As Dr. Swope pursued his MDiv at Ashland Theological Seminary, he realized this was a place he could thrive. Though he had no guarantees, he harbored a hope of coming back to serve and teach. God fulfilled that dream, and Dr. Swope is filled with gratefulness and enjoying every minute. His upbeat personality and genuine care for others make it easy for students to connect and converse with Dr. Swope, as he offers wisdom gained through real ministry experience.
Having worked in a wide range of institutions, Dr. Swope appreciates that the ATS family is made up of people who are authentic and transparent. When he was a student, Dr. Swope had the privilege of participating in a small group made up of administrators, faculty, and students. As they met for prayer, Scripture, and sharing life, he was struck by the honesty with which the professors and administrators approached their own faith and the gentleness with which they approached the faith of others. Even today, Dr. Swope finds that his coworkers are a people who are well aware of their own failings and who trust God to shine through those limitations. This level of authenticity paves the way for grace to be freely extended to others and allows Christ to be the centerpiece of life.
In his spare time, Dr. Swope tackles adventure and fun. He loves to travel and comes alive anytime he stands on a peak overlooking a massive view of stone, trees, snow, and clouds. He also is a runner, particularly if that involves jogging through God's creation. One of his favorite trail runs was in West Virginia, where he and his dog got caught in an awesome deluge complete with thunder and lightning. Dr. Swope is also a huge fan of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan series.
Since the day he married his lovely bride, Catherine, Dr. Swope's main hobby has been his family, which includes four grown children and two fluffy dogs. The Swopes love living in Ashland, but that doesn't stop Catherine from lobbying for ATS to open a campus in Hawaii!