Board Members

Our Leadership

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Dave Kiehn, PhD

PRESIDENT

Dave serves as the lead pastor for Park Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC. He holds a BA in Intellectual History from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MDiv and PhD (North American Missiology) from SEBTS. Dave is the author of over ten books and serves as the Regional Coordinator for the Pillar Network.

Michael White, PhD

ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

Michael serves as the lead pastor for Freedom Church in Lincolnton, NC. He holds a BS in Biology from the University of South Carolina, an MDiv and ThM from SEBTS, and a PhD (Systematic Theology) from Wheaton College. Michael has taught adjunctively at Charleston Southern University and North Greenville University and serves on the board for Gospel Systems. He has published articles with the Journal of Theological Interpretation, Westminster Theological Seminary Journal, and Trinity Journal.

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Chris Griggs, DMin

CHAIR OF THE BOARD

Chris has pastored churches in Georgia and North Carolina for over 30 years. He holds a BA in Psychology from Wake Forest University, and an MDiv and DMin from SEBTS. He co-hosts The Front Pew podcast and has written for The Gospel Coalition. Chris served as the chair of the Board of Trustees at SEBTS and as the vice-chair for the 2021-2022 SBC Committee on Nominations, and has been involved in missions around the world, including South Korea, India, Nicaragua, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. 

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Jenn Heckman

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Jenn holds a BEd from St. Thomas University, and a MBA from the University of Fredericton. She has over a decade of work experience both in a franchised educational environment and in ministry organizations. Jenn is one of the founders of Local Lingo (Gospel-centered ESL curriculum for churches) and Theolingo (a platform providing online theological ESL courses). She is a member of Pineland Baptist Church, where she is actively involved in women’s ministry.

Teaching Fellows

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Kyler Smith, PhD

Dr. Smith is an Oklahoma native who has previously served churches in his home state and in Arkansas. For the past ten years he has served as Hickory Grove Baptist Church, where he is the Senior Associate Pastor. With degrees from John Brown University, Southern Seminary, and Midwestern Seminary, Dr. Smith’s passion is preaching and teaching God’s Word. Beyond that, he and his wife Lauren—whom he met his first day at Hickory Grove!

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Scott Hand, DMin

Dr. Hand is a Gastonia native who served with the IMB in East Asia for ten years before returning home to serve as Local Disciple-Making Pastor at Parkwood Baptist Church—the same church where he came to faith as a teenager. He holds degrees from Appalachian State University and Southeastern Seminary, and his passions are disciple-making and evangelism. Dr. Hand lives and breathes the material in this course. Beyond that, he and his wife Christine have four children, and he loves all sports (except for soccer!).

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Steve Benson, DEdMin, MDiv, MAC, LCMHC-S, LCAS

Steve started Grace Roads Counseling Center in 2012 to journey with others on the road toward healing, hope, and grace. He earned a BA in Bible from Covenant College, an MDiv from RTS, a MAC from Covenant Seminary, and the DEdMin from Southern Seminary. He is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Coun­selor Supervisor and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) in North Carolina. Steve has taught adjunctively at Charlotte Christian College and Seminary and Erskine Theological Seminary, and previously served as a missionary in Honduras with Mission to the World. He is the author of Embracing Love: Living on the Other Side of Disconnected Relationships.

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Jordon Willard, DMin

Jordon has pastored churches in Virginia and North Carolina since 2010, and currently serves as the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Weddington, NC. He holds a BA in Christian Studies from the College at Southeastern, and an MDiv and DMin from SEBTS. Jordon serves on the Board of Directors for the Baptist State Convention of NC and he is the president of the 2023 NC Pastors’ Conference. Jordon has been involved with The Pastors’ Network of North Carolina and the Tarheel Leadership Network, and he has passion for revitalizing and strengthening churches. 

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John Morrison, PhD

John is the lead church planter for Christ the King Church in Hickory, NC. He earned a BA in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his MDiv and PhD
from Southern Seminary. Prior to planting Christ the King, John served as the Pastor of Theological Training at Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville, GA where he also oversaw Lakewood’s COR3:6 Church Planting Network. He has presented papers to the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Missiological Society and has written extensively for the local church.