Brewton-Parker College receives approval for Master’s from SACSCOC

On Sunday, December 4, Brewton-Parker College (BPC) received notification that the application to become a level three institution has been approved by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees. Level three will allow BPC to offer master’s-level classes starting in March 2023 with the launch of the new seminary, Temple Baptist Theological Seminary (TBTS).

Established in 1904, BPC has continued to grow as South Georgia’s Christian College and equip students for “lifelong learning and service in Christ.” In starting a seminary, BPC is seeking to meet the need for practical ministry training for service in local churches. 

The first master’s level programs offered will be a Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) and Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies (MABTS). These programs will be offered entirely online to accommodate the busy schedules of individuals, including bivocational and covocational ministers, desiring to pursue a MAM or MABTS degree. 

The two degrees are designed with an established core and ample electives, and students may continue their studies beyond the MAM into the MABTS. The programs also will provide pathways for advanced doctoral degrees such as the D.Min. and Ph.D. According to BPC’s transfer policy, students may satisfy up to two-thirds of the credits required to complete a master’s degree at BPC from coursework earned elsewhere. 

The name Temple Baptist Theological Seminary was chosen to once again carry forth the heritage of a school that trained hundreds of ministers before the merger of Tennessee Temple University, where it was housed, within what is now known as Carolina University. Having spent time as the president of TTU, Dr. Steve Echols recalls the heritage of Temple Baptist Theological Seminary (as it was known for most of its existence) as a school that emphasized fidelity to biblical inerrancy, a zeal for evangelism, and practical application to everyday ministry. The name seemed to be a perfect fit as Echols noted that these three aspects represent BPC’s commitment to ministry training that is biblically based, and ministry focused. Dr. Echols affirmed that the seminary will expand and reinforce the focus of BPC as equipping students to serve and grow local churches. 

To facilitate a seamless educational experience, courses will be offered in eight-week sessions. Students may take courses at their own pace. The year-round schedule will offer maximum flexibility. Seminary students will receive personalized instruction from esteemed faculty who hold over 150 years of combined ministry and missions experience to become the next generation of Christian leaders. 

Dr. Mark Gregory will serve as the Dean of TBTS. Dr. Gregory previously served as the Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Carolina University. Prior to being a professor, Dr. Gregory was a full-time senior pastor for thirty-one years, including founding and leading an SBC church in Middle Tennessee for nineteen years. Dr. Echols remarked, “Dr. Gregory is the perfect example of what we want our seminary to feature in our professors. He has outstanding academic credentials but also practical ministry experience. Everything we will teach in our seminary will be focused on equipping students for ministry in the local church.” 

Dr. Mark Gregory commented, “We are excited for the opportunity to serve the churches of our convention by training pastors and ministers. Pastors today must be prepared with a strong biblical foundation for facing cultural challenges, and at the same time we need to train for practical ministry to the deepest spiritual needs of the people we serve. TBTS seeks to merge these two emphases through our focused curriculum and our experienced faculty.”

 BPC is now accepting applications and admitting students into TBTS. Special scholarships are available for Southern Baptists who are training for vocational ministry, and TTU and BPC alumni. For more information about the seminary or to apply, please visit

Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, FL. As a comprehensive Georgia Baptist institution, Brewton-Parker College provides liberal arts and professional programs in a learning community of shared Christian values. Through the application of biblical truth in scholarship and a co-curricular focus on character, servant leadership, and cultural engagement, the college strives to provide a transformational experience that equips the whole student for lifelong learning and service in Christ.

Visit Brewton-Parker College online at


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

Profeessional Tutor

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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