Dr.Don Shepson, Department Chair of Ministry And Leadership
I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home with a long lineage of faithful Christian parents, grandparents and extended family primarily within the Christian & Missionary Alliance. I became a follower of Jesus as a result of the ministry of a Sunday school teacher at the age of eight. I heard God’s call to vocational ministry while I was in college working with Junior High boys leading a wilderness program for Wheaton College where I attended as a student. I have been in ministry since then (20+ years) in various forms: camp director (Lake Swan Camp, Melrose, FL), program director (Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds, Occidental, CA), youth pastor (First Alliance Church, Fort Myers, FL), college pastor (Christ Church, Hamilton, MA), resident director (Gordon College, Wenham, MA), associate pastor/church planter and professor. Many of those positions I served as a licensed Christian Worker for the C&MA. I am married to Sara, and have 4 children ages 12, 10, 8 & 4 – 3 girls and a boy at age 8.
Along side those ministries I have been in the academy, and have a PhD. in Educational Ministry and Spiritual Formation from Talbot School of Theology at BIOLA University (December, 2010). My dissertation studied the effects of relationships upon the spiritual formation of college students. Before that I completed a Master of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2001, and have been teaching college courses (Pastoral/Youth Ministry, Spiritual Formation, & Educational Ministries of the church) since 2002 at Gordon College, Montreat College (2005-2012), and more recently here at Toccoa Falls College (since the fall of 2012). I am also the acting chairperson of the Ministry and Leadership Department.
I began an ordination process with the C&MA but that was put on hold as I moved out of parish ministry (1997). Following my graduate studies I was ordained into the Anglican Mission in the Americas in 2007 from within the Anglican Communion Network and spent time in service as a deacon serving at St. Paul’s Church in Asheville, NC before being ordained a priest and becoming a church planter alongside my academic vocation. Since our move to GA my family and I are studying the prospects of church planting nearby with any who may be interested. I view my call to ministry primarily to be the disciple-making and training of college students to complete the Great Commission, but I have a deep love and need for the local church.