Welch Marks Highest Fall Enrollment in 34 Years

For the Fall 2018 semester, Welch College enrolled the highest number of students in 34 years, according to Provost Matthew McAffee. Total enrollment statistics indicate 404 students from 22 states and five foreign countries.

“I am delighted to see this impressive increase in our enrollment numbers,” McAffee said. “We pray the Lord will continue His transformative work in the lives of these students He has entrusted to our care.”

“Particularly exciting is the increase in new students this year, both freshmen and transfer students,” McAffee said. This fall 93 new students enrolled in on-campus programs at Welch, a 21% increase from last year’s new freshman and transfer enrollment of 77. A total of 116 new students joined the student body for the new school year, including graduate, online, and adult studies enrollments. 1984 was the last year fall enrollment was higher, with a headcount of 417.

At press time the college reported 200 dormitory students, 53 commuter students, 27 graduate students, 18 Enriched Adult Studies students, 38 Online/Lifetime Learning students, and 68 dual enrollment students. The fall’s full-time equivalency (FTE) is 300 students, the highest in 12 years.

President Matt Pinson said, “We’re thankful to God for this blessing of another increase in dormitory and FTE enrollment. This is the most dorm students we’ve had in many years, and we’re grateful to the Lord for His providential blessing. In a time when most college and university dorm enrollment is flat or declining, it’s wonderful to see ours going up.”

President Pinson continued, “I commend Daniel Wester, Debbie Mouser, and the entire enrollment team for their diligent work in bringing in this excellent class of new students, our largest incoming class since 2006.”

To contact Welch College for more information, email recruit@welch.edu or visit the college’s website at www.welch.edu.

Welch College Flames to Play NCAA Division I Presbyterian College

GALLATIN, TN—Welch College men’s basketball team has agreed to play Presbyterian College next season according to Greg Fawbush, Athletic Director and head men’s basketball coach. This will be the first time in the history of the college that a Welch athletic team will play an NCAA Division I team. The game will be played on the campus of Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, at 7:00 p.m. on November 12.

Welch College is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association division II and primarily plays NAIA and NCAA III colleges for out-of-conference games. Presbyterian College is a member of the Big South Conference and plays some of the top teams in the nation. “Our student-athletes work hard, and this gives them an opportunity to showcase their God given talents,” Coach Fawbush said. “We hope this opportunity not only gives us the chance to display our testimonies through competition but also demonstrates the uniqueness of Welch College.”

Welch College Announces Strong and Courageous Event

Welch College President Matt Pinson announced today a new event to celebrate the Christian faith in our community: Strong and Courageous. The event, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. on the Welch College campus, will include entertainment, inspirational speakers, and the awarding of the Strong and Courageous award.

“The inspiration for the event comes from the charge given to Joshua in Joshua 1:9 for him to be strong and very courageous as he leads the children of Israel,” Pinson remarked. “Likewise today, Christians who continue to be strong and courageous in their faith positively affect their work, neighborhood, and community with Kingdom values.”

Headlining the entertainment for the evening will be Ricky and Sharon Skaggs. Also featured will be musical performances by the Welch College ensemble Rejoice! and other musical talent at Welch. These musical performances will provide a setting for inspirational challenges by individuals such as noted physician and scientist Dr. Ming Wang.

Pinson said, “Ricky and Sharon Skaggs are residents of Sumner County who have dedicated their lives not only to writing and producing outstanding music, but also to sharing with others the impact of Christ upon their lives. They are great examples of combining faith, work, and life. We are also privileged to hear from Dr. Ming Wang, a compelling speaker whose career has ably demonstrated the integration of faith, science, and community impact.”

Sponsorship opportunities as well as individual tickets remain available. To learn more, contact Derek Altom at 615.675.5262 or go to the event website at welch.edu/strongandcourageous/. Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships at Welch College.

Welch College offers over 40 different programs of study with degrees at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. The college partners with other higher education institutions to offer unique programs of study in traditional and online settings. Welch participates in both the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect scholarship financial aid programs. U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked Welch as one of the outstanding colleges in the South.

Dr. Matt Pinson (Welch) and Dr. Dub Oliver (Union) formalize Nursing Agreement on December 7, 2017

Welch College Formalizes Nursing Degree with Union University

GALLATIN, TN—On Thursday, December 7, Welch College president Dr. Matt Pinson and Union University president Dr. Dub Oliver signed an agreement creating a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree, according to Dr. Greg Ketteman, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives.

“In August, President Pinson announced a collaborative relationship with three universities to address the increasing demand for nurses,” Ketteman said. “Belmont University, Cumberland University, and Union University have each agreed to create a seamless path for Welch College students to be admitted to their Schools of Nursing.”

According to Ketteman, in the new arrangement with Union, Welch freshmen will pursue an associate’s (A.S.) degree with a Pre-Nursing/Biology major at Welch. Students will be able to take advantage of the Tennessee Promise as well as other federal and Welch-based financial aid. These students will begin volunteering in a healthcare setting, primarily within the HighPoint Health System.

Upon completing the Welch A.S. degree, graduates will be able to transfer into the B.S.N. program at Union, living on the Welch campus and taking nursing courses at Union’s nearby Hendersonville campus. When appropriate, nursing students will participate in clinical education settings in Gallatin and Sumner County. Welch students will be mentored and advised throughout the four-year academic process.

Ketteman said, “One of the great things about this program is that it allows students entrance into a well-known B.S.N. program at a time when admission to such programs is very competitive. It also enables students to complete their B.S.N. at a significantly lower price than at most institutions, since the first two years will be a Welch, which has a significantly lower tuition rate than most private colleges, and the last two years will be at Union, which also has competitively priced tuition.”

He continued, “Welch is making a considerable investment in faculty, equipment, and instructional materials to make sure participants in this new program are well prepared and qualified for the rigors of nursing majors. Corporate sponsors and grant applications have been made to offset the start-up cost of this new educational initiative.”

HighPoint Health System has already contributed $25,000 to the initiative. Susan Peach, CEO of Sumner Regional Hospital, recently presented a gift to Welch for its new nursing collaborative. “My hope is that this partnership between these schools will fill the need for more nurses in the midstate,” Peach stated.

Contact Dr. Ian Hawkins (ihawkins@welch.edu) at Welch College for more information about this program. Welch College is located on a beautiful new campus in Gallatin on Bison Trail. To learn more, visit welch.edu or call 615.675.5225.

Welch College Announces Grand Opening of Student Activities Center

The Grand Opening of the Welch College Student Activities Center is scheduled for Friday, November 10, according to President Matt Pinson.

Friends and members of the Welch College community are invited to celebrate with an evening of festivities. A brief grand opening ceremony will begin at 4:00 p.m. followed by a tailgate party and cookout at 5:00. The Flames basketball team will then play the first game in the brand new gymnasium as they face St. Louis Christian at 7:00.

The Student Activities Center houses the gymnasium, coffee shop, student recreation area, and fitness center. A tour will be given following the 4:00 ceremony.

“We invite all our friends to come celebrate this wonderful occasion of the completion of the Student Activities Center, which also marks the conclusion of phase one of the construction of the new Welch campus,” President Pinson said. “The students have been eagerly anticipating the opening of this new facility that will be at the center of student life. It’s going to be great to have our first Flames basketball game in the new facilities in conjunction with Welcome Days.”

To see photographs of the new campus and get information about giving toward the funding of this effort, visit Buildingonthelegacy.com.

Welch College Celebrates 75 Years with New Campus Dedication

GALLATIN, TN— Over 900 people gathered at Welch College recently to dedicate its new campus and celebrate 75 years of service to Christ’s kingdom, according to Welch President Matt Pinson. Guests at the September 29 celebration included alumni, donors, denominational leaders, local and state political figures, Free Will Baptist supporters, local community leaders, and academic representatives from various institutions of higher education.

“Our people were there to celebrate three quarters of a century of God’s goodness and faithfulness,” President Pinson said. “They came to celebrate the culmination of a vision for campus relocation that spread over two presidential administrations at Welch. And they came to celebrate a future that is exciting and promising.”

The celebration began with an academic convocation, which was immediately followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Leaders from the Free Will Baptist denomination, community and governmental leaders, and higher education representatives expressed words of gratitude and commendation, and hymns and songs resonated from the audience, college choir, and alumni choir.

Following a barbeque luncheon under a tent on the quadrangle, guests enjoyed campus tours, a musical concert, children’s activities, and alumni reunions. The day ended with an encore presentation of The Slipper and the Rose performed by the Welch College Drama Department and Choral Union.

The public phase of the Building on the Legacy campaign was formally announced at the celebration, with the unveiling of the Pave the Way brick campaign. The campaign provides the opportunity for bricks to be purchased and installed at a future time on the Gallatin campus. Bricks are $250 and can be purchased in memory of, in honor of, or in the donor’s name. More information can be found at buildingonthelegacy.com.

To see videos of the dedication ceremony and events, please visit welch.edu/dedication.

Gallatin, Welch College Home, Voted “Nicest Place in America 2017”

GALLATIN, TN— On October 10, Reader’s Digest named Gallatin, Tennessee, “Nicest Place in America 2017,” according to President Matt Pinson.

Reader’s Digest launched the “Nicest Place in America” contest in April 2017 in partnership with the private social network, Nextdoor. Hundreds of communities were nominated, with only ten locations chosen for voting. These ten cities received almost 80,000 votes, with more than 30,000 cast for Gallatin.

Reader’s Digest cites Gallatin’s faith communities and racial unity as the main reasons for Gallatin’s “Nicest Place” title. This was specifically showcased in the city’s reaction to a tragic police shooting, when nearly 100 community members gathered for a prayer vigil.

Founded in 1802, Gallatin has been transformed from a farm community to a booming suburban city. Despite its fast growth, Gallatin continues to maintain the traditional hospitality of a southern town. “Gallatin’s southern charm is one of its remarkable traits,” Pinson said. “Its commitment to the well-being of its citizens, its friendliness to the Christian community, and its support of nonprofit charity and service work make it a great fit for Welch College.”

“There’s no doubt that the Welch campus community both contributes to and benefits from Gallatin’s positive reputation. With over 10,000 hours of annual community service, local church involvement, and student job placement, Welch College will continue to serve Christ, His Church, and His world in Gallatin.”

To read more about the “Nicest Place in America,” pick up the November issue of Reader’s Digest or visit www.rd.com/nicest.

Welch College Announces Nursing Collaborative

GALLATIN, TN – Welch College President, Matt Pinson, has announced a collaborative relationship with three universities to address the increasing demand for nurses. Belmont University, Cumberland University, and Union University Hendersonville have each agreed to create a seamless path for Welch College students to be admitted to their respective Schools of Nursing.

According to Pinson, Welch freshman will pursue an associate’s degree with a Pre-Nursing/Biology major at Welch. Students will be able to take advantage of the Tennessee Promise as well as other federal and Welch based financial aid.  These students will begin volunteering in a healthcare setting, primarily within the HighPoint Healthcare System.

Upon completing the Welch College associate’s degree, graduates will choose from one of three nursing education paths at partner universities. Nursing students may then continue accessing Welch housing and other student support to promote the likelihood of academic success.  When appropriate, nursing students will participate in clinical education settings in Gallatin and Sumner County.  Welch students will be mentored and advised throughout the four-year academic process.

Charles Lea, Special Assistant to the President at Welch College, worked with each institution to put the collaborative agreement together. “Each cooperating university will work within the guidelines of the agreement to guarantee entrance into Nursing School,” Lea stated. “Union University Hendersonville, which has previously only offered adult degree opportunities in Nursing, will develop a traditional track for traditional undergraduates,” he added. Delays many students face seeking admission to Nursing School will be eliminated, according to Lea.

Welch is making a considerable investment in faculty, equipment, and instructional materials to make sure participants in this new program are well prepared and qualified for the rigors of nursing majors.  Corporate sponsors and grant applications have been made to offset the start-up cost of this new educational initiative.

HighPoint Health System has already contributed $25,000 to the initiative. Susan Peach, CEO of Sumner Regional Hospital, presented the gift to Welch for the program. “My hope is that this partnership between these schools will fill the need for more nurses in the midstate,” Peach stated.

Contact Dr. Charles Lea at Welch College for more information about this program. Welch College is located on a beautiful new campus in Gallatin on Bison Trail. Visit Welch.edu or call 615-675-5225.

Welch President Announces Academic Leadership Changes

At its last meeting, the Welch College Board of Trustees unanimously approved significant changes in the president’s leadership team, according to President Matt Pinson. “We’ve made some important changes to facilitate strategic growth for the college in its new Sumner County environment,” Pinson said. “These changes also posture the college for growth well into the future, as they involve gifted younger members of the faculty.” The transition will occur on June 1, the beginning of the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“There’s a pressing need to free up more of Dr. Greg Ketteman’s time to work on strategic growth initiatives now that we’re in our new environment as the only four-year residential college in Sumner County,” Pinson said. New initiatives planned on the new campus include the relaunching of an (evening) adult studies program; addition of more online degrees; initiation of master’s degrees in Christian leadership, teaching, and educational administration; and articulation of agreements with area colleges and universities creating new ways to earn baccalaureate degrees in nursing, ease of transfer to Welch, and outreach to Christian high schools and the homeschool community.

“With his outstanding leadership skills, the respect he has gained in the academic community, and his ability just to get things done, Dr. Greg Ketteman is uniquely qualified to lead the kind of strategic growth initiatives we need in our new setting here in Sumner County,” Pinson explained. “Making these changes will free up his time to work on such initiatives for the future growth of the college and enable a number of younger leaders to exercise their gifts at the college.”

These changes involve the following personnel:

Dr. P. Greg Ketteman will transition to the role of Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Dean of Graduate and Adult Studies, and Distinguished Professor of Education. Ketteman, who was born in South Carolina and reared in Nashville, Tennessee, has served as Provost at Welch College for the past eleven years. Before that he served on the Welch Board of Trustees for four years. Known widely in Free Will Baptist circles as an active lay church leader and music minister, Ketteman graduated from Welch in 1977 with a B.S. in Teacher Education. He went on to earn M.Ed. and Ed.D. degrees in educational leadership from Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee State University, respectively, and also underwent significant graduate studies in the field of public administration. Before coming to Welch, he enjoyed a distinguished three-decade career in Metro Nashville Public Schools, the first half of that time as a teacher and the second half as a principal. Ketteman and his wife of 40 years, Jill, who has served at Welch since 1998 and currently works in the Financial Aid Office, have two grown children, Jack and Emilee, and five grandchildren.

Dr. Matthew J. McAffee will become Welch’s Provost. A native of New Brunswick, Canada, McAffee was originally ordained in the Atlantic Canada Free Will Baptist Association. He served as a part-time faculty member from 2003-2006 and pastored Lewisburg Free Will Baptist Church, before going back to graduate school. He returned to Welch in 2010 to teach biblical studies and biblical languages and also served as campus pastor and program coordinator for Theological Studies. A graduate of Welch College (B.A.), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and the University of Chicago (M.A., Ph.D.), McAffee has written a number of scholarly and popular articles in journals such as the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, and the Journal of the American Oriental Society. He recently co-authored Sexuality, Gender, and the Church(Welch College Press) and is author of Life and Mortality in Ugaritic: A Lexical and Literary Study(Eisenbrauns, forthcoming) and co-author of Going Deeper with Old Testament Hebrew: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the Old Testament (B&H Academic, forthcoming). He will continue to teach Bible and biblical language courses while fulfilling his new administrative duties. McAffee lives on campus with his wife Anna, who serves as women’s resident director at Welch, and their four children, Abigail, Lydia, Samuel, and Marianne.

Dr. Kevin L. Hester has been named Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and will maintain his role as Dean of the School of Theology. A graduate of Welch, Dr. Hester holds an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University and has written a number of books and articles, including, Eschatology and Pain in the Theology of Gregory the Great. Dr. Hester has a strong reputation in the Christian higher education accreditation community, having served on numerous accreditation teams for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). He serves as a commissioner on the ABHE Commission on Accreditation and also serves on the editorial board of the ABHE Journal. In his new role he will teach, oversee both undergraduate and graduate divisions of the School of Theology, and serve as the planning and accreditation liaison for the college. He and his wife Leslie have four sons, Spencer, Seth, Justin, and Jackson. His oldest son Spencer is a student at Welch.

Matthew Steven Bracey will transition to the role of Vice Provost for Academic Administration. Bracey has served four years as Registrar at Welch. Originally from Ashland City, Tennessee, he graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University (Juris Doctor) and also holds a B.A. in history from Welch and a master’s degree in theology from Beeson Divinity School at Samford. A Ph.D. student in Ethics and Public Policy at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has written widely, serving as co-author and editor of Sexuality, Gender, and the Church (Welch College Press) and co-editor of The Promise of Arminian Theology (Randall House Academic). He is also a managing editor at the Helwys Society Forum (TheHSF.com). Bracey will continue teaching courses in law, history, and theology and serving as managing editor of Welch College Press. His wife Sarah, a licensed professional counselor, is currently completing her doctorate in counselor education and supervision and serves as adult studies liaison, staff counselor, and adjunct instructor in psychology at Welch.

“These are exciting times of transition for Welch College,” Pinson remarked. “These changes will make strategic growth possible but will also facilitate preparation of current faculty for future leadership at Welch. I ask our college family to join me in prayer for these leaders and for this process.”

Speakers Announced for First Commencement Exercises on New Welch College Campus

GALLATIN, TN—Two Welch College alumni will challenge 2017 graduates at the first Commencement event on the new Gallatin campus, according to President Matt Pinson.

Clint Morgan, Free Will Baptist International Missions director, will address graduates during 10:00 a.m. Commencement exercises Friday, May 19. Reverend Todd Parrish, pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church in Washington, North Carolina, will present the Baccalaureate sermon Thursday evening, May 18 at 7:00.

A 1972 Welch graduate, Morgan completed a master’s degree in Intercultural Studies at Columbia International University and a degree in French from the University of Nante, France. He and his wife Lynette served as missionaries in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, for twenty-nine years and in France for four years. Morgan has been the general director of Free Will Baptist International Missions since 2011. He and his wife have four adult children and eight grandchildren.

A 1989 graduate of Welch and current student in Welch’s M.A. program in theology and ministry, Parrish has ministered in Free Will Baptist churches for more than twenty years. A trained counselor with a master’s degree in the field, he is former director of the Free Will Baptist Home for Children in Turbeville, SC. He currently serves as Assistant Moderator of the North Carolina Association of Free Will Baptists. He and his wife Merinda have two daughters, Emily and Ellen, the latter of which is a member of the Welch Class of 2017.

“The most uplifting time of year at Welch College is Commencement, as students receive their degrees and launch out into the future,” said President Pinson. “What a privilege to watch these young leaders go out to change the world. While some move on from here to pursue graduate degrees or professional training, most find places of service and begin making a difference in local churches, schools, and the marketplace. We encourage friends and family members to join us as we celebrate the 2017 graduates.”

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