ANDERSON UNIVERSITY - Key Persons


Amy-Jo Girardier

Job Titles:
  • Girls Minister, Brentwood Baptist Church
Amy-Jo Girardier is the Girls Minister at Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN. She has been serving in this role for 17 years and keeps pinching herself that this is what she gets to do for a job! She also is the founding editor of girlsminister.com, a website created to connect and resource girls minister, moms, and youth workers engaged in the girls ministry conversation. She is also the author of the two bible study and DVD teaching series: Authentic Love and Faithful One. She has authored Becoming from The "just like Christ" series and Proof: a 6 lesson study on The Book of John. She has just launched studywithher.com to release free youtube bible studies for moms and daughters or daughters with their friends. Check it out as it grows! She is also the Facebook Group creator for the girls ministry facebook group. If you work with girls, come join us! In addition to ministry, Amy-Jo loves using technology, passing on her love of technology to others, drinking coffee, running, serving on staff with her husband Darrel, and hanging out with her sons Scout and Skylar.

Chad Higgins

Job Titles:
  • Co - Founder of Youth Ministry Booster
Chad Higgins is one of the co-founders and leaders of Youth Ministry Booster. Youth Ministry Booster is a community of youth ministers built around care and training which provide encouragement to be spiritually healthy and effective youth ministers. We provide small groups of youth ministers who meet monthly online for growth initiatives and soul care practices. Chad also serves as the Home Group Pastor at Summit Church in Oklahoma City. Chad serves along side his amazing wife Martha and their one year old Malia.

Clayton King

Job Titles:
  • President, Clayton King Ministries
Born in 1972, Clayton was put up for adoption by his fifteen-year-old mother and was adopted by a loving family in the Upstate of South Carolina. He sensed a call to ministry at the age of fourteen and began speaking in churches, youth groups, and local prisons as a young teenager. As Secretary of the National Beta Club, he began speaking to secular audiences and developed communication skills as well as leadership abilities before entering college as a Presidential Scholar at Gardner-Webb University. He now spends his time traveling, preaching and speaking at churches, conferences, and leadership events, as well as running Crossroads/Clayton King Ministries, the non-profit organization he founded in 1995. His ministry offers summer camps, student conferences, outreach opportunities, mentoring, and a yearly Coaching Networks where he pours into ministry leaders. He is married to Sharie and they enjoy working, writing, and speaking together. He is the father of Jacob and Joseph, ages 16 and 13. He loves good books, black coffee, four-wheelers, and anything that gets him outside and in the woods.

David Odom

Job Titles:
  • Associate Professor of Student Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Professor, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
David Odom, Ph.D is Associate Professor of Student Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Director of the Youth Ministry Institute. He holds a B.A. from Liberty University along with an MARE and Ph.D. from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before joining faculty, Dr. Odom served as Youth Minister in churches in Texas and Alabama. He has a heart for young people and training the next generation of youth leaders.

Dr. Brent Baskin

Job Titles:
  • Professor, Shorter University
Dr. Brent Baskin has served in local churches for over 20 years. He is the Associate Professor of Christian Studies and Youth Ministry at Shorter University in Rome, GA. He holds a Ph.D. and a Master's degree in student ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he focused on adolescent development and family dynamics. He is also a proud alumnus of Ouachita Baptist University (Go Tigers!). His ministry passion is helping students discover their God-given gifts, so they can passionately serve Him

Dr. Karen E. Jones

Job Titles:
  • Chairman of the Ministry
  • Professor, Huntington University
Dr. Karen E. Jones is the chair of the Ministry and Missions department and director of the Veritas Theology Institute for high school students at Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana. She completed her Ph.D. in Youth Ministry and an M.A. in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Jones also holds an M.S. in Education/Remedial Reading and a B.S. in Education from Missouri State University. Dr. Jones has extensive experience in youth ministry leadership, writing, and research and serves on the national board of the Society for Professors of Christian Education and the executive board of Youth Ministry International. Jones is committed to the preparation of youth leaders around the world. This passion is realized through annual teaching opportunities in such places as Nigeria, Malaysia, Nepal, and Indonesia. She also serves as the volunteer director for the new Doctor of Educational Ministry in Youth Ministry program at Havana Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. Sam Totman

Job Titles:
  • Professor, Clamp Divinity School
Dr. Sam Totman offers more than 10 years of impactful ministry experience combined with a Doctor of Education (2018) and a Master of Divinity in Christian Education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (2005) and a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies from North Greenville University (1997). His doctoral research was on the Preparedness and Self-Efficacy Perspectives of Youth Ministers Regarding Technology Integration into Ministry. Prior to joining the Clamp Divinity School of Christian Ministry and the Christian Studies faculty at Anderson University, Dr. Totman served as a Centrifuge leader (Union University and North Greenville University), Pastor of Students and Education at Flat Springs Baptist Church (NC), Ministry Associate at Fellowship Community Church (SC), and most recently as the Youth Pastor at East Pickens Baptist Church (SC). He grew up in a family-owned sign company developing skills in design and marketing. After graduating from Southeastern, he started a successful internet business which allowed him to serve as a minister at a local church plant. Since 2011, Sam has served as the Director of External Relations for the College of Christian Studies and Clamp Divinity School. Sam still enjoys filling in for youth pastors and speaking at youth events and special occasions.

Dr. Scott Pace

Job Titles:
  • Vice President of Undergraduate Studies
  • VP of Undergraduate Studies, SEBTS
Dr. Scott Pace currently serves as the Vice President of Undergraduate Studies, Dean of The College at Southeastern, Johnny Hunt Chair of Biblical Preaching, Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Preaching, and he oversees the Hunt Scholars Program. His ministry as a pastor has extended almost 20 years in a variety of full-time and interim capacities through three states. Some of his publications include Answering God's Call, Preaching by the Book, Pastoral Theology co-authored with Dr. Daniel Akin, and Student Ministry by the Book co-authored with Ed Newton. He also has a forthcoming volume, Colossians-Philemon, in the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series. He continues to serve local churches through various speaking and discipleship capacities. Dr. Pacealso speaks regularly at conferences and training events that seek to equip pastors and church leaders. A native of North Carolina, Dr. Pace holds a Bachelor's degree in accounting from North Carolina State University (1997). He received his Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2002 and he earned his Ph.D. in Applied Theology from the seminary in 2007. Prior to his vocational calling, Pace served in the corporate world as an accountant and the private sector as a business manager. Dr. Pace's greatest passion is for his family. He and his wife, Dana, have been married since 1999. They have four children - Gracelyn, Tyler, Tessa, and Cassie.

Dr. Tim McKnight

Job Titles:
  • Director of the Global Center for Youth
  • Professor, Clamp Divinity School
Dr. Tim McKnight serves as the director of the Global Center for Youth ministry. He came to Anderson University and Clamp Divinity School with 21 years of experience in ministry, serving churches in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He served in youth ministry for 12 years and in the pastorate for 9 years. In addition, Dr. McKnight served as an infantry chaplain in the U.S. Army, deploying on Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom in 2001. He holds a BS in Criminal Justice from Bluefield College, and a M.Div. and PhD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. His primary field of study for the Ph.D. was in evangelism, with additional studies in missions and church history. Before arriving at AU, Dr. McKnight was the lead pastor/teaching elder at Lakeview Baptist Church in Hartsville, South Carolina. While in Hartsville he also co-founded Carolina Family Planning Centers and founded Twin Vision Consultants, a church consultation team that helps congregations become healthy and growing churches. He has also served as a disaster relief chaplain in multiple settings in recent years, including in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake and Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. Additionally, McKnight has served as chair and member of various committees of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

Jay Barbier

Job Titles:
  • Evangelism Specialist, TN Baptist Mission Board
  • Specialist With the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board
Jay serves as an Evangelism Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. His desire is to help engage people with the Gospel and know the love of Jesus Christ. Jay believes that the message of Jesus changes lives and provides hope. He has worked at churches in Louisiana, Tennessee and has spoken throughout the Southeast. He leads Youth Summer Camps and YEC, Youth Evangelism Conference, for Tennessee Baptists. Jay holds a degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He enjoys traveling with his wife Natalee and two children, Caleb and Mary-Clare. Advocating for Special Needs, eating Cajun Cuisine, and travel brings joy to his family. For booking contact jbarbier@tnbaptist.org

John Paul Basham

Job Titles:
  • Manager of Life
John Paul Basham serves as the Manager of LifeWay Student Ministry Publishing. He served in the local church for 10 years before coming on staff at LifeWay and has a deep passion for the work of the church and its mission to make disciples. He is married to Crystal Basham and has two boys, Levi and Titus. John Paul loves to spend time with family, travel, exercise, and eating! Connect with John Paul on Twitter at: @Johnpaulbasham

Ken Coley

Job Titles:
  • Principal of Montrose Christian School
  • Professor, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
With a master's degree in administration and seven years' teaching experience, Ken became the principal of Montrose Christian School in Rockville, MD, where he was blessed to serve for 15 years. During his ministry the school grew to its capacity of over 700 students. He continued his academic studies at the University of Maryland at College Park and earned his Doctor of Education degree in 1993. The next big career change came in 1996 when Dr. Coley began his teaching career at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. During the last 13 years he has helped develop and teach classes in church education and administration, youth ministry, and teacher education. His primary assignment has been to train Christian school administrators. Three highlights include the publication of his textbook, The Helmsman: Leading with Courage and Wisdom; the presentation of his faculty lecture, "Pastor, How Should We Educate Our Children"; and the development of a new Ed.D. program, which he directs.

Mary Margaret West

Job Titles:
  • Girls Ministry Specialist, LifeWay
  • Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources
Mary Margaret West serves as the Girls Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources, which basically means that teenage girls and the women who lead them are her favorite people on the planet. She has a passion to equip girls and women to dive deeply into God's word and live out their calling, and does this by training, consulting, and speaking to women and student ministry leaders across the United States. Mary Margaret is the author of Show Her the Way: Your Guide to Discipling Teen Girls, is a former Girls Minister, and holds a master's degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Mary Margaret and her husband Jonathan live in Franklin, TN.

Patrick Gillen

Pat Gillen is the NextGen Pastor and Student Minister at First Baptist Simpsonville. Since 2007 he's also served as an Online Instructor for Liberty University and more recently as a Chaplain for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office. He has been in pastoral ministry since 2002 and has a strong passion for the Church and to see students be the church.

Paul Kelly

Job Titles:
  • Professor, Gateway Seminary
After over 30 years of service as a Youth Minister, Youth Ministry Consultant, Design Editor of Youth Discipleship Resources, and leader of curriculum development for youth and adults, Paul Kelly now teaches youth ministry and Christian education at Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has served Gateway for 10 years and currently serves as Chair of the Educational Leadership Department. Kelly is also Senior Editor of the Journal of Youth Ministry, a peer-reviewed journal publishing research related to the study of youth ministry.

William Cumby

Job Titles:
  • Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and Is Married to Ebony Cumby
  • Minister of Youth, the Fountain of Praise
William Cumby is the Minister of Youth for The Fountain of Praise, a 25,000 member non-denominational church in southwest Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of the DeVos urban leadership initiative and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Oral Roberts University. William has served in youth ministry for over 15 years and led multiple youth crusades to Colombia and Brazil. In addition to his responsibilities at The Fountain of Praise, William is an active volunteer in several school districts with VIPS, YoungLife, 5Star, Real Men Read, and serves as the varsity football chaplain for Thurgood Marshall High School. He is a noted speaker for national youth conferences and writes curriculums for youth ministry. William is the Co-chair of the religious affairs committee for The Houston Chapter of the NAACP and a former board member for the West Orem YMCA and a dad blogger (WillC1Day.blogspot.com). In 2018 William was awarded a day in America's fourth largest city - Houston, TX. William is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and is married to Ebony Cumby. Together they have three children, William II, Dylan, and Grace.

Youth Minister

Job Titles:
  • Consultant, Design Editor of Youth Discipleship Resources