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Shatzer named Union University provost

Staff reports

Jacob Shatzer, associate provost and dean of instruction at Union University, has been named the university’s provost, effective July 1.

Shatzer will replace John Netland, who has served as Union’s provost since 2017 and chose to return to the classroom as a professor in the Department of English. 

“Jacob Shatzer is a gifted leader, and a wonderful Christian scholar and teacher,” Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver said. “We are blessed to have someone already on campus who is so well prepared to take on this important role at Union. His commitment to Christ and to excellence in all things will help us advance Union’s mission for the years ahead.”

Shatzer joined the Union faculty in 2017 as assistant professor of theological studies and associate dean of the School of Theology and Missions after serving at Sterling College and Palm Beach Atlantic University. He was promoted to associate professor in 2019 and tenured in 2021. 

He was named Union’s assistant provost in 2020 and has served in his current role since 2023. He also serves as an affiliate faculty member for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an adjunct professor for doctoral courses in ethics for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

David S. Dockery, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former president at Union, said he remembers with fondness the day he met Shatzer as an incoming freshman at Union.

“Now, two decades later those observations have been confirmed and amplified as Dr. Shatzer has developed into an outstanding scholar and insightful academic leader,” Dockery said. “I am truly excited that Jacob has been given the special opportunity to provide leadership for the Union University faculty and to influence a new generation of Union students to think and live Christianly for the years to come.”

Shatzer is the author of four books, including “Faithful Learning: A Vision for Theologically Integrated Education” (named best book in Christian Education by the Southwestern Baptist Journal of Theology in 2023) and the forthcoming “Biblical Ethics: Scripture’s One Voice and Vision for Life,” which will be released by B&H Academic this summer. He has also written chapters for edited volumes and dozens of journal articles. 

A 2007 graduate of Union with a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies-languages, Shatzer earned his Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Philosophy in theological ethics from Marquette University in 2014.

In addition to his teaching and administrative roles at Union, Shatzer has served on the university curriculum committee, the council of chairs and the core revision task team, among many other committee assignments. 

“Dr. Shatzer is a natural leader who enthusiastically supports faculty, values the liberal arts and lives Union’s Christ-centered mission,” said Ashley Blair, associate professor of communication arts and department chair. “His scholarship, excellence in the classroom and love of Union as an alumnus make him uniquely qualified to provide an academic vision for Union’s future.”

Shatzer and his wife Keshia have four children (Zeke, 14; Jack, 12; Mona, 10; and Lena, 8) and are members of West Jackson Baptist Church.

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