Department home


Distinguished Senior Fellows

Shawn Akers, M.A., J.D.

Dean, Helms School of Government                                                                           

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, Liberty University School of Law



  • J.D., Regent University School of Law
  • M.A., Regent University School of Government
  • B.A., Northeast Louisiana University


Shawn Akers regularly works with conservative faith-based leaders and organizations at the national level, addressing matters of public policy, lobbying, and elections. He serves on the advisory council of National Public Policy Strategy Coalition and he regularly participates in the Military Culture Coalition, a council of experts and leaders on national defense and military readiness, headed by Elaine Donnelly.

Akers has also:

As a private practice attorney, Akers represented clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the Louisiana Supreme Court. While in private practice, he served as a member of the Louisiana Bar Association House of Delegates.

Akers works with the dean of the Liberty University School of Law to develop joint programs and opportunities between the Helms School of Government and the law school. 

View Dr. Shawn Akers' Biography in Helms School of Government 

Joseph Brewer, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research, College of Osteopathic Medicine                                              

Associate Professor of Immunology                                                                              

Chair, Department of Molecular and Cellular Sciences



  • Ph.D., Duke University
  • B.S., Auburn University


Dr. Brewer earned a BS in Molecular Biology at Auburn University (’90) and a PhD in Immunology at Duke University (’95). He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cell biology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Dr. Brewer came to LUCOM with 14 years of faculty experience in medical and graduate education in the biomedical sciences, teaching
immunology and mentoring students in the laboratory.

Dr. Brewer served on the faculty at the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago, for 8 years and then at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine for 6 years. His research focuses on a cellular stress response mechanism, termed the unfolded protein response, and on the function of B-lymphocytes in the immune system.

Dr. Brewer and his wife, Pamela, have 2 daughters and a son. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities, sightseeing, and serving in their home church, especially working with children.

View Dr. Joseph Brewer's Biography in the College of Osteopathic Medicine

Kenneth J. Dormer, M.S, Ph.D., FAHA

Chair and Professor of Physiology                                                                        

Department of Integrative Physiology & Pharmacology, College of Osteopathic Medicine



  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Ph.D., University California, Los Angeles, CA
  • M.S., University California, Los Angeles, CA
  • B.S., Cornell University


Prior to joining LUCOM in April 2013, Dr. Dormer spent 30 years at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City as a professor and researcher.

During that tenure, he co-founded three not-for-profit corporations; two in Africa to promote medical teaching and research and one in Oklahoma City, the Hough Ear Institute. The HEI is a Christian, otologic research, education and humanitarian organization where, along with Dr. Jack Hough, Dormer co-invented a portion of the cochlear implant, the Audiant Bone Conductor and the MAXUM; FDA-approved implantable hearing devices, presently in ~ 200,000 patients.

His passion to serve underserved people in Christ’s name has been expressed in Africa for 18 years where two of the non-profit organizations sought to aid medical education and research in sub-Saharan African medical schools and where today, he is Adjunct Faculty with the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons, a ministry of CMDA.

He and his wife of 47 years, Karen Dormer, have served together, teaching marriage skills classes, teaching English as second language to international students (English Literacy Mission) and facilitating The Truth Project, a 13 week Christian World View course, for the past 20 years. Together they enjoy camping, distance cycling, fly fishing, and wind surfing.

View Dr. Ken Dormer's Biography in the College of Osteopathic Medicine

Keith Faulkner, J.D.

Dean, School of Law                                                                                              

Professor of Law




  • J.D., Campbell Law School
  • M.B.A., Campbell University
  • B.S., Charlston Southern University


B. Keith Faulkner joined the Liberty University family on October 1, 2015, as dean of the School of Law. Prior to coming to Liberty, Faulkner gained valuable experience during his tenure at Campbell Law School. His team prepared students to lead the state in both first-time bar passage on numerous occasions and in overall bar passage during his nine years at Campbell Law.  He served as the law school project manager for the construction/repurposing of a 110,000 square foot law school facility and coordinated all logistics to support the move of the law school from Buies Creek to downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.  While interim dean, Campbell Law realized the institution’s highest rankings as a top tier law school in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools 2014 guidebook; competed for three national championships (earning the title at the 2013 South Texas Mock Trial Challenge); created the Campbell Connections Mentorship Program, Public Interest Fellow Program, and the “Study & Service in Panama” mission trip; established the Norman Adrian Wiggins Law Faculty & Staff Endowed Scholarship; enjoyed a 100 percent faculty and staff participation in the annual university-wide employee giving campaign; and added nine new endowed scholarships.

Faulkner holds his J.D. and M.B.A. from Campbell and his B.S. in business administration from Charleston Southern University.

Professionally, Faulkner enjoys developing effective and exceptional teams that deliver superior education and support to students.  Personally, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Patty, and his three children, Hannah, Erin, and Ryan.

View Dr. Keith Faulkner's Biography in the Rawlings School of Divinity

Mark W. Foreman, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy and Religion



  • Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • M.A., University of Virginia
  • M.A.B.S., Dallas Theological Seminary


Dr. Mark W. Foreman is professor of philosophy and religion at Liberty University where he has taught philosophy, apologetics, and bioethics for over 25 years. He has an MABS from Dallas Theological Seminary and an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

He is the author of Christianity and Bioethics (College Press, 1999, [reprint Wipf and Stock, 2011] ), Prelude to Philosophy: An Introduction for Christians (InterVarsity Press, 2013), How Do We Know: An Introduction to Epistemology (with James K. Dew,Jr., InterVarsity Press, 2014) and articles in theEncyclopedia of Christian Civilization (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics(Harvest House, 2008) as well as chapters in Come Let us Reason: New Essay in Christian Apologetics(B&H, 2012) Steven Spielberg and Philosophy (with David Baggett, University of Kentucky Press, 2008) and Tennis and Philosophy (University of Kentucky Press, 2010).

Mark is the current vice-president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society where he has been a member for over 20 years. He is married and has three adult children and 4 grandchildren.

View Dr. Mark Foreman's Biography in the Department of Philosophy

Christopher Gnanakan, Ph.D.

Professor of Theological and Global Studies



  • Ph.D., University of Leeds (UK)
  • D.D., Trinity Baptist College
  • D.Min., South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies
  • M.Th., South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies
  • M.Div., Asian Graduate School of Theology
  • B.A., Bible and Christian Ministry Tennessee Temple University
  • Diploma in Biblical Studies, Word of Life Bible Institute


Dr. Gnanakan has served at Liberty University since 2014 as a faculty member in the Rawlings School of Divinity. His Academic expertise is in Theological Studies, Global Studies, and World Religions. Professor Gnanakan has more than 20 years of experience in teaching, preaching, counseling and leaders in the in international settings. In that experience he has also been involved in Church planting, pastoring, and partnering with mission organizations.

He has written several academic and lay curriculums for Churches and Christian organizations. Dr. Gnanakan has also published several books including: Charismata and Compassion, Lambert Academic Press, Saarbrucken, Germany, 2012. Angels and Demons, “Wounded Warrior-Healer”, Illinois, Apollos / IVP, 2007. South Asia Biblical Commentary, “First & Second Peter”, Langham Press, forthcoming.

Dr. Gnanakan is also the Executive Director of Outreach to Asia Nationals (OTAN), which is headquartered in Winchestor VA. He is also a member of Global Alliance for Church Multiplication (GACM), World Evangelical Association (WEA) Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI), Missio Nexus, and Board:15:20 Coalition.

View Dr. Chris Gnanakan's Biography in the Rawlings School of Divinity

Ed Hindson, Ph.D.

Dean, Rawlings School of Divinity

Dean, Institute of Biblical Studies

Distinguished Professor of Religion



  • Ph.D., University of South Africa
  • D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary
  • Th.D., Trinity Graduate School of Theology
  • Th.M., Grace Theological Seminary
  • M.A., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • B.A., William Tyndale College


Dr. Hindson has served as a visiting lecturer at Oxford University and the Harvard Divinity School, as well as numerous evangelical seminaries including Dallas, Denver, Trinity, Grace, and Westminster. He has taught over 50,000 students in the past 25 years. His solid academic scholarship, combined with a dynamic and practical teaching style, communicate biblical truth in a powerful and positive manner.

He has authored over 40 books, including:

  • “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics”
  • “The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey”
  • “Matthew: The King is Coming”

He also served as general editor or co-editor of the following:

  • “Knowing Jesus Study Bible” (Gold Medallion award-winning)
  • “King James Study Bible”
  • “King James Bible Commentary”
  • “Twenty-First Century Bible Commentary” (16th volume) 

Hindson and his wife Donna reside in Forest, Va., and have three children and six grandchildren.

View Dr. Ed Hindson's Biography in the Rawlings School of Divinity

Gary D. Isaacs, Jr., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology

Biology/Chemistry Department in the School of Health Sciences


  • Ph.D., Cornell University
  • B.S., Liberty University


Dr. Gary Isaacs was born in Milford, Delaware in 1977.  He married Jami Crissman in 2002 and together they have three children: Andrew (2004), Mia (2006) and Rachel (2008).  He joined the Liberty faculty in 2009, ten years after graduating from the biology program here at Liberty.  His current research interests relate to gene regulation in eukaryotes, as well as techniques using DNA methodologies.

View Dr. Gary Isaac's Biography in the School of Health Sciences

Linda Mintle, Ph.D.

Chair, Division of Behavioral Health                                                                      

Department of Primary Care                                                                                     

College of Osteopathic Medicine



  • Ph.D., Old Dominion University
  • M.S.W., Western Michigan University
  • B.A., Western Michigan University


Linda Mintle is a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and an approved supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy with postgraduate training from the Family Therapy Practice Center in Georgetown.

Prior to her appointment with the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Mintle served on the faculty of Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in both the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Clinical Pediatrics. Mintle completed her internships at the Beach Center for Infertility, Endocrinology and IVF in Virginia Beach, Va., and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Battle Creek, Mich.

Mintle also taught in the doctoral psychology programs at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., and Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. She directed the Eastern Virginia Family Therapy Clinic at EVMS as well as Family Services at the Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida.

The author of 15 books, numerous chapters and articles, Mintle hosts her own radio shows and is a national news contributor on mental health issues. Her research and clinical interests include: eating disorders, obesity, infertility, and anxiety disorders.

View Dr. Linda Mintle's Biography in the College of Osteopathic Medicine

Karen Swallow Prior, Ph.D.

Professor of English



  • Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
  • M.A., State University of New York at Buffalo
  • B.A., Daemen College


Karen Swallow Prior is a member of the graduate faculty and specializes in 18th century British literature, which she loves for its emphasis on philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, and community.

Her scholarly work has appeared in “1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era,” “The Shandean,” “The Scriblerian,” and various literary encyclopedias. Her books include “Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More - Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist” and “Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me.”

She is a contributing writer for Christianity Today, The Atlantic, In Touch, and Think Christian.  Her writing has also appeared at Comment, Relevant, Books and Culture, Fieldnotes, The Well, and Salvo conferences.  She has spoken at numerous writing conferences including the Festival of Faith and Writing and the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference.

Prior has received several teaching awards and recognitions including:

  • Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013
  • Faculty of the Year by the Multicultural Enrichment Center in 2010
  • Sigma Tau Delta (Liberty chapter) Teacher of the Year Award in 2006
  • President's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2003

Prior is a member of Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States. She lives in rural Virginia with her husband along with sundry dogs, horses, and chickens.  

View Dr. Karen Swallow Prior's Biography in the Department of English 

Gary Sibcy, Ph.D.

Director of Ph.D. Program in Counseling

Director of Research & Evaluation Center


  • Ph.D., The Union Institute and University School of Clinical and Professional Psychology
  • M.A., Liberty University
  • B.S., Liberty University


Dr. Sibcy has been in private clinical practice for the past decade. His research interests include development a new treatment protocol for treating disruptive behaviors in children, attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology, personality disorders and family development.

Dr. Sibcy has authored or co-authored a number of books and publications, including Loving Your Child Too Much: Raise Your Kids Without Overindulging, Overprotecting or Overcontrolling.

Certification & Licensure

  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist

 View Dr. Gary Sibcy's Biography in the Counselor Education Department in the School of Behavioral Sciences.

Samuel Smith, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of History                                                                                    

Director of Graduate Program                                                                                 

Professor of History





  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina
  • M.A., Bob Jones University
  • B.A., Bob Jones University


Samuel Smith received his B.A. (Bible) and M.A. (Church History) from Bob Jones University and his Ph.D. (History) from the University of South Carolina. His primary research interest is in the intellectual and religious development of the Colonial and Revolutionary South. He has various publications in his field including A Cautious Enthusiasm: Mystical Piety and Evangelicalism in Colonial South Carolina (University of South Carolina Press, 2013). Dr. Smith has taught history on the high school and college levels. He is married to Rebecca and has four children: Kendra, Logan, Kayla, and Haddon.

View Dr. Samuel Smith's Biography in the Department of History