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ACU Dallas Strengthens Commitment to Vocational Formation with New Executive Director and Dean

ACU Dallas proudly announces Dr. Christopher Cobbler as the new Executive Director for the Center for Vocational Formation and Dean of Vocational Formation. His appointment is a significant step in the university’s dedication to vocational formation, a cornerstone of ACU’s student experience and its broader community mission.

Dr. Cobbler, originally from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, currently resides in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife Kahra-lyn and their three children. His spiritual and vocational journey has been profoundly influenced by the passionate, Spirit-driven background of his Pentecostal roots and a deep reverence for Scripture shared within the Church of Christ heritage. With a rich background in congregational and academic experience in the spiritual and vocational formation field, including pastoral roles across diverse denominations, Dr. Cobbler brings a unique blend of scholarly depth and practical understanding to his new position.

A committed scholar, Dr. Cobbler holds a Master of Religious Education from Rochester University and a Doctor of Ministry from Lipscomb University. He has also served as an adjunct professor for both ACU Online and Rochester University. When asked about his motivation to join ACU Dallas and the Center for Vocational Formation, Dr. Cobbler expressed his excitement about the mission:

“I believe that human flourishing is fundamentally a kingdom principle that reflects God’s desires for our communities; I can’t wait to join others in cultivating space aimed at responding to the Spirit’s invitation into this flourishing. I’m thrilled to begin a sacred pilgrimage with ACU Dallas and look forward to the beauty we will discover on this journey together!”

The appointment follows a rigorous selection process led by the diligent search committee chaired by Dr. Tiffany Dahlman. The careful selection process emphasized the importance of vocational formation—a process connecting one’s work to God’s purpose in the world—integral to ACU Dallas’ culture and mission.

In his new role, Dr. Cobbler joins ACU Dallas’s Senior Leadership Team, reporting to Dr. George Saltsman, Vice President and Chief Academic Innovation and Strategy Officer. His leadership will actively shape the campus culture around spiritual and vocational formation, including the search for the new Director of Spiritual Life. The Director, reporting to Dr. Cobbler, will serve as an internal-facing chaplain and provide pastoral care for students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Stephen Johnson, the Chief Executive Officer of ACU Dallas, expressed his anticipation for Dr. Cobbler’s contributions to the Center for Vocational Formation, emphasizing its centrality to the university’s mission and identity. He highlighted that vocational formation influences every part of the ACU Dallas community.

“As we curate this crucial aspect of our identity, we do so with the aim of offering it to the broader university, a growing number of partner organizations, and to the general public. The Center for Vocational Formation is the ‘house’ in which this important work will live and I can not be more excited to have Dr. Cobbler join us as Executive Director and Dean.”

As ACU Dallas remains committed to providing vibrant, innovative, online education and shaping Christian leaders, Dr. Cobbler’s appointment plays a crucial part in discerning God’s purposes for the future of the campus and its students, ensuring a thriving academic community deeply rooted in spiritual and vocational formation.

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