Meet the Kairos Faculty- an integral part of our community.
Dr. Thomas Pope has served as Director of Kairos since 2017 and has been teaching Political Science at Lee since 2010, specializing in Political Philosophy and Constitutional Law. In a nutshell, this means that he loves talking about the ideas and institutions behind politics, but knows next to nothing about current events.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Pope attended Berry College for his B.A. and Baylor University for his M.A. and Ph.D. While in Waco, he taught in Baylor’s Honors Program, cultivating an interest in interdisciplinary dialogue over questions perennial to the human experience. This fascination with dialectical conversation led him to Lee — an institution that emphasizes holistic pedagogy and Christ-centered philosophizing.
As a scholar, Dr. Pope has spent most of his time considering the relationship between individuals and communities, with a particular view to the responsibilities of each. Prominently featured in his office are pictures of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.
Within the Kairos curriculum, Dr. Pope teaches the Freshman Gateway cohort and American Government. He also coordinates the Honors Colloquium each Spring. In addition to his Kairos responsibilities, Dr. Pope is the faculty sponsor of Alpha Chi and Lee University’s Pre-Law advisor. On sunny days, he is known to play croquet with students behind Storms Hall. On not-so-sunny days, he favors board games.
Dr. Matthew Melton is the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and former director of the Kairos Scholars Honors Program.
During his time at Lee, Melton has taught journalism, communication, and humanities, served as department chair for Communication & the Arts (’97-’02) and as director of Student Publications (’97-’05).
Melton’s passions include the humanities and all forms of mass media. He also continues to research, write and speak about film, popular culture and the rhetorical dimensions of politics, religion and technology. He also teaches various Kairos Humanities courses and leads a cross-cultural trip every other year.
Dr. Daniela Augustine is an Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics and teaches the Introduction to Ethics Kairos Honors course.
She is a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ, where she spent the fall semester of 2005 conducting post-doctoral research. She is also an active member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and Pentecostals for Peace and Justice.
She is married to Rev. Dr. Jonathan Augustine, who serves as the Church of God Regional Superintendent for Central Europe and the Balkans. They have one son, Josiah Christopher Augustine.
Dr. Michael Freake is an Associate Professor of Biology since 2001 and teaches the Kairos Honors course, Environmental Science.
Dr. Freake integrates his Kairos Honors Environmental Science class into his current research, which focuses on the population ecology and conservation of eastern hellbenders (giant salamanders) in Tennessee, and the potential role of pesticides in amphibian declines. This research program is conducted in collaboration with the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, the National Park Service, and the Cherokee National Forest Service.
Freake leads a wildlife biology trip to Australia, and coaches the Lee Women’s rugby team. He loves fly fishing, and spends a lot of time in the workshop making things. He is married to Tracy Freake, and they have two children, Chloe and Matthew.
Dr. Bob Fisher is a Professor of Psychology and teaches the Introduction to Psychology Kairos Honors course.
He has been teaching at Lee since 1983. After serving as chairman of the Behavioral and Social Sciences department from 1997-2000, he returned to the classroom full-time. He received the Lee University Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997.
Dr. Fisher completed his undergraduate work at Lee, before receiving his master’s degree at Georgia State University and his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He and his wife Kim have three children, Emily, Matt, and David, and a granddaughter, Haley.
Dr. Timothy Miller, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, joined Lee University’s Department of Theology as an assistant professor of philosophy in the fall of 2008.
He completed his PhD at the University of Oklahoma, specializing in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and early modern philosophy. His dissertation focused on the traditional doctrine of continuous creation and the philosophical problems that arise at the intersection of divine creation and the metaphysics of causation. it was awarded the University of Oklahoma’s 2007 dissertation prize for the Fine Arts and Humanities. His current research has worked on developing contemporary formulations of rule-consequentialism.
He and Linda Zagzebski co-edited Readings in Philosophy of Religion: Ancient to Contemporary (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). His other publications include: “Desgabets on Cartesian Minds” (British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 2008); “On the Distinction between Creation and Conservation: A Partial Defense of Continuous Creation” (Religious Studies, 2009); “Continuous Creation and Secondary Causation: The Threat of Occasionalism (Religious Studies, 2011); and “Solving Rule Consequentialism’s Acceptance Rate Problem” (Utilitas, 2016).
Miller and his wife, Beth, have two boys, Bao and Shaw. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, cooking, and playing tennis.
He teaches the Kairos Honors Intro to Philosophy course.
Dr. Christopher “Crip” Stephenson, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, has been teaching at Lee University since 2008. His areas of specialization include theological method, pneumatology, Christology, and Pentecostal theology. His current research projects include works on baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the theology of Amos Yong, and the work of Jesus Christ (for Eerdmans’s “Guides to Theology” series).
Stephenson has published articles in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Journal of Pentecostal Theology, Istina and Religion Compass. He frequently presents at the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Pentecostal Studies. Stephenson received Lee University’s Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2014. This is one of three faculty excellence awards recognizing teaching, scholarship and advising. They are considered the highest honors bestowed on Lee faculty each year.As an ordained bishop, Stephenson is an active member of the East Cleveland Church of God congregation, where he regularly teaches, preaches, and contributes to Sunday liturgy. Stephenson earned his PhD in theology and ethics from Marquette University and his MA and BA from Lee University.
Stephenson and his wife Lisa, also a Department of Theology faculty member, have two daughters, Abigail and Bella.
Stephenson teaches the Kairos Intro to Theology Course.
Dr. Aaron Johnson (Ph.D. in Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder) specializes in the intellectual culture and Greek literature of the later Roman Empire. He has held fellowships at Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies (Harvard University) and the Society of Fellows at the University of Chicago, as well as being a Guest Researcher at the University of Tuebingen in Germany.
Johnson’s publications include three books, entitled, Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica (Oxford University Press, 2006), Religion and Identity in Porphyry of Tyre (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and Eusebius (IB Tauris, 2014). In addition, he has co-edited a volume, Eusebius of Caesarea: Tradition and Innovations (Center for Hellenic Studies Press/Harvard University Press, 2013), and has written over 20 scholarly articles and many dictionary entries and book reviews. He has been an invited speaker at Keble College, Oxford; the University of Paris, Sorbonne; Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Studies; Duke University; the University of Tuebingen; and elsewhere.
Aside from reading Greek, Dr. Johnson enjoys skateboarding, playing piano, and hiking. He draws inspiration from the unlikely sources of older punk rock and pre-1991 grunge music and Romantic-era piano music. He finds particular enjoyment teaching Kairos students because of their native curiosity, quirky humor, thoughtful faith commitments, and genuine kindness. Sharing courses with Kairos students who readily engage with complex and often odd literary pieces from Greco-Roman antiquity is an opportunity he does not take for granted.
Johnson teaches the Kairos Foundations of Western Culture course.
Dr. Jared Wielfaert, Assistant Professor of Humanities, works on the cultural history of the Latin West in the early middle ages, with a particular focus on the literature of the Carolingian Renaissance. Wielfaert has a PhD in History from the University of Toronto; he holds an MA in Medieval Studies from the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, and an MA in Theology from Lee University. His hobbies include photography, fishing, hiking, and running after his wife and kids.
Wielfaert teaches HUMN 202: Rise of Europe in the Honors core, Latin, and upper-level courses in the history and literature of the middle ages.
Dr. Chad Schrock is Associate Professor of English at Lee University, with a 2010 PhDfrom Penn State. He specializes in early British literature specifically and religion-and-literature more broadly. He teaches Rhetoric & Research (currently sub-themed “How to Read Intelligently for Pleasure”) in the Kairos core, Western Literature I: Ancient to Renaissance in the General Education Core, and hardcore English classes that range from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Capstone.
He has work published or forthcoming on texts from the fourth, fifth, eighth (depending on how you date Beowulf), twelfth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, and there is mounting evidence that someone he does not know personally has actually read from his book Consolation in Medieval Narrative (2015).
His adorable and fascinating wife, Rachel, is an assistant worship leader at their church, and they have adopted two adorable and fascinating children: Toby and Lucy.
For more information, email Kairos Scholars at firstname.lastname@example.org