Our Leadership

2019-2020 Executive Committee

President: David Stewart— Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, California State University, Long Beach and director of the Summer Workshops in College Teaching (SWCT) for SVHE.

Vice-President : Fiona Tolhurst, Associate professor and Interim Chair of the Language and Literature Department at Florida Gulf Coast University is the author of two books on medieval Arthurian literature: Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Feminist Origins of the Arthurian Legend, and Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Translation of Female Kingship. Fiona has hosted both a northeast regional meeting and an Annual Meeting for SVHE, and she is Editor of the online, monthly publication “Forum for Values in Higher Education“.

Treasurer: Ryan Korstange, Assistant Professor of University Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.

Secretary: Melanie Howard,  Assistant Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Fresno Pacific University. Melanie specializes in the area of New Testament studies where her work focuses particularly on the Gospels.

Executive Director: Eric Bain-Selbo—Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indiana University, Kokomo

Chair: Cathy Bao Bean –  Author of The Chopsticks-Fork Principle, A Memoir and Manual, co-author of The Chopsticks-Fork Principle x 2, A Bilingual Reader with Dongdong Chen, and The Course for Cross-Cultural Communication, also with Dongdong Chen. Team Leader of the Summer Workshop for College Teachers

Board of Directors

Julie Phillips – Julie Phillips is an Associate Professor in the Sparrow-MSU Family Medicine Residency Program and Assistant Dean for Student and Career and Professional Development at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She studies medical education and its impact on the primary care physician workforce.

Dorothy Hurlburt- English Instructor, College of Dupage

Judy Meschel- Producer, Local Projects at WETA, the Public Broadcasting Station for the Greater Washington, DC area.

Andy Sfekas-

Eric Ecklund- Associate Professor of Management, Saint Francis University.

Edward Carson- Dean of Multicultural Education and History instructor at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA.

Greg Robbins-

Joel Cunningham-President Emeritus, Vice Chancellor and Professor of Mathematics of Sewanee: The University of the South; former President of Susquehanna University; chair of Appalachian College Assoc.

Terry Shoemaker- Lecturer in Arizona State University’s School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies Department


Finance: Ryan Korstange, Chair

Program 2019: Julie Phillips, Ryan Korstange , co-chairs

Nominating: Dorothy Hurlburt, Chair

Communications: Art Small, Chair

Honorary Fellows

Jianxin Ding – Professor and Dean, School of Foreign Languages, Nanfang College of Sun Yat-sen University (中山大学南方学院外国语学院教授院长)


Dafu Yang – Director of West China Center for Faculty Development (西部外语教师发展中心主任)


Elizabeth Minnich – has served higher education in different roles at a variety of liberal arts institutions as well as through her writing, speaking, special projects, board memberships, and consulting.

Peter Paris – Princeton Theological Seminary’s Elmer G. Homrighausen Professor of Christian Social Ethics and Liaison with the Princeton University African American Studies Program.


Associate Director: Sandy McAllister– MEd from the University of Massachusetts, BA in English from Boston University

With gratitude, we acknowledge the invaluable leadership of our former presidents:

Cathy Bao-Bean-

Pat Barnes-McConnell—Director of Bean/Cowpea CRSP, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

Joel Cunningham—President, Vice Chancellor and Professor of Mathematics of Sewanee: The University of the South; former President of Susquehanna University; chair of Appalachian College Assoc.

David Hoekema

James T. Laney—former U.S. Ambassador to Korea, President of Emory University, and Dean of Candler School of Theology.

John Maguire—President Emeritus of Claremont University Consortium & Graduate University; Director/Senior Fellow, Institute for Democratic Renewal/Project Change, Claremont, CA; President Emeritus, College at Old Westbury, State University of New York.

J. Alfred Martin, Jr.—former professor at Union Theological Seminary.

John Nason—former President of Swarthmore College.

Virginia B. Smith—former Acting President of Mills College; President emerita of Vassar College; Director of the Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education (FIPSE); President of the Board of the Educational Testing Service.

Robert A. Spivey- Senior Associate and Ombudsman for The Florida State University Foundation; former President of Randolph Macon Woman’s College and the VA Foundation for Independent Colleges.

Jon Wiant— Senior Visiting Fellow with the Intelligence and Security Academy, and a consultant with the Institute for Excellence in Public Leadership; Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University; decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal from Porter Good of the CIA, and the Career Achievement Award from Secretary Colin Powell; and commands an army of more than 6000 toy soldiers.

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