SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Evangel University welcomed 14 full-time faculty members for the 2023-24 academic year.
Michael Butcher is a professor of theatre in the Humanities Department. Butcher brings 33 years of theatre education on both the high school and collegiate level, including at Missouri State University, Drury University, and Ozarks Technical Community College. He has directed over 100 theatrical productions.
In 2019, Butcher’s production of “Into the Woods” at Kickapoo High School was selected as the mainstage production for the Missouri State Thespian Conference. He was nominated for Springfield Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Butcher holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Theatre Education from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Humanities from Drury University.
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with the talented faculty in the Humanities Department at Evangel. I cannot imagine anything more rewarding than helping students find and develop their God-given talents,” Butcher said.
Kenneth George is an associate professor of finance in the Business Department. He was previously an executive for the Target Corporation and National Planning Corporation. During his tenure at National Planning, he was named the Top Selling Financial Planner.
George holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History and a Master of Business Administration from the University of La Verne, a Master of Science in Advanced Management from Claremont Graduate School, and a Ph.D. in Financial Management from North Central University.
“Joining the Evangel faculty feels like coming home. I am joining a community where faith and learning are beautifully intertwined,” George said.
Shelley Groves is an associate professor of English in the Humanities Department. Groves transitions to EU from Southwestern Christian University, where she served as the vice president of student development, director of graduate studies, and chair of the Language Arts Department.
Groves also served as director of education preparation at Mid-America University. She is a fellow in the Educator Leadership Academy through the University of Central Oklahoma and a former member of the Evangel Alumni Board.
Groves holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Social Sciences Education from EU, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Southern Nazarene University, a Master of Arts in English from the University of Central Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership in Academic Curriculum – English from the University of Oklahoma.
“Coming back to Evangel as a faculty member is a joy and a privilege,” Groves said.
Kelly Hoskins joins Evangel as an instructional designer in EU’s Digital Learning office. She previously served as the online instructional administrator for Pan-Africa Theological Seminary and as an adjunct professor at Southeastern University.
Hoskins was named Teacher of the Year at Rocky Bayou Christian School in Niceville, Florida. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Religious Education from Global University, a Master of Science in Community Health Education from the University of West Florida, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Southeastern University.
“I feel blessed to be part of the Evangel University family,” Hoskins said.
Joseph Lear is the director of theology and global church ministries within Evangel’s College of Online Learning. In addition to this position, Lear serves as the pastor of preaching and theology at Resurrection Assembly in Iowa City, Iowa. Previously, he served as the director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries at the University of Iowa and facilitated missions work in Scotland.
Lear holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Evangel, an M.A.R. in Christian Ethics from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christianity from the University of Aberdeen.
“How do I feel about Evangel? I put an EU Valor sticker on my bike helmet in the heart of Hawkeye territory,” Lear said.
Maria Lewis is the social work program coordinator in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department. She transitions to Evangel after 10 years as the clinical director at Lakeland Behavioral Health and 17 years as a social worker at Royal Family Kids Camps. In 2022, Lewis was named the Children’s Behavioral Solutions Clinical Professional of the Year.
Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Evangel University and a Master in Social Work from Roberts Wesleyan College. She holds credentials in Missouri as a licensed clinical social worker.
“I am excited about the opportunity to help develop the next generation of social workers!” Lewis said.
Traci Pritchard is an associate professor of music and the voice area coordinator for the Music Department. She previously taught music at Missouri State University and Southwest Baptist University and is a SongFest Professional Fellow, a member of the Society for Women in Scholarship, and a local officer in the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Pritchard holds a bachelor’s degree and performance certificate from Southwest Baptist University, an M.M. in Vocal Performance from Missouri State University, and is completing a D.M.A. in Church Music from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“I’m thrilled to join the EU community and train students as they develop their musical skills and talents to serve God and their communities,” Pritchard said.
Lori Rogers joins Evangel’s Education Department as a professor of education in literacy. She transitions to EU following 20 years in elementary education with experience as a district literacy coach for Springfield Public Schools, a reading specialist, and a classroom teacher.
Rogers holds a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Reading Education from Lindenwood University.
“I am overjoyed at the blessing and opportunity God has provided me to join Evangel in pursuit of shaping a culture for Christ!” Rogers said.
Shelly Worley is an assistant professor of early childhood education in the Education Department. Previously, she was the director/principal of early childhood education for Branson Schools and principal of Horace Mann Elementary in Springfield.
Under Worley’s leadership, Branson’s Early Childhood Department was named the Missouri Early Childhood Program of the Year in 2019.
Worley holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Elementary Education and doctorate of Curriculum and Instruction from Lindenwood University.
“I couldn’t be more grateful and blessed to mentor and develop future educators at Evangel in an atmosphere that promotes, supports, and embodies the love of Christ,” Worley said.
Other new full-time faculty members include:
- Vincent Chodkowski, instructor of music technology and director of guitar, Music Department
- Michelle Coffman, general education and assessment program director, College of Online Learning
- Christopher Ford, professor of education – doctoral, Education Department
- Amber Hainline, instructional designer, Digital Learning
- Lauren Rudolph, applied biology and applied health program director, College of Online Learning
Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.
EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:
- #1 Best College in Springfield & #2 Best Christian College in Missouri by Niche
- US News & World Report Best Colleges Top Performer in Social Mobility
- Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
- Top 10 Best Universities by AcademicInfluence.com
- Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
- Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by BestColleges.com
With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers. Learn more about the university at evangel.edu.