, for their role in identifying, screening, and hiring each of the candidates.
Faced with the sudden departures of five faculty members in March, as well as normal attrition at other positions, the College’s Office of Academic Affairs set about the, seemingly, daunting task of filling vacancies by immediately identifying and interviewing qualified candidates. Under the initial guidance of Dr. Sanders, the department tapped an existing pool of “short list” prospects while simultaneously launching a nationwide search for new talent. What resulted, says Dr. Sanders, was a steady, encouraging stream of inquiries from high caliber Christian academics.
“I always felt comfortable that we would be able to fill these positions with quality faculty,” Dr. Sanders allowed. “I’ve been here since the beginning, and have watched God meet our needs time and time again. We can tend to get upset and nervous about things, but God is always there. I felt the same way about the faculty hires, that we would start the new school year with a full complement of, not just good, but exceptional faculty members.”
Arriving on campus midstream in the search process from his 25 years in academia as a professor and administrator in both Christian and secular colleges, incoming Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Gene Edward Veith set about applying a career’s worth of research, writing and advocating on behalf of Christian higher education to the pressing task of portfolio assessment. For each finalist, it meant weighing the critical, occasionally dueling imperatives of faith and scholarship. In his years researching the value of classical learning, Dr. Veith knew well the priceless, yet often elusive ideal of balancing faith and reason in the classroom.
“What we look for in each candidate is a strong Christian commitment that can be carried into their scholarship,” he explained. “Some candidates have a strong Christian commitment, but without the Ivy League academic standards we require; others might be excellent scholars but don’t fully have the faith component in place.
“We look for someone with both, as well as a compelling, refined teaching style,” he added. “I feel extremely blessed to have found such candidates in every case—individuals who know how to connect with students and can impart principles of faith and knowledge in a way that galvanize students in their own learning.”
With the flurry of media attention surrounding the departing faculty, Dr. Veith said it didn’t surprise him to learn that, almost without exception, each candidate had closely followed the story.
“Those we interviewed were certainly aware, and had read the stories, but yet still very much wanted to be a part of this College and what we are attempting to do here. We’ve put together a great group of accomplished scholars as well as really exceptional young talent. I’m talking about very personable people who will get along well with the rest of the faculty, and who I’m confident will be warmly and enthusiastically received by our students.”
And as with so many students, faculty, and staff who find themselves undeniably drawn to PHC, Dr. Veith observed a similar thread among the eight finalists.
“These are very solid Christian scholars who have been familiar with the College and the kinds of students we have. Each spoke of their field of study as a vocation and about the opportunity at PHC as a ‘calling,’ as if they sensed God bringing them into His service here.”
Alluding to some of the causes underlying this season of transition, Dr. Veith—author of such books as Classical Education; Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture; and Loving God With All Of Your Mind—echoed President Graham Walker and Chancellor Michael Farris, vowing due vigilance in preserving biblical integrity and reverence toward the supremacy of God’s Word, even as the College pursues academic excellence and rigorous classical learning of the highest order.
“I’m looking forward to working with the new faculty,” Dr. Veith concluded, “to help get them and the returning faculty on the same page as far as integrating faith with learning. I want to make it a continuing topic of discussion, in hopes of forming the kind of dynamic academic community and fellowship many of us have long envisioned. I believe Patrick Henry College can be a bastion against the dysfunction so common in Christian higher education.”
1. Dr. Stephen McRoberts has been hired as an Assistant Professor of Classics, and comes to Patrick Henry College from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, where he was a lecturer of Classics. Dr. McRoberts holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; he also holds an M.A. in Theological Studies from Emory Candler School of Theology and a B.A. in History and Greek from Wheaton College. Dr. McRoberts has extensive college level teaching experience in Roman History, Greek and Latin.
2. Dr. Steven McCollum, hired as Associate Professor of Music, joins PHC from University of Oklahoma Wesleyan, where he was Chairman of the Music Department and Director of Choral Activities; he holds a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington. Professor McCollum also holds a M.M. (Master of Music) in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA (1999), and a B.M. (Bachelors of Music) from Biola University, La Mirada, CA (1991).
3. Dr. Darrel Cox will join PHC as Associate Professor of Biblical Studies. Dr. Cox has a Ph.D. in Theological Studies (Biblical and Systematic Theology) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an M.A. in Public Policy (International Affairs) from Regent University. His previous position was at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, GA., where he was an Associate Professor of Bible and Theology. While at Emmanuel College, Dr. Cox also served as Director of the Non-Traditional Program, writing curriculum and change prospectuses for new academic programs with SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).
4. Dr. Michael Kucks, hired as Assistant Professor of Physics, holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Physics from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. He comes to Patrick Henry College from the private sector, from Hillyard Inc. in Lancaster, PA, where he served as a mobile service technician. In 2001 Dr. Kucks was a visiting professor at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, PA., and has worked as a manufacturing technician, trainer, and research and development engineer for various technology-related companies and military contractors.
5. Dr. Stephen M. King has been hired as the Chairman of the Department of Government and Associate Professor of Government, and comes to Patrick Henry College from Campbell University, where he served as an Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy in the Department of Government, History, and Justice. Dr. King holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a B.S. from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. In addition to his administrative duties at PHC, he will teach Presidency, Empirical Research Methods, and State and Local Government. Dr. King had served as an Associate Professor of Public Administration and Director of the M.P.A. Program at Regent University’s Robertson School of Government from 1998-2002; and as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Government at Oral Roberts University from 1991-1998. He is the author of God and Caesar: The Biblical Key to Good Government and Community (Action 2002), and is widely published in academic journals. Dr. King is the primary author of an undergraduate textbook in public administration titled Administration in the Public Interest (Wadsworth Publishing) and is slated for publication in 2007. In addition, his other research interests include ethics and public administration and spirituality and the workplace.
6. Dr. Mark Roeder, hired as Assistant Professor of Government, holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati, where he has taught a variety of Government and Political Science courses. At Patrick Henry College he will teach Comparative Politics and Foreign Policy. Dr. Roeder also holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the University of Dayton, and a B.A. in Political Science and Communication Arts from Cedarville University. His college teaching experience covers a range of Political Science disciplines, from courses in Polls and American Politics to Public Policy, U.S. Supreme Court, and Religion and Politics.
7. Dr. Laura McCollum, hired as Dean of Institutional Assessment, holds an Ed.D. from Seattle Pacific University, and specializes in curriculum and instruction. She will report to the President, and will be interacting with staff to refine the College’s assessment practices in all areas of college operations. Dr. McCollum will work in partnership with Academic Dean Gene Edward Veith and President Graham Walker to manage accreditation efforts with TRACS and then with SACS. She worked alongside Dr. Walker at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, where she served as Director of Assessment. Dr. McCollum has also served as a professor and administrator for a secular university in California and taught at Simpson University. Concurrent with her administrative role she will be a member of the PHC faculty and, after PHC’s TRACS accreditation is secured, she will teach Pedagogy in the Department of Classical Liberal Arts.
8. J. Travis Moger has joined the faculty of Patrick Henry College as Instructor of History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is completing his doctorate and has served as an adjunct professor of history at Rollins College. He recently returned from Frankfurt, Germany, where he conducted research for the 2005-06 academic year as part of a J. William Fulbright Grant. He holds an M.Div (Masters of Divinity Degree, with languages), from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (1993), and is a candidate for the Ph.D. in History at the University of CA, Santa Barbara (ABD). The Fulbright grant allowed him to conduct archival research needed to produce what he hopes will be an important book on Reformation Germany. Professor Moger has also been a U.S. Naval Reserve Chaplain since 1994, and was with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment Marines as they fought their way to Baghdad in 2003. He is an ordained Baptist minister, having graduated summa cum laude from Dallas Baptist University.