by: Jenny Gregory

CLEVELAND, Ga – With the addition of four new graduate programs, including the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Biology, Master of Education and Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, Truett McConnell University (TMU) recently hired four new distinguished faculty members.

The new faculty hires demonstrate TMU’s continued commitment to uphold a quality and biblical education while enhancing the academic experience for students.

This dynamic group of new faculty include: Dr. Charmaine Balfour, Dr. Ardyth Foster, Dr. Richard Fowler and Dr. Katherine Hyatt.

Dr. Charmaine Balfour, of Power Springs, Ga., comes to TMU as an Associate Professor of Business. She previously held the position of Assistant Professor of Business and Finance from Talladega College. Balfour received her M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University, A.B.D. in Finance from Nova Southeastern University and D.B.A. in International Business from Argosy University.

Balfour and her husband, Steve, of 25 years, have a son, Kevaughn, who is a recent graduate from the University of West Georgia, and a grandson, Kason. The couple enjoys spending time together as a family, visiting family and friends in her native country of Jamaica and traveling to new places all over the world.

“I believe [the Lord] led me to TMU because it is an environment where I can freely express my belief in Him and openly declare that I am a child of God without repercussions,” Balfour shared.

“As a Christian who is passionate about God’s word,” she continued, “it gives me the opportunity to not only share with students, but also to incorporate biblical teachings into the curriculum.”

Dr. Ardyth Foster comes to TMU as Associate Professor of Education from Lawrenceville, GA. She was previously Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Armstrong State University’s Department of Childhood and Exceptional Student Education. Foster received her M.A. in Education with a concentration in Mathematics from St. Xavier University and her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Foster and her husband, Hugh, have been married for 35 years and have three sons: Blake, Patrick and Devon. Her interests include music (singing) and travel.

“My goals have always included having opportunities to positively impact the lives of youth and to see young people develop an appreciation and love for mathematics,” Foster shared. “Elemental to these ideas is the beauty of God that is expressed through mathematical principles. What better means of achieving both goals than helping to prepare teachers who will foster a similar appreciation in their students?”

“Being able to teach at an institution that allows me the freedom of sharing these ideas in a way that gives honor to God makes TMU the ideal place for me,” Foster stated.

Dr. Richard Fowler comes to TMU from Celina, Texas, as Professor of Psychology. His recent experience includes Director of Clinical Services at Minirth-Meier New Life Clinic and Senior Staff Therapist at Hope Works Counseling Center in Plano, Texas. Fowler received his Ed.D. from Highland University, Ed.S. from University of Georgia and M.A.T. from Wisconsin State University.

Fowler and his wife, Jeri, have been married 49 years and have two children and 8 grandchildren. The Fowler’s enjoy water sports and horseback riding and are excited to explore the new riding trails Georgia has to offer.

“We believe it is a fit because we believe God has called us to serve Him at TMU,” Fowler said. “It is a fit for me as professor because I will only teach at an institution that holds to a strong biblical world view.”

Dr. Katherine Hyatt, who resides in Jasper, Ga., will join TMU as Professor of Business. She comes to TMU from Reinhardt University as Dean of the McCamish School of Business. Hyatt received her M.B.A. in Finance from Nova Southeastern University, D.B.A. in Management from Nova Southeastern University and Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching from the University of Texas.

In addition to being active in their church, Hyatt and her husband Michael, of 16 years, enjoy exercising, outdoor activities, going to the beach and spending time with their dog, Elise. Hyatt also enjoys reading, baking and quilting.

“TMU’s mission to fulfill the great commission speaks to me on a personal level as a Baptist,” Hyatt explained. “TMU prepares students to lead lives of purpose and to honor God in their chosen profession which aligns with my personal values and my desire to develop leaders with competence, compassion and integrity.”

“As a professor, I love that I can share my perspective and my faith with my students,” she added. “I am able to coach, mentor and invest in them. Seeing my students succeed makes my job worthwhile. They are the reason I have chosen to teach.”

Dr. Brad Reynolds, Vice President for Academic Services eagerly awaits the arrival of these new faculty members.

“Every year, as we hire new faculty, I am amazed at how the best kept secret in the north Georgia mountains [TMU] is able to attract world class faculty whose academic prowess is surpassed only by their love for Jesus.”

“This year is no exception to that amazement. What God is doing here is nothing short of a modern day miracle,” Reynolds concluded.

The fall academic year is scheduled to begin August 16, 2017. More information on the newly expanded master’s programs at Truett McConnell University can be expounded by visiting


Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager for TMU’s Marketing and Communications Department.

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