Faculty Spotlight

Earl Borron

Earl didn’t think he was coming to Athens to go back to school.  But now that he’s here, “it’s like I’m in school with Jesus every day and there’s no break from it!”  Not that Earl Borron wants a break from this life-altering instruction, it’s just a statement of fact.  As early as Earl can remember he’d been taught about Jesus and he’d believed that only He was sufficient to pay for his sins.  God knew that Earl needed to move from being taught about Him to being taught by Him. 

He’d grown up in the Midwest and had become a “success” in the business world rising to Creative Director at Dearing Group (a full-service brand, marketing and communications agency), in West Lafayette, Indiana.  He married Abigail and they had a precious daughter Parker.  They were living the American Dream in the shadow of Purdue University (where Abigail was an Associate Professor in the College of Agriculture) where they had both grown up with numerous relationships and family nearby.  What could be better?!  Life was good!  But God was after more than a good life for Earl, He was after his best. 

God was getting ready to rock Earl’s world, but not maybe in the way we may be accustomed.  There was no financial or health crisis, but instead a crisis of identity.  Even though Earl had known Jesus from an early age, Jesus had become routine, dull and this life, as he put it was “all about me!”  Jesus Christ was necessary but not near.  He was neglected and unpursued.  It took a change of scenery for him to see more clearly than he’d ever seen before.  It took them moving to Athens, with Abigail taking on a new position as Associate Professor in the Agriculture Communications program at UGA, to accelerate the change.

You see, prior to this move Earl had found his identity in his work and upward mobility.  He had seen his stock rise quickly in the marketing field and found much encouragement from his labors.  But God had something more, something better for Earl that had very little to do with his career.  It had everything to do with his relationships.  His relationship with God, with his wife, his daughter and his “neighbor.”  Earl’s life had been about himself and God in his mercy began to reveal what he had been missing a deep and abiding relationship with the living God.

Earl came to believe in Christ Jesus at a young age for his salvation, but he never had much of a relationship with him, until 3 years ago after the move to Athens.  It’s here that he’s recognized he needed to “submit and learn from Jesus.”  Learning how to truly value being with Him “in His presence, learning from Him, His Word and His Spirit.” God brought Earl to Athens to be his personal instructor, his Mentor!  And these three years have been incredibly difficult, but wonderfully transforming as he’s grown to see that his worth and value are found in Christ Jesus, not in the praise of people or accomplishments before men.  That who he has been is the prodigal brought back by the older Son to the Father.  This last year has been increasingly fruitful bringing even greater commitment in his life to be what he calls a “serious disciple” of Jesus.  He’s learning from Him how to live his life, awakening each morning and making the serious decision to deny himself “take up my cross and follow Him.” 

Now God has brought Earl to the Athens College of Ministry to serve voluntarily on marketing.  He is quickly bringing contributions that could not have been imagined prior, helping to refine and focus the college’s marketing efforts both in student recruiting and resource development.  He is a gift.

His daily battle continues even as He sees God meet Him shifting his focus from the kingdom of Earl to the Kingdom of God, be it ever so incrementally.  And now he is taking up his cross and laying down his life to selflessly give on the behalf of this college and community.  All for the sake of eternity and for the benefit of God’s Kingdom on this earth.  Seems like Earl is excelling in the classroom with Jesus and the college and greater Athens community is the beneficiary!

Pam Brown

Pam Brown joins Athens College of Ministry as the Director of Lifelong Ministry, heading up our conferences and non-degree seminars and workshops. Pam is considered a forerunner in the ministry of healing and restoration in the Body of Christ. She believes that the variety of positions she has held over the years have been training for the current season of her life.  She began her work career as an administrative assistant/paralegal in the field of real estate, corporate and family law. After 15 years, she returned to school to study history at the University of Georgia. During that time, she worked with the University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institute on what was known as the “Biblical Quilt” project.  She also started her own business in genealogical research.  For the past 20 years she has been an Administrative Manager in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at the University of Georgia.  Currently, she is also studying to become a Certified Health Coach in Essential Oils, and is the co-owner of Hadassah Essentials, a small business focusing on the use of essential oils for healing. 

Additionally, Pam is a certified RTF issue-focused prayer minister; serves as a prayer minister at St. James United Methodist Church and is the prayer coordinator for True Identity Ministries. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, knitting and playing with her two miniature schnauzers.

Faculty Spotlight - Dee Pesaresi

Dee Pesaresi is a fully trained Elijah House Prayer Ministry instructor, and she uses her gifts to build up, mature, and train the Body of Christ by evangelizing the uncircumcised areas of people's hearts.  Dee participated in an internship program to hone her prayer ministry and leadership skills.  At ACMin, Dee has written and taught Healing Shame and Walking in Sonship curricula, and she also teaches Levels 1 and 2 Elijah House courses.  She also serves in the ACMin Prayer Ministry Center. 

What she enjoys most about leading Elijah House Prayer Ministry courses is watching how Jesus transforms each student's life.  While many enroll in classes to obtain an intellectual knowledge of ministering to others, Elijah House courses are designed to train our intellect as well as heal wounded places in our lives.  Students' personal healing enables them to minister more effectively to others--in their families, churches, and communities. 

Dee has played a significant role at ACMin as an instructor, helping the college to fulfill its desire and calling to equip men and women for Christian life and ministry with biblically-centered spiritual and personal foundations. With Dee's help, ACMin is a place that trains and positions its students to minister to the heart as well as the mind.  

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Ian Johnson

Athens College of Ministry welcomes to the faculty, Dr. Ian Johnson. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Dr. Johnson and his wife, Paulette and their two sons have called the Athens area home for the past 35+ years. Dr. Johnson has a Masters in Music Education from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Computing Technology from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He is an accomplished musician in piano, drum, guitar and bass and has decades of experience as an orchestra and choral leader. Dr. Johnson’s love of teaching is evident throughout his career in settings from elementary schools to UGA Strings Orchestra, church choirs, community choruses, and individualized instruction. For this expertise and these rich experiences, Dr. Johnson humbly testifies of God’s goodness and blessings and smiles with heartfelt joy.  

ACMin. Academic Dean Committee

Every semester ACMin offers a variety of courses developed to meet the requirements of various programs including certificate, associate, bachelors and masters with concentrations in areas such as worship arts, care and counseling, and field ministry (missions). An integral part of each course is the syllabus, which serves as a road map by which students and faculty navigate the various lessons and assignments. Another, less visible, yet essential part of the development of every ACMin course is the work of the Academic Dean Committee.
 
The Academic Dean Committee is comprised of respected local Christian leaders with doctorate-level credentials from respected theological institutions.  Their charge is to review all ACMin Course Syllabi, ensuring that the course content aligns with our Belief Statement and the ACMin Educational Goals. Academic Deans, Dr. Raymond Morris, Dr. Carlos Sibley, Dr. Lee Mason and Dr. Dan Dunn study each course syllabus to determine how closely the instructor’s lessons, required readings, assignments (papers, tests, journals, etc.) correlate with the college’s Christian Philosophy of Education, Educational Goals and Program objectives. Dr. Deborah Huckaby, chair of the Christian Ministry Program, then works with individual instructors to incorporate any recommendations into the course syllabus. The excellent quality and theological integrity of ACMin. educational courses is evidence of the work of our dedicated Academic Deans. 

Dr. Ray Morris

As Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Morris is responsible for the overall quality and integrity of the academic programs in keeping with the institutional goals and belief statement, for providing leadership toward the achievement of the highest possible level of excellence in the academic activities of the college in accordance with the institution’s mission, vision, and strategic goals.
 
Dr. Morris’s primary responsibilities at ACMin include providing leadership in the process of achieving and maintaining accreditation for the college, assisting in strategic planning for the college, overseeing the implementation of the college’s academic programs, insuring the quality and accuracy of ACMin academic program publications, and managing the implementation of a student and departmental records maintenance system. He also teaches New Testament Survey and The Book of Revelation course.
 
Dr. Morris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mercer University, a Master of Divinity (with Religious Education) degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Education degree, also from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been the Executive Director of the Commerce Center for Christian Education since its inception in1984. During those years he directed and taught in the Center’s release-time ministry for ten years, and for more than twenty-four years, its k-12 Christian school.
 
Dr. Morris is an active member of Montgomery Heights Baptist Church in Commerce, GA. He is married to Mollie and has four grown children and six grandchildren (with another one on the way). Dr. Morris is an avid runner. He has completed five marathons and numerous other shorter distance events.

Meet Deborah Huckaby

We welcome Deborah Huckaby to our staff as our new Chairman of the Christian Ministries Program.


Deborah "Debbie" Huckaby has been a leader of "new beginnings" for decades in the fields of healthcare, business and ministry. She earned her nursing degree from South Georgia College, and a Bachelors and a Masters of Business Administration from Brenau University. Following a call to the ministry, Debbie earned a Masters of Theology from Wheaton College and a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary where she is currently completing a Doctorate of Ministry degree. Debbie is also a Faith Community Nurse with additional education as a Faith Community Nurse Coordinator and Foundations Course Faculty.

As Chairman of the Christian Ministry Program at Athens College of Ministry, Debbie works with ACMin Faculty to develop curriculum to equip men and women for biblically-based Christ-centered Ministry. This includes identifying and developing course offerings, recruiting faculty and providing instructional feedback and leadership for instructor personal and academic growth. Debbie also teaches each semester and conducts academic student advisement.

Additionally, Debbie is an ordained Wesleyan Pastor serving as the Assistant Pastor at Oconee River Church in Athens, Ga. She is a wife, mother and grandmother to four and when she can find the time, Debbie loves to walk, ride bicycles and knit. 






Paul Cooke, ACMin Director of Student Affairs

May 2016

ACMin is so excited to welcome Paul Cooke, Director of Student Affairs, to our staff!

Paul understood the Gospel at the young age of 11, but says, “I didn’t see the correlation between that and a changed life.” His young life was characterized by athletic ambition in the sport of golf even taking him as far as South Africa to play in the Tournament of Champions alongside golfers like David Frost. A strong believer, Frost’s life was a testimony to Paul. “He lived differently than I did,” said Paul. Almost as soon as he realized he could play with the best in the world, Paul left the world of golf. “Some guys got out there and didn’t have to make it their God. I had to make it my God if I was going to do it.”

God led Paul to work with a youth group in Zellwood, Florida, where he made a dear friend who soon became his bride. Convinced that God had a call on his life, Paul set off with his new bride, Darby, to attend seminary. But somewhere, “my focus switched from pursuing God to pursuing ministry - a subtle but significant difference.”

Paul entered full-time ministry in Ft. Lauderdale with the idea that “I was supposed to be an agent of change within a denomination. God let me run with it until I realized how arrogant that was.” Eventually, God brought Paul out of vocational ministry and back in to golf. “That was His way of getting me out so He could work on my heart.”

During a time of prophetic ministry at their church in Orlando, Paul found himself crying after years of being out of vocational ministry, thinking, “God’s sending me back.” Amazingly though, God seemed to be building faith in both Paul and Darby for what was to come. It wasn't long before God had them packed up to attend a Pastor’s College in Maryland where they, “saw a different way of doing things.” It was the combination of his church and that college where Paul first saw the kind of community they were meant to foster. 
 
Paul and Darby came to Athens as church planters forming Crossway Fellowship Church in 2002. “It was family. Lots of healing took place in relationships, in broken hearts, in fractured lives, in broken bodies,” said Paul. “And it was a place of sending. It really was. There were a lot of folks that were sent out and many more that were very much transformed by being there.
“It wasn’t perfect,” admits Paul. “It was definitely a place that grace sunk down into my soul in a new way. And Pastoral ministry was redefined for me personally. It wasn’t in my wheelhouse that after 14 years God would close the church down.”
 
Yet, at the end of last year (2015), it became clear to the elders and to Paul that God meant to “send” the entire church out! And what came next for Paul would be something he couldn’t have guessed.
 
Paul at ACMin

“I know my move [to ACMin] is right,” said Paul. “It wasn’t just a feeling. It was people that I trusted to speak truth to me saying, ‘I see God all over this.’ Those people made their statement not only in word but also by giving." 
 
“Having the support of local Pastors was huge too,” said Paul. It was important that they saw “that this was going to be a good fit.”
 
“There’s gonna be a learning curve for me. This is not a church. I’m definitely excited about the role the college plays in this community - no church, no organization has this role - being able to cross over the borders of denominations, ethnic, economic, even educational borders to bring a greater unity in the Body, equip leaders, and help people see how the Gospel works in all of life. What God’s after is his bride being unified in him. That excites me!”
 
Paul has served in vocational ministry for over 25 years with his wife, Darby. They have 4 grown children - Christopher, Courtney, Caleb and Noah - and a daughter, Emma, entering 6th grade, with 1 granddaughter (and counting!). 
 



Faculty Spotlight: Meet John Rogeberg!

April 2016

“When I graduated high school, I packed my stuff up and moved to Alaska,” said John Rogeberg, ACMin’s new Apologetics professor. 
 
“I think everyone thought, ‘He’ll get to Tennessee and turn around,” but I kept going. My whole goal was to find God for myself. I didn’t have another plan.”
 
John grew up in a strong Christian home with a Father who worked in ministry with Pat Robertson, Charles Stanley, James Kennedy and eventually retired with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. But at 15, John “wasn’t feeling the church scene anymore. I just faded away.”
 
So, a 19-year-old John moved 100 miles out of the closest Alaskan town and spent over 3 years living alone. “I worked temporary jobs, played in a lot of bands,” said John. “But my whole goal was to find God for myself.” John’s search led him to study every religion. He even began to accept Universalism, until “C.S. Lewis put me in my place. He talked about how Jesus is either a liar or exactly who He says He is,” said John, now convinced that eternity is a one-way road. “That was transformational for me.”
 
John met his wife Karen in 2001 and brought her to Alaska to live until, “the darkness got to her in the winter time.” So, the native Floridians moved back to the sunshine state. But God had other plans. 
 
“When I drove to Alaska, I crossed Georgia off the map and said, ‘I’m never going back,’” said John. But John who graduated high school in Gwinette ended up studying at UGA to utilize the HOPE scholarship and then continuing his education online at Liberty University from right here in Athens.
 
John at ACMin

ACMin President, Dr. Marcia Wilbur caught wind of John’s passion for Apologetics and World Religions through an Apologetics course at Living Hope Church and invited him to test the minds of our students as an Apologetics professor.
 
“A lot of religions say, ‘Don’t question! Don’t question!’ but God welcomes questions and promotes a curious mind,” said Rogeberg who has done his share of questioning. “I think it’s one of the greatest things about Christianity - That confidence we can have in God’s Word being God’s Word. God tells us to test it, and He’ll reveal that it’s the truth.”
 
John’s passion is “finding pieces of truth you can put together and build bridges. World religions are not all untrue. Taking the time to know what they believe really pays off in a conversation. Instead of trying to conquer by the sword to convert them to yourself, the Holy Spirit goes before us and stays with them.”
 
John is finishing up his thesis in the next few weeks and lives in Athens with his wife, Karen, and their two daughters, Erika (12) and Eliza (9). He is excited for school to slow down so that he can connect with other groups in Athens who are passionate about Apologetics and the Muslim community.