NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Bill Higley: Serving through Leadership
Bill Higley (82) has served others through leadership for more than 13 years at BBC. He has followed God's direction to lead among the team of faculty and staff, and he's also worked to train the next generation of Christian leaders.
Along with his role as a professor, he serves as Head Softball Coach, supervisor over several academic programs, a participant on several faculty committees, and was recently appointed Dean of the School of Global Ministries. Outside of BBC, he serves as an overseer at Parker Hill Community Church, which has three campuses in the region.
I grew up out in the country, in a little place called Turtlepoint, PA. This is in the heart of the Pennsylvania Appalachian region, and we were very much mountain people as they say. In high school, I started attending a Baptist church in Smethport PA, and through the faithful ministry of the people of that church just before my senior year in high school, I made a commitment to the Lord. It was a slow process. I had heard the gospel many times, but it took a lot of prayers and conversations. It was specifically a long conversation with a youth leader one summer evening that God used as the changing point. On June 23, 1977, I placed my trust in Christ and have not looked back.
Through the ministry of that church and Pastor Ken Alt, I visited BBC in the spring of my senior year. I really didn't even know what kind of school BBC was, but I knew after arriving that this is where God wanted me. It was a complete shift in thinking. But even after I was here I was unsure and twice almost transferred. But through God's sovereign leading, I never went through with either and ended up staying and being convinced that He wanted me to serve Him in ministry.
After earning a bachelor's degree in 1982, majoring in Local Church Education, I went on to get my M.A.C.E. at Dallas Theological Seminary in 1987. A few years ago, I received my Ph.D. at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before working at BBC, I was a Director of Christian Education & Youth Ministry and a Pastor of Family Ministries.
When I was first hired at BBC, I was asked by President Jeffery to lead a committee to help establish a consistent church attendance policy for students, faculty, and staff. We still use that same policy 12 years later and it has served the college well. As a professor, my particular area of teaching focus is local Church Ministry; specifically in church leadership and education-related subjects. I also teach some Bible electives, mainly through our online and graduate studies areas.
My wife and I were the class advisors for the class of 2006. We really enjoyed that. I have also served for several years on the Academic Affairs Committee. I enjoy having the opportunity work with my colleagues to help shape the academic environment and direction of the college. I have helped to create and now have the honor of leading our Sports Ministry Department, which now includes degree programs in Sports and Recreational Ministries, Sports Management, and Sports & Health Science.
Since returning to BBC, my wife, Susan, and I have been members and have served in many capacities at our local church, Parker Hill Community Church. I am currently an Overseer and on the Global Outreach Committee, and a champion of our Haiti missions partnership, which has involved trips to Haiti.
In 2012-13, I served as co-leader of the School of Global Ministries with the plan of moving into the full role in the future; that happened in January 2014. This role provides an opportunity to lead my peers and our School in better serving the local church and the greater body of Christ through our academic pursuits at BBC. We are uniquely positioned to influence the church because we are training and equipping young people to serve the church in many capacities. It is exciting to think of all the ways the graduates of the School of Global Ministries will impact the kingdom of God in this world.
My focus as a leader is leading and serving people in such a way that they will be better equipped to serve God in the particular calling He has for them in this world. BBC gives the opportunity to build into students lives. I see my role as being that of Ephesians 4:11-16, where I have the privilege of using the unique ministry of teaching, coaching, and mentoring students in a college environment, to equip other people for the ministry God has called them to. And that is indeed, special privilege and honor.
As a coach, I often tell my potential recruits and my players, softball is just another tool in the tool kit God has given at BBC, to help mold and shape you to become what God wants you to be. And it is a very different kind of "tool," one that gives us the unique physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges that athletic competition can bring.
The softball team is a place where Susan and I have developed some of our most special friendships with BBC students, and that is the most rewarding aspect of coaching. Playing or coaching a sport gives you the opportunity to build lifelong relationships, and that is the most rewarding aspect of all of the process. We do play to win. But we have much bigger goals and aspirations than winning games. In the end, we''ll be evaluated on whether we "won" with each other, and with the people we played against and who saw us play; and ultimately, did we "win" with God?
I love hanging out with my best friend, my wife. I am an unabashed fan of theologian, Pastor, Professor, Nazi resister, author, and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I am totally fascinated by his life and writing. I am also a Civil War buff, and a fan of Abraham Lincoln. Some hobbies I have are reading, jogging, watching good movies, and listening to music. Susan and I have done a few half marathons. I enjoy going to the beach and am partial to warm temperatures. I am a huge Buffalo Bills fan—too much so, probably.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers outstanding Christian higher education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to think biblically, grow spiritually, and serve faithfully as they gain critical leadership and life skills.
To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 9/19/2014 4:49:20 PM