Freed-Hardeman University has named Dr. Justin Rogers dean of the College of Biblical Studies, effective June 1, 2023. Currently the director of the Graduate School of Theology, Rogers will succeed Dr. Mark Blackwelder as dean.
Rogers joined the FHU Bible faculty in 2010 as an instructor in Bible and became the director of the Graduate School of Theology in 2018. As an associate professor in biblical studies, he has taught more than 25 undergraduate and graduate courses on the Bible, ancient Judaism and early Christianity. He has contributed more than 250 pieces of published work at the church and academic levels.
“Dr. Rogers’ academic credentials, scholarly reputation and educational experience demonstrate that he has prepared himself well to be the next dean of FHU’s College of Biblical Studies. This position is unique on our campus because every full-time student takes Bible courses, thus giving Dr. Rogers the opportunity to impact most of the student body. From instructing a doctoral level class to a children’s class at camp, he has proven to be an effective educator. His faith is strong, and his passion for the Lord’s church is contagious,” FHU President David R. Shannon said. “We deeply appreciate Dr. Mark Blackwelder’s effective leadership over the past five years and are confident Dr. Rogers will carry the torch well as he steps into this leadership position.”
In addition to his work at FHU, Rogers preaches regularly at the Broad Street church of Christ in Lexington, Tennessee. He has served with more than 15 governing boards, committees, councils or groups including Lads2Leaders Board of Governors, Western Kentucky Youth Camp Advisory Board, The Studia Philonica Annual Advisory Board and the Gifts and Awards Committee for the North American Patristics Society.
Rogers, a 2000 graduate of Chester County High School, holds a B.A. and an M.A. from FHU and a Master of Philosophy and a Ph.D. from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion.
“It is an honor to serve as the next dean of the College of Biblical Studies. Building on Freed-Hardeman’s legacy of academic quality, selfless service and spiritual soundness, our faculty serve as both instructors and examples,” Rogers said. “My predecessors have laid a foundation of faith, scholarship and service on which we seek to build. Our undergraduate and graduate programs deliver high-impact opportunities to shape students for a lifetime of Christian faith. It is a distinct privilege to lead our beloved FHU to new avenues of excellence for His glory.”
“I’m excited for the future of the College of Biblical Studies under the leadership of Dr. Rogers. He is a recognized scholar and is a sought-after speaker for gospel meetings and conferences associated with the churches of Christ. I appreciate the balance that he’s achieved as a scholar and practitioner, and I know that this balance will further advance the College’s efforts to equip students to become servant leaders in the church.” Dr. C.J. Vires, provost and vice president for academics, said.
Blackwelder, who has served as dean of the FHU College of Biblical Studies since 2018, joined the faculty in 1997. Following his tenure as dean, Blackwelder plans to return to the classroom, primarily teaching courses associated with missions and intercultural understanding.
“It is impossible for me to adequately express my appreciation for Dr. Blackwelder. During his tenure as dean, a new D.Min. program was started, ATS accreditation was reaffirmed and endowed funds to support faculty development and student scholarships grew,” Vires said. “He has become a trusted colleague and friend, and his presence in our Deans’ Council meetings will be missed.”
Freed-Hardeman University’s College of Biblical Studies offers Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in six areas of emphasis. In addition, the Graduate School of Theology offers six graduate programs: the Master of Arts in Ministry, the Master of Arts in Old Testament, the Master of Arts in New Testament, the Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling, the Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry. The Graduate School of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.