Dr. Kevin L. Hester, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Dean of the School of Theology at Welch College, has been selected as a Presnell Fellow in the Executive Leadership Institute of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA), according to President Matt Pinson. The Executive Leadership Institute is an initiative of TICUA president Dr. Claude Presnell to provide specialized training for up-and-coming leaders in the private higher education sector in Tennessee.

“I am so glad Dr. Hester will be taking part in this institute,” President Pinson said. “As one of our senior leaders at Welch, he will benefit greatly from interaction with top leaders in higher education and will be able to use his training in his leadership at Welch College.”

Faculty for the Institute will include distinguished higher education leaders such as Dr. Nicholas Zeppos (chancellor of Vanderbilt University), Dr. John McCardell (president of Sewanee, The University of the South), and Emma Jones (Chief Brand Officer of CREDO Higher Education). The Institute will also provide opportunities for the fellows to interact with numerous local, state, and federal officials who will speak on educational policy. The Institute will gather at nine different independent college and university campuses across Tennessee, once a month, over the 2018-19 academic year. The last meeting and graduation from the Institute will be in May of 2019. Last year’s ELI graduation was held on the Welch campus in Gallatin.

A native of Russellville, Alabama, Hester is a 1993 graduate of Welch College’s pastoral ministry program. An M.Div. graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, he received his Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. He has served full-time at Welch since 2003, teaching as well as serving in a number of administrative roles.

Hester has represented Welch in the higher education community, serving as a team member on several accrediting teams for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). He serves as secretary of the Commission on Accreditation with ABHE and on the editorial board of the association’s Biblical Higher Education Journal. Hester has written numerous articles for popular and scholarly periodicals and is author of Eschatology and Pain in St. Gregory the Great and Free Will Baptists and the Priesthood of All Believers. He and his wife, Leslie, a registered nurse, live in Gallatin, Tennessee. They have four sons, Spencer, Seth, Justin, and Jackson. Spencer and Justin are students at Welch.

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