Dr. Dawn, as she prefers to be called, serves the institution with the leadership of the Doctor of Ministry program, providing a quality experience for students, courses, faculty, and expansion of programming. She also serves by leading in the assessment practices, student learning outcomes, and overall assessment for the seminary serving on multiple committees for HLC (Higher Learning Commission) and working with The Association of Theological Schools.
Dr. Dawn has good insight into the challenges that students face, having faced plenty of challenges along her own academic journey. In high school, a teacher insisted that Dr. Dawn should not go to college, suggesting instead that she choose a trade school to gain skills as she came from a poor family and the teacher didn't think she was smart enough for an academic future. Dr. Dawn has certainly overcome those discouraging words by earning three degrees, including a doctoral degree in leadership, and excelling in her vocation and giftings. And she has a heart for ATS students, having received her MA in Christian Education from ATS.
She is grateful to have been raised in a church with two female pastors who became her mentors and affirmed her leadership skills. Click on the link to find her article on Christianity Today. These experiences strengthened Dr. Dawn's resolve to encourage, teach and enable those stepping outside of the status quo and into God's calling. She has served in the teaching ministry of the church for 43 years helping others to be formed to the image of Christ. She believes in being a vessel used by God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, so that others might encounter transformation with Christ. And she believes this transformation can be part of higher education. She also travels to local churches mentoring others in the field of Christian Formation and Leadership.
Dr. Dawn serves as teacher in children’s ministry at her church, an Area Team Coordinator of Operation Christmas Child for six Ohio counties, a board member of SPCE – Society of Professors in Christian Education, a member of ACCESS - Christian Distance Education, and President of the Board for Hope For Every Heart, a ministry to build water wells, provide education and medical care, and child sponsorship in Uganda, Africa. She also enjoys family genealogy and plays with her three orange tabby cats. She is also an avid reader and writer, researching Christian education and leadership. She is married to Dr. Russell Morton, Professional Fellow of Biblical Studies, Ashland and Adjunct Instructor in online courses for New Testament with another institution.