The Severed Self – An Academic Book by BPC Professor of Christian Studies

May 14, 2024
Dr. Michael Steinmetz (Assistant Professor of Christian Studies and Director of Information Technology) with the cover of his academic book, The Severed Self: The Doctrine of Sin in the Works of Søren Kierkegaard.

MOUNT VERNON — Brewton-Parker College’s Assistant Professor of Christian Studies and Director of Information Technology, Dr. Michael Steinmetz, had an academic book published by De Gruyter Press on September 7, 2021. Dr. Steinmetz’s book entitled The Severed Self: The Doctrine of Sin in the Works of Søren Kierkegaard, explores the doctrine of sin as a necessary, but often unspoken, topic in theology.

Dr. Steinmetz received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy/Religion from Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana, and continued his studies receiving a Masters in Theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. Next, he worked toward his Th.M. and eventually his Ph.D. in Theology and minor in the New Testament from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Whenever Dr. Steinmetz teaches Christian doctrine, he likes to go over the doctrine of sin. He brings what he learned from Kierkegaard into the conversation. Kierkegaard’s thought in general greatly affected modern theology and philosophy as described by Dr. Steinmetz. “I find Søren Kierkegaard to be a helpful theologian to explain the multifaceted nature of sin. He helps to make the abstract concept of sin concrete. Also, he shows that sin cuts down to our core–it is not something we ‘do’ but rather something we ‘are.’ We are severed from God by our own actions, and that affects everything about our lives: personal relationships, how we think, how we interact with culture, etc. I believe this work will help theologians in our thinking about sin.” 

The academic book will help others explore the philosophy of Kierkegaard. Dr. Steinmetz describes the book as a resource in two main ways: “those who want a firmer grasp on the doctrine of sin and those who want a firmer grasp on the thought of Søren Kierkegaard.” Dr. Steinmetz explains Kierkegaard as a “looming figure in philosophical study.” Dr. Steinmetz’s book can help clarify some of his hard-to-understand points in his writing. Almost every introduction to philosophy class has a section on Kierkegaard according to Dr. Steinmetz. Kierkegaard is often called the “Father of Existentialism” and the “Father of Psychology.” 

Dr. Steinmetz is currently working on a ‘Kierkegaard’s theology for evangelicals’ style of book. He noted it is still in the early stages of development. He plans to gear it toward a more popular-level audience such as pastors and parishioners. Dr. Steinmetz stated, “Kierkegaard is often viewed as an enemy to evangelical faith, and I think that is an unfair and uninformed assessment of his thought. I hope to make Kierkegaard even more digestible to the average reader, pointing out ways I find him helpful in thinking about our faith and living an authentic Christian life.”

De Gruyter Press is an academic publisher out of Germany. Dr. Steinmetz shared that they have a series dedicated to Søren Kierkegaard sponsored by the University of Copenhagen (where Kierkegaard went to school). For more information on Dr. Steinmetz’s recent publication, please visit,

The Severed Self – An Academic Book by BPC Professor of Christian Studies - Brewton-Parker College


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Joanna Phillips-Mock

Student Enrichment Director

Joanna Phillips-Mock is a proud third generation Baron, both as a student and a staff member.

Beginning her teaching career in Middle Georgia in 1995, Mrs. Mock worked with a state funded program that served some of the most disadvantaged special needs students within the local school districts. She ultimately moved into leadership positions within the organization, serving and training others in multiple initiatives. She enjoys working with students of all ages to recognize and to achieve their greatest potential.

Mrs. Mock holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brewton-Parker College, a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Georgia College and State University. She resides in Ailey, Georgia, with her husband Don, their son Tye Lewis, her mother Carol Joyce, and multiple fur babies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and attending concerts.

Candace Lilford

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Candace Lilford graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Generalism in 2021 from Anderson University and with her master’s degree in English Literature in 2023 from the University of Alabama. She presently serves as Professional Tutor for the Student Enrichment Center while also teaching sections of ENG 101 and 102. 

As part of her two-year master's program, Ms. Lilford taught sections of ENG 101 and 102, while also serving as teaching assistant for British Literature Survey courses and volunteering in the university’s Writing Center. Ms Lilford has also presented papers at the Hudson Strode Conference and the South Eastern Christian and Literature Conference as well as working on various theatrical productions.

Born in North Carolina of South African descent, Ms. Lilford has lived in Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, and Trinidad before settling in Mount Vernon with her family in 2016, where she attended Brewton-Parker College as a dual enrollment student. She presently resides in Mount Vernon with her family and spends her free time watching old TV shows.

Linda Armstrong

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Linda Armstrong earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Technology from Southeastern Technical College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with diverse populations, including at-risk youth and families and youth in crisis because of mental health and other issues. Her empathetic nature has made her an effective advocate for those in need. In addition to her professional work, Linda is also is committed to volunteerism. She has dedicated countless hours as a youth mentor, and to teaching about her faith at various Christian organizations. She believes in the power of positivity and its ability to transform not only her life but also the lives of others.

"If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully." ~ Maya Angelou

Willie Ford

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Greetings, Baron Nation!

It's truly a joy to be back in a place that has shaped me so profoundly. I'm Willie Ford, a proud 2022 graduate of historic Brewton-Parker College, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education. Following my graduation, I embarked on a journey in education, teaching Special Education within the Vidalia City School District. In addition to my role as an educator, I had the privilege of serving as the Unit Director at the J.D. Rabun Boys and Girls Club. All the while, I was honored to pastor at the esteemed New Hope Baptist Church of Rhine, Georgia. With God's grace, I managed these responsibilities, and now, I'm thrilled and ready to contribute to the welfare of our students, aiming to inspire through service.

Dusty Arnold

Mental Health Counselor

Dusty Arnold  is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a BPC alumnus. He has years of experience working with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, grief, and challenges related to Autism. He specializes in behavior-related interventions that can help college students build on their strengths to set achievable goals while also learning how to deal with the thoughts and feelings that sometimes get in the way. He incorporates Biblical values and evidence-based treatments to meet students wherever they happen to be on their journey to spiritual and psychological health. 

Carl Anthony "Tony" Wardlaw

Assistant Student Enrichment Director & Student Success Coach

Carl Anthony “Tony” Wardlaw – For over 25 years, Dr. Wardlaw has worked in leadership, counseling, and pastoring. Beginning with working in middle management for a manufacturing company in Douglas, GA, Dr. Wardlaw has also worked in the academic, nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Additionally, he served over 7 years in the United States Military as a Military Intelligence Officer before resigning his commission as a Captain in the Army.

Currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Student Enrichment Center, Student Success Coach, and Adjunct Faculty at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, GA, he also serves as the Pastor of The Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Dublin, GA.

As a member of the renowned International Gospel Singing Group, The Wardlaw Brothers, Dr. Wardlaw has traveled all over the nation and abroad ministering and singing the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Dr. Wardlaw has served as a consultant for various agencies and has worked as a Fatherhood Coordinator and G.E.D. instructor within the Technical College System of Georgia and participates in local and national civic and philanthropic work.

Dr. Wardlaw holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from the University of Georgia, two master's degrees from Troy University (Master of Science in Clinical Counseling and Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling), and a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Wardlaw is a Lifetime Silver Member of The NAACP and a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is happily married to the former Mrs. Stephanie Scott. They have 3 Children; Chambria, Marc, and Carleigh.

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