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.”