Dr. Jim Motes earned two associate degrees, one in Electronic Engineering and the second in Liberal Arts. He then pursued his BA in Religion and Philosophy from Mars Hill College in North Carolina. After this he completed his MDiv/RE at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Later he completed an MS in Management at Southern Wesleyan University. He received his Doctorate in Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hampton, Mass. His doctorial thesis is “Faith Integration in the Work Place.”
He is married to Carrie Ann Motes (they met while at Mars Hill) and they have three grown children and six grandchildren. Jennifer completed her Masters at AU and teaches 8th grade English, Stephen is a Fire Fighter/Paramedic, and Sarah is a student at AU. They have a Boxer named Turner and a cat named Tippi.
Dr. Motes is Associate Professor of Christian Ministry at AU and has brought over 20 years experience in Church related ministry from service in Churches in Virginia, North and South Carolina. He has worked in Associational Missions, has taught and continues to teach a variety of subjects in church settings, and is published in Sunday School Leadership magazine. As an “Army brat” his upbringing has enriched his multi-cultural perspective for ministry.
Dr. Ryan Neal earned a BA in Political Science from Texas Tech University. He then pursued theological and ministerial training and is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDivBL), and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (MTh; PhD). He is married to Jennifer, and they have four children.
Dr. Neal’s teaching and research focuses on the relationship between biblical interpretation and theology. His Ph.D. research focused on systematic theology, specifically questions raised in contemporary German theology. He is the author of Theology As Hope: On the Ground and the Implications of Jurgen Moltmann’s Doctrine of Hope, and has published a variety of essays, articles, and chapters on theological topics. Dr. Neal has presented papers in several academic venues in England, Scotland, New Zealand, and the United States. Most recently he presented a paper on eschatology at the University of Notre Dame.
I love teaching college students because it is a rich, formative time. College students are highly inquisitive, curious, and most enjoy the questions set before them. Primarily, I teach courses that focus on life’s perennial questions, whether related to interpretation, theology, or ethics. I have the luxury and privilege of participating with students as they grapple with the questions, contemplate the potential answers, and help them wade through the implications.
For local congregations, I have led a variety of Bible Studies and I enjoy preaching. Dr. Neal and his family are members of Capstone Community Church.