GREENEVILLE – A minister with more than 15 years of experience has been selected to assist Tusculum University students, faculty and staff with their spiritual growth.
Dr. Chris Shumate, who most recently served as pastor of Oak Street Baptist Church in Elizabethton, has been named Tusculum’s campus minister. Starting July 1, he will direct and expand the university’s spiritual development opportunities and continue to grow the faith-based institution’s relationships with local churches.
“We are grateful Chris has responded to God’s call and chosen to help Tusculum family members on their spiritual journeys,” said Dr. Scott Hummel, Tusculum’s president. “The university helps students build their academic knowledge and provides them an opportunity to examine their faith in greater depth. Chris will be a tremendous asset for Tusculum family members at all stages of faith and further demonstrate our caring Christian environment.”
Dr. Shumate, who was raised just a few miles from campus, said he is thrilled about returning to Greeneville and Greene County to serve the Lord at the university.
“I am really excited about investing in students and ministering to them at such a pivotal time in their lives,” he said. “Students in a collegiate environment are exploring new ideas and opportunities and making decisions that will impact the rest of their lives. Being able to minister to students daily in that context is a wonderful opportunity.”
Dr. Shumate looks forward to teaching Bible classes as an adjunct professor and helping Tusculum students understand Scripture. He said he will be pleased to partner with local churches so they can continue to minister to the students.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology, with a minor in Appalachian studies, from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Divinity in Christian apologetics and a Doctor of Ministry in disciple-making, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Beginning his ministry at Towering Oaks Baptist Church in Greeneville in 2005, Dr. Shumate served as an intern and contemporary worship leader. He then became director of music and youth at Grove Park Chapel in Durham, North Carolina. The next step was to serve as minister of worship and students and minister of worship and discipleship at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He began his ministry at Oak Street Baptist in 2016.
He has participated in short-term mission trips to a variety of locations, including Juarez, Mexico; Mumbai, India; Urubamba, Peru; as well as locations in the United States, such as Townsend, Tennessee, and Helena, Montana. Now, he will bring his God-given talents to Tusculum.
“I believe that a university campus is a very strategic place to serve others and influence people for Christ,” Dr. Shumate said. “Young adults are so special. They have such energy and enthusiasm. I thank God, Dr. Hummel and all of the other people who played a part in leading me to Tusculum.”
For more information about the university, please visit www.tusculum.edu.